With Thanksgiving less than 24 hours away, many restaurants are seeing a rush of customers.
Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson continue our team holiday coverage with how pizza places are handling the crowds.
“It’s the day before Thanksgiving and nobody wants to be cooking dinner tonight, which is why local pizza shops say it is their busiest day of the year.
The kitchen was bustling at Paesano’s Pizza in downtown Traverse City Wednesday afternoon as crowds of people piled in to eat.
“Families don’t want to cook because they’re getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow, and so it just brings them down to order out or dine in,” says Robert Kolarik, owner of Paesano’s Pizza.
They say today is always one of their busiest days of the year.
“Lots of kids coming home from school, lined up for over an hour just to get lunch today. It was crazy,” Kolarik says. “This is every Wednesday before Thanksgiving and just carries on all throughout the day, the business does. It’s a great day for business.”
Jet’s Pizza has also seen a rush of customers.
“All morning. We get a little break now in between that morning and dinner shift again to prepare and then get ready for tonight,” says Andrew Schafer, manager.
To help keep up, they prepare as much as possible ahead of time.
“We schedule a lot heavier. Put a lot of people on. We prep a lot more. Make a lot of extra dough,” Schafer says.
And while it’s a lot of work, both businesses enjoying serving families during the holidays.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun,” Kolarik says.
“You work hard and then you get to take it easy tomorrow, eat food with the family and relax,” says Schafer.