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Make your Friendsgiving fast-food chic – here’s how

Lory Parson - Friendsgiving Tablescape - Pizza Hut - PGHC3619 - HIGH RES

We can’t all be the Martha Stewarts of the world — some of us have to round out the group by not having a domestic bone in our bodies. Or by being particularly un-crafty. Or, hey, maybe we’re crafty everywhere but the kitchen. If this is hitting close to home, then we’re about to give you something to be truly grateful for this season: a Friendsgiving that is fast-food chic.

What does that mean, exactly? For starters, it means you’re off the hook. OK, well not entirely. You still have to invite your best friends to your laid-back holiday gathering, and you should still try to church your pad up a bit in the name of being festive.

But spending hours in the kitchen cooking food you aren’t even sure is edible? Setting off the fire alarm in your apartment not once but twice, triggering a visit from some visibly annoyed firefighters? (Er, hypothetically, yeah.) Not this year, chickies.

This year, we’re encouraging you to embrace your inner fast-foodie and hit up one of your favorite speedy cuisine establishments to get all the fixings you need for your Friendsgiving meal.

To that end, we tapped To Have + to Host blogger Lory Parson to create delicious, showstopping tablescapes using items from three beloved menus: Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

Friendsgiving should be fun, stress-free and full of food you know your guests will love. So, if you ask us, a fast-food chic Friendsgiving is a no-brainer. Sorry, not sorry.

1. Chick-fil-A

To quote a famous viral video, this is the Lord’s chicken, y’all. Everybody likes the Lord’s chicken. Bonus? Chick-fil-A catering is guaranteed to go over well, but the setup will really drive home what an amazing Friendsgiving host you are.

ALSO TRY: Friendsgiving: Celebrating with Friends Who Don’t Have Family Nearby

Thoughtful, cheeky little touches abound, like names written in ketchup on place settings in lieu of traditional place cards. And little Chick-fil-A plush cow toys dotting the table in keeping with the theme.

Lory Parson - Friendsgiving Tablescape - Chic-Fil-A - 5D4A4842 - LOW RES

As far as menu items go, Parson chose a platter of classic chicken sandwiches, along with a “turkey” centerpiece consisting of chicken nuggets. A salad balances out the fried and salty, but we’re 100 percent in support of also finding a spot for a big bowl of waffle chip (Chick-fil-A doesn’t cater their waffle fries) and Polynesian Sauce, naturally.

Lory Parson - Friendsgiving Tablescape - Chic-Fil-A - 5D4A4740 - HIGH RES

The best part, though? “Planning and preparation for this table only took me about two hours. This is super easy, and this is something that your kids will love as well,” Parson said.


2. Pizza Hut

Can you even think of a person in your life who wouldn’t go to town on some pizza given the chance? This Friendsgiving tablescape from Pizza Hut boasts universal appeal, thanks to crowd-pleasers like pizza (in the shape of “THX,” no less!), garlic knots, brownies and the newest item on the Pizza Hut menu, Cinnabon mini-rolls.

Lory Parson - Friendsgiving Tablescape - Pizza Hut - 5D4A4941 - HIGH RES

However, this is a holiday, so you want to differentiate from any other night tossing back pies. Enter the genius that is creating a pizza tablescape with an elegant, yet simple, Italian rustic theme. To accomplish this, Parson chose details like tree-ring chargers, vintage pewter goblets, soft white napkins and fresh herbs from the garden.

Lory Parson - Friendsgiving Tablescape - Pizza Hut - 5D4A4949 - HIGH RES

ALSO TRY: 5 ways to simplify your Thanksgiving preparation

Another major perk? “Who needs silverware when you can just grab [the food] right off the table?” Parson pointed out. And you know what that means — fewer dishes for you to do later.


3. Taco Bell

For the Friendsgiving host who wants to keep things affordable and easy, there can be no better option than Taco Bell. For a fraction of the cost of a traditional holiday meal, you and your friends can feast like kings on Taco Bell’s menu. According to Parson, it’s even easier than it looks. “A table like this really doesn’t take a lot of time,” she said.

ALSO TRY: Biggest Friendsgiving mistakes from real Friendsgiving hosts

To make it feel festive, Parson played up the fall theme — using a plaid blanket throw as a tablecloth, placing colorful fallen leaves on each plate, buying embroidered napkins and using wine glasses for margaritas. “For this table, I really wanted to play up the fall colors,” she said, “and the tacos worked in perfectly.”


The presentation can make or break this tablescape, so you’ll want to spend at least a few minutes prior to Friendsgiving to come up with all of your finishing touches and, it goes without saying, the menu. Between the big box combos and the dollar menu, boundless opportunity awaits just beyond the drive-through intercom. Oh, and don’t forget dessert!

Lory Parson - Friendsgiving Tablescape - Taco Bell - 5D4A5226 - HIGH RES

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