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Metro area restaurants pivoting to Thanksgiving menus amid second shutdown

According to a recent survey, one in three Minnesota families are planning on take-out for Thanksgiving.

MINNESOTA, USA — With the typical gatherings off the table this year because of COVID-19, many restaurants across the Twin Cities are getting creative, with new ways to serve up your favorite dishes, while helping you stay safe.

"I never really thought we'd be pivoting to Thanksgiving dinner especially at a burger place," said Josh Thoma, Owner of Bay Street Burger Dive in St. Paul. 

Thoma also owns the Lexington and the Smack Shack in Minneapolis, and he sees this Thanksgiving as a win-win. They get to make money, while offering families an alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving meal. While keeping families safe in doing so.

"Rather than Thanksgiving, we're doing 'Meatsgiving,'" said Thoma. "Two pounds of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, rolls, green beans and a whole pumpkin pie."

According to a recent survey, one in three Minnesota families are planning on take-out for Thanksgiving, which for the team at the Lynn Hall in Minneapolis, sounds about right.

"We have almost a thousand orders between everything," said Katie Elsing, Executive Pastry Chef at the Lynn Hall. "We're going into a season where its usually we're full of, you know, weddings and events, and Christmas parties, and we can't do any of that, so it's trying to figure out what we can do." 

Limited to just delivery and takeout orders for the next four weeks.

"Most restaurants can't survive on 50% occupancy. You need your restaurant full to pay the bills so," said Elsing. 

In the meantime, capitalizing on creativity will be the name of the game this holiday season.

"We feel bad for our staff but its also safe for them and also safe for our guests," said Thoma. 

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