We're one step closer to the day when Thanksgiving seems but a quaint memory and/or fiction from a Norman Rockwell painting. CNBC reports that, with retailers moving Black Friday ever earlier, restaurants are also being roped into the Thursday-evening frenzy.

So now it's not just retail workers, but also many food service workers that'll have to report to work on Thursday evening. Are you happy with yourself, America? Are you pleased with what your lust for deals hath wrought?

The potential cash grab is just too much to resist, apparently. The National Restaurant Association says 38 million people plan to pause their shopping for a bite. And the early bird gets the green: Last year, the pretzel mongers at Aunt Annie's moved their opening from midnight closer to 10 p.m. on Thursday and saw sales jump 9 percent.

It's not just about bringing in the bills, though. CNBC points out that many mall leases stipulate food joints have to be open whenever the rest of the stores are. (To be fair, I'm pretty sure state law says you can't call something a "mall" unless there's a Ruby Tuesday's open inside.)

Whatever the rationale, CNBC says that this year, many Aunt Annie's (for instance) will open around 8 p.m. on Thursday, meaning employees have to show up at 6 or 7. (They'll get higher pay, at least.) Many Cinnabons are opening even earlier, around 6 or 7. Said one franchise owner: "It should be a day for family—that's my feeling, but I also have to pay bills.... My rent doesn't change, and (my employees) have to pay bills too."

So much for that national holiday.

Mall Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving Because Someone's Got To Feed The Hungry Shoppers [Consumerist]

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