The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest for Italia, a pizzeria at the corner of 16th and Woodland streets in east Nashville.
Workers came in nearly three hours early Wednesday to prepare for the pre-holiday rush.
"You don't want to cook anything," said owner Salem Elkhatib. "You just want to make do with pizza."
Egyptian-born Elkhatib started the so-called pizza joint 10 years ago. Every year, the day before Thanksgiving is a challenge.
"The average ticket [is] three extra large pizzas," he said. "That would be 30 big slices."
According to Pizza.com, an estimated three billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. every year, and the day before Thanksgiving is among the top five days of the year for pizza sales.
The statistics were not lost on Italia customers.
"Mom's been cooking Thanksgiving dinner all day, so we didn't want to cook dinner," said Sarah Carruthers.
Carruthers and her family chose to dine in and purchased four pizza pies.
As for her thoughts on why people choose pizza before the holiday, she said, "Maybe it's the exact opposite of what you're going to have the next day."
Mike Marsh carried out three pizzas of his own with his father-in-law, and also shared his thoughts for the feast before the feast.
"I think most people just kind of want to order out the night before Thanksgiving, because Thanksgiving is such a cooking day," Marsh said.
"Everyone is just looking for the quickest and best meal they can get," he added.
A day off for home-bakers means overtime for pizza-makers, but it's difficult to say how much more pizza is sold.
When asked for specific numbers, Elkhatib laughed and said, "If I do count, I don't think I could get anything done."
Rounding out the top five days for pizza sales are Halloween, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and Super Bowl Sunday.
441 Murfreesboro Road Nashville, TN 37210