People order pizza the night before and eat the leftovers for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. And Dennis Stevenson says he has survey figures to back that up.

Stevenson, marketing director of East of Chicago Pizza Company, with 125 restaurants in five states, says the night before Thanksgiving is the chain's busiest Wednesday of the year. In fact, an incredible 49% of respondents in the company's Heartland Pizza Lovers Survey eat leftover pizza for breakfast, and a full 40% order extra pizza just so there will be enough left over for a morning meal.

Because it is such a hectic time, and because most customers order two or more pizzas, East of Chicago Pizza Company managers have to take special steps on the day before Thanksgiving. "We tell our managers to start planning well ahead of time," Stevenson says. "They need a full staff to handle the carryout calls, to make the pies, and enough drivers to make the deliveries."

The Heartland Pizza Lovers Survey, conducted by TRIAD Research Group in four Ohio cities, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Columbus, with an accuracy of approximately 4%, also reported that 58% consider pizza a comfort food.

"So evidently it not only pleases our taste buds, but also makes us feel good all over," Stevenson says. "It's the perfect meal to soothe anxieties about visiting houseguests and the upcoming whirl of holiday activities."

East of Chicago figures it has a pizza to please every palate -- one is even a remarkable peanut butter and jelly pizza. Others include the chain's signature pizza, The Tower Pizza; The Taco Pizza; The Garden Vegetable Pizza; and the popular BBQ Chicken Pizza. The chain's deep-pan pizza dough is made fresh daily at each store.

TRIAD Research Group is a full-service market research firm located in Cleveland, Ohio. It has a diverse mix of clients in both the private and public sectors.

East of Chicago Pizza Company is one of the fastest growing pizza chains in America, and has gained national recognition within the last year. It ranked 163 on Entrepreneur Magazine's 20th Annual Franchise 500 List, and the trade publication Pizza Today rated the company 34 on its Hot 100 Franchises List. With corporate offices in Willard, Ohio, East of Chicago Pizza Company has more than 3,000 employees.