Sodexo with Weber Dining is offering an alternative for Thanksgiving meals, designed to help the community stay connected with family and friends.

The Shepherd Union dining area is a ghost town after the shops close for the day. (Steven Clift/The Signpost)
The Shepherd Union dining area is a ghost town after the shops close for the day. (Steven Clift/The Signpost)

Weber Dining is offering redesigned Thanksgiving dinners this year. Options include ham and turkey, different sizes of Thanksgiving meals with dessert and the option of either pre-cooked meals or ready-to-cook Thanksgiving dinners.

WSU students can get a complete thanksgiving meal prepared for them (Steven Clift / The Signpost)
WSU students can get a complete thanksgiving meal prepared for them. (Steven Clift / The Signpost)

The Executive Chef Trek Kryger came up with offering traditional turkey or ham alongside yams, cranberry sauce and mashed potato stuffing. All ready-to-eat meals will be fresh as Weber Dining will start cooking all the orders for ham and turkey right before pickup.

These are available to all students, faculty and staff as well as the public.

Sodexo considered how hard 2020 has been on everyone; including them, as their revenue is not quite what it was before the pandemic hit.

Their team devised a way people could spend more time this Thanksgiving with their families, escape the “hustle and bustle” of the kitchen and preparation of Thanksgiving dinners and focus more on spending time with loved ones.

“The ideal customer is anyone who wants to take a break this year and focus on what they are thankful for with people they love,” Steedley said.

All people need to do is email or call in orders, choose what meal fits their family’s needs and setup a curbside pickup time for the order.

Marketing Manager for Weber Dining Robert Steedley explained how their team was concerned with making Thanksgiving as easy as possible this year. They wanted a smooth ordering and pickup process to make things as accessible as possible.

Orders can be placed until Nov. 16. Ready-to-eat meals can be picked up on Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and cost $200 for a six-to-eight person meal or $230 for a 10-to-12 person meal.

Ready-to-cook meals are available for pickup on Nov. 25 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the prices are $10 less than their ready-to-eat counterparts.

Meal-making will start two days before the meal is picked up, and ready-to-eat meal options will be hot and ready when picked up.

“Meal pickup will be done from the circle drive in front of the Browning Center,” Sample said. “Customers will call and let Weber Dining know that they are there, and we will take their meal to their vehicle.”

With safety as a top priority for Sodexo, Weber Dining has been following all the suggested safety precautions to keep everyone healthy and safe, while still being accessible for both the Wildcat Family, and the community.

Director of Catering Jason Sample explained how, since last March, their team has been waiting for the right time to resume their operations, and they are grateful to have the chance to reach out to help families.

By extension they are excited to be reaching out to the community outside Weber State University, which is something they have not done for Thanksgiving in past years.

​“We hope to help make the Thanksgiving meal planning and preparation process a bit easier and less stressful.” Sample said. “Purchasing all of the ingredients necessary to cook a Thanksgiving meal can cost quite a bit.”

For many families, Thanksgiving 2020 also brings new types of stress, including not being able to visit family. The current pandemic has isolated many people.

“This year is different from previous years with the pandemic affecting lives on so many levels,” Steedley said. “We at Weber Dining just want people to focus on the meaning of the holiday and give themselves a break and enjoy a meal the family will enjoy.”

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