Planning Your Thanksgiving Party Menu

As a restaurant open on Thanksgiving day, your main focus of the day will be Thanksgiving dinner. Many people prefer to go out and eat rather than cook making it a time of great profits for your business if you do it correctly. This means that you will need to have to have the right combination of foods that will appeal to any type of person that enters your restaurant. As you plan your menu, it is important to keep both the interests of your customer and your own budget in mind. The easiest way to do this is toPlanning Your Thanksgiving Party Menu divide the meal into several courses and plan the foods that you want to offer for each course.

Main Course

The main course is going to be the most important part of the meal. Your customers will not be happy if the main course is anything less than what they expect for a Thanksgiving meal, so your exceptionally delicious and succulent turkey will be the star of the day.  Make sure to prepare plenty of moist, juicy, tender turkey, enough for all your customers as it will go fast and you will need to be prepared for the demand. However, there will be the occasional customer that prefers an alternative, so you might want to consider having ham, roast, or another main course available for your customers.

Side Dishes

The side dishes that you choose to serve will need to be varied because everybody likes a variety. While there are some sides that are traditionally associated with Thanksgiving, the fact is that you have plenty of room to be creative. What you choose to serve will be based on several factors. If you have a buffet then you can offer several alternatives. If you are offering a limited menu then you will need to decide what you want to offer and allow your customers to choose from that list. Some Thanksgiving side dish favorites are:

  • Potatoes: mashed, au gratin, sweet and baked
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Yams
  • Vegetables: green bean casserole, broccoli, squash
  • Gravy
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Bread: rolls, biscuits


Everyone expects dessert with their Thanksgiving meal and dining out is no exception. Again, what you choose to serve will vary depending on whether you are offering a buffet dinner or a limited dinner menu. There are a number of items that people look forward to on Thanksgiving and having them available will please your customers. One of the key things to remember is that pumpkin is often associated with Thanksgiving and many desserts feature it. Some types of desserts you can serve include:

  • Pie: Pumpkin is a big one but you can also serve other pies such as apple, sweet potato and even a chocolate cream pie.
  • Cheesecake: while not typically associated with Thanksgiving, there are pumpkin varieties that would leave your customers begging for more.
  • Cookies: Many people enjoy a good cookie and this is a great choice if you expect to be serving children.

Once you have chosen your Thanksgiving menu, you will have to work hard on preparing it well in advance and ensure that you will attract the customers that you plan on targeting. After dining in your restaurant, and realizing how much easier and tastier your meal is compared to their own home cooked version, they will continue to come back and spread the word to others.

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