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Thanksgiving shopping rush affecting groceries, restaurants

Jackson Bar turkeys
Posted at 3:58 PM, Nov 24, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There’s a mad dash to get to the grocery stores as shoppers scramble to get their Thanksgiving meals ready. The holiday is less than a day away. They’re also facing challenges with some items not on store shelves.

It’s a full parking lot at Albertsons marking the annual last-minute grocery rush before Thanksgiving. It means a full shopping cart for Ruth Elhami. She had a pleasant experience getting her items.

“People are very friendly instead of being of being in a rush and being kind in asking about things,” she said.

It included turkey stuffing and jugs of water. She was able to get everything by store hopping.

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“I was able to walk in and whatever I wanted; it was right there. Shelves were constantly being restocked,” she said.

Others weren’t so lucky.

“My husband will be broken-hearted with no cranberry sauce. He’s the only one that eats it,” Pam Grieshaber, visiting from Missouri, said.

That’s been the story for some shoppers, unable to find certain items. Ocean Spray telling ABC News its ability to supply cranberry sauce is being interrupted by an aluminum can shortage and transportation issues.

While some fixings might be hard to find, turkeys remain plentiful.

At Jackson’s Bar and Grill they have seasoned turkey breasts ready to go with their pre-made Thanksgiving meals. Owner Brian Slipock says getting to this point has taken a lot of work.

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“We scrambled this year for everything. The food supply chain. The liquor supply chain,” he said.

He started ordering food from suppliers two months in advance before Thanksgiving.

“Even then we weren’t guaranteed to get what we needed,” he said.

This meant scrounging around stores and different suppliers to get the ingredients the restaurant needed.

“Different labels we wouldn’t necessarily use and even had to change our cooking method,” Slipock said.

He says whole turkeys were difficult to come by for him so deep-frying them wasn’t an option this year. Slipock is substituting them for roasted turkey breasts instead.

“We had to bring in extra cooking equipment to roast for out back to be able to roast all the turkeys that we have,” he said.

With the meals available for dine-in or for customers to take home, Slipock expects demand from shoppers who just don’t want the hassle of searching for ingredients.

“That appears to be how it’s looking from the feedback that we’re getting. This is what you have, you’re by the house. You’re convenient and I’ve had you before. You’re great and we’ll take what you’ve got,” he said.

Slipock says once the holiday rolls around, he hopes customers will remain courteous to him and his staff in the midst of their challenges.

“Be nice to everybody. We’re all working our best, we’re all doing our best,” he said.

Christmas is the next big holiday and retailers suggest preparing your shopping list early. This includes pre-ordering your meats at grocers if they provide the option.