Jason Hillman, general manager of Beef 'O' Brady's in Cape Girardeau, said this is the first year his restaurant will be open for the holiday and that he expects decent crowds.
Hillman said not only do many people not have a place to go for the holidays but that his restaurant has several large-screen televisions showing all of the day's sports action.
"We thought with all the football games going on, a lot of people would want to come out," he said.
Hillman said the eatery will see its heaviest crowds in the late afternoon and early evening, after many people have visited with family.
"It's kind of a wind-down after family time," he said.
Even though Hillman thinks sports will draw customers to the restaurant, a special Thanksgiving menu will be offered as further enticement.
"We'll have Thanksgiving turkey, ham, all the trimmings. We don't usually have this on the menu," he said.
The National Restaurant Association predicts 1 in 10 Americans will eat their Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant. The association also said many consumers will use takeout items for all or part of their holiday meal.
Mike Stevens, Cracker Barrel general manager, said his restaurant typically sees an increase in to-go orders on Thanksgiving.
The restaurant has been open for the holiday for several years, and aside from the increase in carry-out orders, business is pretty consistent with other days. Stevens said diners range from couples to groups of 12 to 15 people.
Denny's, which will be open Thanksgiving and Christmas, traditionally sees a steady crowd all day.
"It is a pretty even flow. Usually we see a lot of older folks, travelers, smaller families," said Denny's service coordinator Debra Suiter.
Because the restaurant is open 24 hours a day, Suitor said, staff members also serve many late Thanksgiving and early Black Friday diners.
"A lot of folks stop by before hitting the sales," she said.
Other restaurants in the area that will be open Thanksgiving include Great Wall, Little Caesar's, McDonald's, Delmonico's, Ryan's Family Steakhouse, Ruby Tuesday and White Castle. Specific information, including hours of operation, is available by calling individual restaurants or at www.semomarketplace.com.
1812 Carondelet Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO
3261 William St., Cape Girardeau, MO
161 West Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO