Thanksgiving brings much-needed financial boost for small businesses in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Staff members were working on all cylinders inside the kitchen of Irregardless Café on Thanksgiving morning.

Cooks were finishing up meals and employees packaging up orders. Outside the restaurant, folks were coming by and picking up food.

Owner Lee Robinson said during normal times, only about a third of the restaurant's Thanksgiving meals are served to to-go. That certainly changed this year.

The Raleigh restaurant was inundated with requests. Small groups made up 80 percent of the orders.

Robinson said the restaurant took more orders last Tuesday than the entire season last year. He sold out of feasts much faster than expected.

"We were fully expecting to be able to take orders till this past weekend, but we sold out last Tuesday. It was just so much. We had no idea. Caught us completely off guard," he said.

Other small business are feeling the same kind of love.

Relish Café on Creedmoor Road posted last week, "We are both grateful and sorry that due to overwhelming response, we have sold out of turkeys for our Thanksgiving feasts."

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The owner of Slice Pie Company tells ABC11 she could barely keep up with orders. In total, she sold 15,000 pies.

The dessert shop expressed gratitude on Instagram and said, "This has been a difficult year both professionally and personally. What I can tell you is that I am proud of what we have accomplished despite our challenges."

The business boost is something small businesses are thankful to receive this Thanksgiving.

"The community loves this restaurant. They've come here for thanksgiving for 30-35 years, and this being the first year we're not doing dine-in service because of the pandemic...they all just turned up in droves to get take-out instead," said Robinson.

Small businesses hope this same kind of support continues throughout the holiday season.
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