BERKELEY (KPIX) — Not only will there be fewer people around Thanksgiving tables this year, COVID-19 has also spurred a demand for downsized turkeys. Smaller birds are almost sold out everywhere as people and businesses adjust to Thanksgiving during a pandemic.
“The one consistent thing about the pandemic is that it keeps changing,” said Amy Murray, owner and chef of Revival Bar & Kitchen in Berkeley.
Since the pandemic began in March, Murray has overhauled her restaurant repeatedly, from take-out only to building a parklet outside to offering Thanksgiving dinner to go.
The best seller this year is the half turkeys.
“Not everyone wants to cook. Families will be smaller and not everyone will be coming home and traveling this year,” Murray said.
Even at the grocery store, large birds are in stock but good luck finding a tiny turkey for your family mini-gathering.
“Is it a smaller Thanksgiving party than normal? Oh yeah, there’s only four of us. Normally, there’s 15 or 20,” said Fran Anderson, as she shopped for groceries on Friday.
Whether it’s small or half-turkeys, Murray says it’s just part of meeting the demands of customers in a pandemic. With new restrictions and guidelines being announced on what feels like a weekly basis, Murray is just riding the wave of Covid adjustments.
“What are my options? I’m just pretending to be a hang glider. Here comes a little burst of wind and let’s figure out what to do with it,” Murray said.
While the gatherings and feasts may be small this Thanksgiving, some say it does put into focus what people should be thankful for.
“I feel like it’s just a wakeup call for us to get back in touch with what’s really important,” said Berkeley resident Marti Morgensen.
With indoor dining being shut down this week, perhaps for a month or more, the prepared holiday meals to go are going to be critical for restaurants like Revival Bar and Kitchen to get through the rest of 2020.