Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for the food business. According to the National Restaurant Association, more than 48 million Americans are estimated to order take-out or delivery food from a restaurant.
Phones start to goes off in the morning and orders are placed through the internet with specific delivery times. Everyone want to have food on their plate and drinks in their hand just in time for the kickoff. Research shows that pizza is among the most common items chosen by consumers as ‘must-have food’ to watch the final championship game.
Restaurateurs from big chains like Domino’s and Pizza Hut to small pizzeria shops welcome the big house party day with excitement but also a lot of preparation and strategic thinking.
John Arena, small chain Metro Pizza owner from Henderson, NV said that he orders the necessary supplies weeks in advance and has his workers set up mountains of food a few days earlier. He also adds more cashiers and staff to answer calls and make the pizzas, as noted by the Review-Journal.
Another example is Corporate Operations Manager Steve Sharp who oversees 7 Domino’s stores in Henderson. Sharp more than doubles the number of delivery drivers for each warehouse; he told the paper.
Both agree that one of the biggest problems pizza makers face is limited space. Sharp’s supervised locations will make each anywhere between 350 to 750 pizzas throughout the busy day, baking back-to-back pizzas from at 2 p.m. until around 4 p.m.
Since most of those will not be eaten at the store, that means just as many boxes. He has over 200 folded pizza boxes stacked six feet high against a wall waiting with anticipation. “That all has to be put somewhere. It is a challenge in the small stores. Your orders double, but your space size doesn’t,” said Arena to the paper in regards to some boxes.
Pizza Companies will end up selling about twice the average amount of pizzas than that of an ordinary day but in a time frame of three to four hours. So things are bound to get hectic, and managing the strong order flow is the key to a successful day, Arena revealed to the Review-Journal.
Pizza Hut sold nearly $12 million worth of food across digital platforms during Super Bowl Sunday last year, setting a single-day digital sales record for the franchise. Digital sales account for about half the total sales for the chain with more than 60 percent of online orders being placed via mobile web browsers and the app, a spokesman told CNBC.
Domino’s is allowing all customers to order pizza off of their entire menu through a Facebook Messenger interactive bot called “Dom” for this year’s Super Bowl LI. The company is expecting five times their usual Sunday pizza orders, and also to rake in the profits proportionately. The Facebook Messenger service was previously available only to those members that had set up a Pizza Profile and had restricted ordering options.
One downfall is that delivery orders can only be paid in cash. The Messenger platform added transaction capabilities, but they are still in beta phase. Carryout orders can be paid with the method of choice. Customers have an array of alternative channels covered by the company’s AnyWhere ordering platform since last year that include Twitter, Apple TV, Google Home, Amazon Echo, Ford Sync, SMS, Samsung Smart TV, smartwatches, and more.
How the game unfolds this next Sunday between New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will directly affect how many pizzas stores sell. The closer the score and also exciting the game, the greater the sales. So it’s no surprise many food companies across the country are rooting for a good match, regardless of the winner.
“We are hoping for a close game. I want overtime,’’ Sharp added last.