Metro East businesses hope Thanksgiving to-go meals keep employees working


O’FALLON, Ill. – The Regency Conference Center has large banquet rooms that will temporarily sit empty after the state announced new restrictions this week.

“We had to tell a bride earlier this week that she couldn’t have the wedding that she was hoping to have,” John Van Cleave, vice president of operations for HMA Management said.

Losing out on those types of events are a big blow to hourly workers.

“Our team members who were going to work that (wedding) were hoping to get some extra dollars,” Van Cleave said.

He appreciates the support the center has seen from community members and hopes they will consider ordering a Thanksgiving Meal to go this year.

To order to-go meals, click here.

Van Cleave said the meals cost $100 and feed 8 to 10 people.

“Everything you could get at grandma’s house you can pick it up here on Thanksgiving Day, bring it home, and eat it,” Van Cleave said.

Van Cleave calls it a win-win. He said workers can earn money by providing a service aimed at easing Thanksgiving stress.

Roy-el Catering in Belleville has also taken a big financial hit this year. Sales are down 72 percent according to the owners. They are offering Thanksgiving meals to go.

The family-owned business takes a great deal of pride in taking care of their workers but has been unable to keep all of them employed this holiday season.

“My dad has always in the past cooked turkeys for all the full-time employees,” said co-owner Brea Bidwell. “He’s continuing to do that even though they may not be working at this time.”

One of the Thanksgiving options include a take and bake available the day before Thanksgiving.

Bidwell is also selling individual meals for those unable to attend a gathering.

She hopes everyone will take precautions to slow down the spread of COVID so businesses can return to normal.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll get through it,” Bidwell said.

Orders can also be placed by calling 618-476-7722.

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