Thanksgiving is the holiday that, more than any other, conjures images of home-cooked meals and extended families gathering around the dinner table to enjoy them. But that’s not the case for everyone. In fact, the National Restaurant Association claims that 14 million people eat their Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant every year, and plenty of those meals will be eaten at national chains. We tracked down 18 chains that are serving special Thanksgiving menus on Turkey Day, many of which also offer whole Thanksgiving feasts to go.
Chains don’t usually make it a habit of completely changing menus around and only offering special dishes for one day a year (the logistics alone must be a nightmare), but many realize that offering a special meal for Thanksgiving allows them to tap into a market that’s growing by the year. And some of these places really go all out, while others keep it a bit more low key.
A handful of chains offer Thanksgiving dinner system-wide, but others only do so at select locations. Some chains don’t make any changes to their menu at all and treat Thanksgiving as business as usual, and some close up shop entirely in order to let their employees have the day off.
Fortunately (or unfortunately if you happen to work at an open store or restaurant), the vast majority of chain restaurants remain open during Thanksgiving and leave the decision to close for the day up to individual franchisees. Some TGI Friday’s locations will be closed on Thanksgiving, and individual McDonald’s restaurants may be closed. The best way to find out if your favorite local chain will be open on Thanksgiving is to call ahead, and nearly all the chains that are serving Thanksgiving dinner have already posted their menus online. Click here for 10 chains that will be serving Thanksgiving dinner for 2017.