Planning for a Successful Thanksgiving

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The busiest time of year for retail produce is here—Thanksgiving. Called the “Super-Bowl of Produce,” it can be a stressful, all-hands-on deck type situation. But we’ve come up with a few simple ways to make this season a little easier on you.

  • Plan ahead. Everything comes down to planning, and the better prepared you are, the smoother things will be.
  • Schedule extra staff. You will need extra hands to keep displays fully stocked, your department clean, and to provide the volume of customer service that goes along with working a holiday rush.
  • Communicate your product needs ahead of time. Ideally you would have already given your account manager projections for the product you will need, but it is also highly suggested to also do an early morning daily check in order to make sure your product is in good supply. Things happen overnight with produce supply, and it’s a good habit to make sure the product you are counting on is coming. If, for some reason, plans fall through, you will then have more time to source products.
  • Save time and skip the presentation. Most products will be flying off the shelf on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, so skip prepping the greens and celery since they will be selling as fast as you can put them out. Same goes for potatoes, hard squash, sweet potatoes, and apples; it’s okay to go from box straight to the rack this time of year. These displays are being shopped down so quickly that keeping them full will be quite a chore. Just focus on keeping the displays full and the customers happy.
  • Adjust your banana orders. Bananas are the #1 selling produce item in the US, but not at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Don’t get stuck with too many bananas on hand.
  • Practice good mental health. Relax, breath, be kind and patient, take a break if you need to, and don’t forget to have fun. The busiest days can be the most fun in a retail setting.

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