For Hospitality Industry, Thanksgiving is Big Business

It takes a lot for this country to get ready for Thanksgiving. Beyond each household preparing for incoming relatives for the Thanksgiving feast, retailers, grocers, and the hospitality and travel industries are enduring one of their busiest times of the year. Of course without these industries, consumers make the meals or get to where they’re going. With so many people on the move and getting ready, there is a lot these industries must get done.

Given that this was predicted to be the biggest Thanksgiving ever when it came to air travel, it is not surprising that airlines, buses, and trains were all busy preparing for large numbers of passengers. Gas stations had to make sure they had enough gasoline to meet demand—and that demand was actually helped this year by lower gas prices than usual. Hotels had to prepare for more guests, and grocery stores had to prepare for more demand of Thanksgiving standards. It was a busy time for everyone.

Airlines have long hired seasonal staff for kiosks and gate areas in preparation for holiday travel, but this year the industry was tasked with a record number of travelers. ABC reported that American Airlines prepared for the holiday travel season with additional inspections and made sure its baggage handlers stretched before getting to work.

Hotels also fill up on Thanksgiving week and must be prepared to host a full house. Many hotels offer their own Thanksgiving dinners. This means hotels are very busy and like airlines, may have to hire additional short-term staff. Increasingly, hotels and resorts are attracting guests by offering holiday-themed experiences.

Grocery stores primarily prepare for Thanksgiving by making sure the traditional foods are abundantly available. Some stores remain open for additional hours just in case people forget something. However, if someone finds making Thanksgiving dinner to be an overwhelming task, there are grocery stores that will make the entire thing for them.

Not surprisingly, the day before Thanksgiving was the biggest grocery shopping day at grocers.

Additionally, some are skipping a homemade meal altogether by eating out on the holiday.

Restaurants had to prepare not only for the third Thursday in November but for the rest of the weekend as well. Both Black Friday and Thanksgiving Eve are two of the busiest days of the year for restaurants of all kinds. After all that cooking on Thanksgiving, it is perhaps not surprising that people want to avoid cooking the rest of the week.

Food delivery app Waitr also used Thanksgiving as an opportunity to give back by crowdsourcing funds that led to 2,000 families in need to receive a holiday meal.

Thanksgiving may be known as a time to relax, but for the food and beverage and hospitality industries it is a time that requires among the heaviest workloads of the entire year.

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