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Tallahassee restaurants see spike in Thanksgiving dinner pre-orders amid pandemic

Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 18:16:39-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — There's no doubt Thanksgiving will look and feel different this year.

The CDC recommends people limit their Thanksgiving guests to only people living in their household. For restaurants, that's good news.

To limit face-to-face interactions and large gatherings, restaurants like Taste Budz are bringing the meal to the table instead.

To customers like George Johnson, Taste Budz saved his Thanksgiving.

"My mom told me not to come so we're all just going to stay at home and try to Zoom in, " said Johnson.

Johnson says choosing Taste Budz was easy. The menu mirrors what his mother usually makes during the holidays.

"One thing I love is cornbread dressing and they have that," said Johnson. "People don't know the difference between cornbread dressing and stuffing."

Dave Wendland and Judy Langston own Taste Budz. Wendland says he's proud to bring back good memories for his customers with dishes like green bean casserole and sweet potato souffle.

The owners say they've seen more people ordering ready-made meals this year than ever.

"They're calling like, 'Can we get extras because grandma's eating all alone and our friends in hospice?'" said Langston.

While Taste Budz is the go-to for southern American comfort food, Little Paris is the alternative for people looking to spice up this unconventional holiday season.

The restaurant is now furiously prepping to feed the community. Little Paris manager Taylor Watson says the restaurant already has reservations for dine-in Thursday and to-go orders.

"I heard a statistic that 25 percent of people are really worried that they're going to ruin their Thanksgiving because it's their first time cooking for it," said Watson. "I'm glad we can give them the option."

Watson said that right now, it's just the restaurant's two chefs working feverishly to prepare for Thanksgiving.

Both restaurants say despite the hard work going into Thanksgiving meals, they're still happy to feed the community.

Little Paris is still taking reservations. You can call them at (850) 765-7457. They're also accepting walk-ins.