• Thanksgiving eve sees operators staffing up for a busy night

Nationwide, Domino's Pizza is doubling staff in expectation of selling 50 percent more pies on Thanksgiving eve than sold on a typical Wednesday.

According to a company release, that's one million pizzas it expects to sell today nationwide. Statistically speaking, that means a pizza is cooked every two minutes in every one of the 4,800 U.S. Domino's stores.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pizza Huts in the area also are preparing for a spike in sales, said spokeswoman Julie Hildebrand. "People know they are going to cook the whole next day, so they want something easy."

Rocky Russo, owner of Rocky's Brick Oven Pizza and Italian Restaurant in downtown Atlanta, said the entire weekend is a winner. Thanksgiving day itself typically is as slow as Christmas, but Wednesday, Friday and Saturday more than make up for it, he said.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, Domino's employee Amy Rigel said that last year she agreed to work Thanksgiving eve, thinking it would be a slow night. She was wrong.

"I wound up on the phone taking orders for two solid hours," she said.

Colonial Foods, which operates 110 Pizza Huts in Virginia and West Virginia, is calling on former drivers to help out tonight.

Colonial executive vice president Harry Sierota said he hopes customers will understand that demand is high tonight, and advises them not to "wait until you're starving. Call early. And expect to wait a little longer than usual."

So why is it so busy the night before the nation's greatest feast? Greg Reynolds, an East of Chicago franchisee in Central Ohio believes it's because ordering pizza is a good way to avoid cooking before Thursday.

Sales on a regular Wednesday average $1,350, Reynolds told the News-Messenger, but tonight's tally will be closer to $3,300.

Steve Hutton, owner of Pisanello's Pizza in Elmore, Ohio, said his store will be 50 to 75 percent busier than on a typical Wednesday, but that he won't have to overstaff heavily to meet the demand.

"We really don't take any extra prep or anything like that," Hutton told the News-Messenger. "We do normally add another person to the staff that night."

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