Between the third-quarter blackout, Beyoncé’s halftime performance and the Baltimore Ravens’ victory, the Super Bowl was once again one of the most highly viewed television events in history.
This, however, was both good and bad for Carbondale’s restaurants.
The Nielsen ratings estimated that more than 108 million people tuned into the game, which ranked it the third most watched of all time. Forbes reported that nearly 48 million people ordered take-out food nationwide. The large number of Super Bowl viewers saw varied affects on businesses throughout the city.
Papa Johns prepared for the increase in business by getting their supplies of food ready weeks in advance, shift leader Peter Zamiska said. Having the food ready and in good supply helped meet the orders they had to fill.
“From (4 to 9 p.m.) we were constantly making food,” Zamiska said. “Someone came in almost every minute picking up their orders, so
we had to have someone up front for about five hours straight.”
Forbes reported that Papa John’s sold more than two million pizzas nationwide Sunday. According to statisticbrain.com, 49.2 million cases of beer were sold on the day of the Super Bowl last year. However, some sports bars’ fan turnout was lower than anticipated.
“We were not nearly as busy as we expected to be,” Saluki Bar and Grill cook Jonathon Minnis said. “We were pretty slow most of the day and didn’t sell anywhere near the amount of beer or food we expected to. Maybe Polar Bear put them in a rut where they didn’t have the money to come in.”
Post Polar Bear or not, the Super Bowl has had consistent historic viewership with Nielsen Super Bowl ratings averaging more than 110 million viewers for the past three seasons. Officials from Chili’s and Quatros said they noticed the trend and have already begun to plan for the event.
“You’re going off of last year’s sales, and you already know what to expect,” Chili’s assistant manager
George Modglin said. “The concern is that you may actually be slower. The only area we were up in was to-go sales, which we knew we would be.”
Modglin said Chili’s profited over last year’s Super Bowl thanks to a $500 order placed this year from Brehm Preparatory School. He said it took five cooks and three managers to prepare the order of buffalo wings, fajitas and other assorted appetizers.
Although many of the area’s restaurants failed to make a profit during the Super Bowl, their management said the game’s effect on their profit margin is not enough to hurt their business. Modglin said they treat it like any other holiday where business tends to be slow.
“It’s just a big family and friends type of event,” Modglin said. “People like to stay home and be relaxed and not get cleaned up to go anywhere. They can hoot and holler and do what they want and not be in the public eye.”