Knoxville restaurants preparing for busy Thanksgiving day diners

Knoxville restaurants preparing for busy Thanksgiving day diners

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"It's getting busier every year. It's just increased like crazy, people love to come out. Twenty years ago people stayed home but that's not how the world is going now," said manager Steve Fletcher. "It's getting busier every year. It's just increased like crazy, people love to come out. Twenty years ago people stayed home but that's not how the world is going now," said manager Steve Fletcher.
Employees at Calhoun's are expecting hundreds of people to skip tradition and eat their turkey dinner here. Employees at Calhoun's are expecting hundreds of people to skip tradition and eat their turkey dinner here.
Ruth's Chris Steak House has about 300 pumpkin pies ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Ruth's Chris Steak House has about 300 pumpkin pies ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - An estimated 14 million Americans are saying farewell to tradition and choosing to eat Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant, that's according to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association.

A number of restaurants in Knoxville will open starting around 11 a.m. Thursday and employees say they're happy to help you skip the cooking and the clean up.

There's a sign on the door at Calhoun's on the River letting diners know they're open on Thanksgiving day.

"It's getting busier every year. It's just increased like crazy, people love to come out. Twenty years ago people stayed home but that's not how the world is going now. People are going out on holidays and we're reaping the rewards," said manager Steve Fletcher.

In fact, employees at Calhoun's are expecting hundreds of people to skip tradition and eat their turkey dinner here. But for those who want to stay home and not cook the restaurant is offering holiday packs.

"We've got more than 20 pre-ordered. It's going to keep us busy in the morning before we open," added Fletcher.

Around town it's not hard to find other restaurants hoping to make the holidays easy as pie: Shoney's, Chick-Fil-A, and even McDonalds will be open on Thanksgiving.

Over at Ruth's Chris Steak House employees have been prepping for the last 48-hours.

"I would say we probably cooked somewhere in the area of 40 turkeys," said general manager Paul Hohe.

But who could forget, they also made about 40 pounds of stuffing and 300 pumpkin pies. Upwards of 500 guests are expected on Thanksgiving and reservations booked quickly.

"From the time we started taking them they filled up in two weeks," added Hohe.

So why are some saying goodbye to the home cooked meal?

"It's almost as expensive as going out to eat," said Knoxville resident Emily Dunlap.

While others say it makes the holidays simpler.

"Back in the day everybody was in one place. Nowadays you've got people everywhere so it's hard and a lot of people have let go of traditions," said Chattanooga resident Stanley Young.

It's not too late if you plan on going out to eat on Thanksgiving. Most restaurants say they still have open reservations or call ahead seating, which they recommend. But if you're flexible on time you should be able to get a spot.

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