When Midway BBQ employees say they sell tons of food during the holidays, they mean it literally.
Besides hash, barbecue and home style dinners, Midway also offers whole turkeys and hams — as well as family-size portions of fixings — which are all huge sellers during the holiday season.
People flooded the restaurant Wednesday; some to purchase lunch for the day and others to purchase Thanksgiving dinner items. On Wednesday alone, the restaurant sold over 3,000 pounds of dressing, and during the entire month of November 14,000 pounds were sold as of Wednesday afternoon.
Midway owner Jay Allen said the restaurant sells around 1,000 turkeys and 700-800 hams during the holiday season.
“The turkey has been wonderful this year,” Allen said. “With that hickory smoke rolling in the pit, timed perfect and the temperature regulated, it has been the best yet.”
Allen opened the door to the pit to reveal several racks of golden, glistening turkeys which he said were a couple hours away from perfection.
Besides dressing, Allen said sides such as macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, green beans and giblet gravy are also a hit during the holiday season. The restaurant sold 1,000 pounds of macaroni and cheese to go Wednesday, not including individual orders of macaroni which were part of Wednesday’s dinner plates. Because of limited space, some sides such as broccoli casserole are not available in family-size orders during the holidays.
Allen credits much of the restaurant’s current success to his staff members, which have worked at the restaurant for years.
“Pat and Christy have been here 12-14 years; Susan has been here about 25 years; Shirley has been here for 30 years; and Andrew and Trevor manage our business and cater around the clock,” he said. “We have very little turnover, and that is very good in a restaurant.”
“Susan Randall is the main cook,” Allen added. “She doesn’t use any recipes. She’s been doing it a long time and she is absolutely the best.”
Allen also said he feels the restaurant’s catering service has driven much of it’s business. Midway caters many events outside of Union County.
“People taste it and say, ‘I want some of that for Thanksgiving or Christmas,’” he said, mentioning that the sweet potato casserole is a dish often requested. “The sweet potato casserole is a home run.”
The Midway staff performed like a well oiled machine Wednesday, but Allen said it took work to get to that point.
“When we first started this, the line would be out the door,” he said. “We had to get really organized to handle that much volume in one day and make it go smoothly.”
The restaurant will also be open on Thanksgiving Day for both to-go and dine-in home style dinners. Allen said Midway founder Jack O’Dell started that tradition years ago for those who cannot — or do not — cook during the holidays.
“Midway is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. but we are really here 24-7,” Allen said. “We pride ourselves in never telling anybody ‘no.’ If it keeps us here around the clock, then that’s all right with me.”