Rockford restaurants offer Thanksgiving meals to go, turkey sales down at local stores

Many families are scaling back this turkey day by not serving a typical large meal or cooking at all.
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 7:01 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Many Stateliners are cutting back on traditional Thanksgiving Day celebrations, decreasing the demand of large turkeys and making smaller ready to go meals more popular.

“We’ve been at the center of people’s tables for many years," said Lino’s Restaurant Owner Charlie Schweinler.

Schweinler is the third generation owner of Lino’s Restaurant in Rockford, and says they needed to get creative this Thanksgiving.

“We know that people can’t always get together and maybe not have that home cooked meal that they can possibly have, so that’s why we decided to offer it," said Schweinler.

Lino’s Restaurant offers traditional Thanksgiving Day meals take-out style, complete with all the favorites including turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing.

“We’ll be cooking in our hundred year old ovens and so it’s gonna be slow cooked and it’s gonna be really really good and it’ll be coming out just as you come to the door for it," said Schweinler.

To-go options are popular this year, but for people who want cook at home, smaller gatherings are encouraged. That in turn is decreasing the demand for large turkeys.

“It’s not as busy as last year," said Rockford Valli Produce Meat Manager Luis Pequeno.

Pequeno said large bird sales are down by about 50 percent this year, but that he’s hopeful for a turnaround.

“We still have some good sales on turkeys so far," said Pequeno. “We’re expecting to have more sales during this weekend.”

Schweinler said people have until Friday, November 20 to place their Thanksgiving Day meal orders and encourages customers to do so soon quickly as Lino’s is only making a limited amount.

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