With increase in Thanksgiving orders, struggling local restaurants get a little breathing room

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Demand for Thanksgiving Day meals is a welcome change of pace for the local restaurant scene, which has been hard hit by the pandemic.

Beth Barden has never in her 19 years in business had to prepare for a Thanksgiving meal like this one.

“It’s an astonishing amount of food,” said Barden, who owns Succotash.

The orders started pouring in three weeks ago after Barden made 150 individual meals for a nearby hospital that was forced to forgo its usual holiday potluck because of the pandemic.

“I didn’t expect anything big, and literally the amount of orders that came in are equivalent to two weeks’ worth of business that we’re doing now,” she said.

On the menu: 500 pounds of turkey and ham, 290 pounds of mashed potatoes, 280 pounds of green bean casserole, 75 pounds of cranberry sauce and 25 pounds of gravy.

“This is something that has allowed us a little bit of breathing room to be able to withstand another big shutdown,” Barden said.

Over at Pot Pie in Westport, it’s a much smaller operation.

“We decided 20 is the number we can manage,” owner Victor Swerdlove said.

The restaurant sold out of its turkey shepherd’s pie meals over the weekend.

“The response we’ve gotten is, ‘I’m so glad you’re doing this. This is going to be wonderful.'”

Swedlove and Barden said they’re just thankful for the support, especially seeing how the pandemic has forced so many other restaurants to close for good.

“We’re grateful that people care enough to try and keep us open,” Barden said.

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