Holiday Central

Thanksgiving is the 'Super Bowl' for Boston Market

Boston Market thanksgiving meal.
Source: Boston Market

While many CEOs look for some down time at Thanksgiving, Boston Market's chief plans to be in the trenches, helping to serve around 1.1 million customers a hot meal.

Thanksgiving is the "Super Bowl" for Boston Market, CEO George Michel told CNBC. The chain sees revenues double during the week, with sales on Wednesday and Thursday five times higher than regular days.

Michel will join his employees at one of the company's New York locations this year scooping heaps of mashed potatoes and packaging sides of stuffing, creamed spinach and mac n' cheese for hungry customers.

This is the sixth-consecutive year that Michel will have spent Thanksgiving on the front lines, a tradition that has extended to several of Boston Market's executives.

"Some customers come and eat in the restaurants, some pick up meals to go home, some pick up side orders or pies as gifts or to supplement their own meals," Michel told CNBC. "We also do a large catering business" during Thanksgiving.

In total, holiday sales in November and December account for about 20 percent of the company's annual business and Thanksgiving business, alone, has grown more than 100 percent in the last five years.

Michel said Thanksgiving traditions are changing, especially for younger generations.

"People are getting busier and busier with their lives and spending less time planning Thanksgiving than they did before," he said, explaining that many consumers have been so focused on the election that they haven't had time to think about the holiday.

Boston Market hopes to snag business from a variety of consumers with its wide range of food options. Michel says that the chain sees a lot of hospital workers, airport employees and Black Friday retailers during Thanksgiving — all folks who are working and unable to cook a full meal or attend a family gathering.

"It's very stressful cooking dinner for 10 to 20 people," he said. "[Consumers] are looking for solutions to take the risk out of cooking the turkey."

The company is offering catering packages that include a whole, precooked turkey or rotisserie turkey breast with a selection of sides for those who want the full Thanksgiving meal, but want to skip the hassle of cooking.

Premium buffet catering, which includes three sides, two choices of meat (turkey, ham or chicken), cranberry walnut relish, cornbread and pie slices, cost $13.49 per person and can be picked up in store or delivered.

Deluxe buffet catering includes two sides and costs $11.49 per person and, of course, the chain offers its day-of Thanksgiving meal for $12.99.