Big Game brings big business to local restaurants

More than 48 million people ordered takeout for Super Bowl

By Jacob Peklo | jpeklo@weareiowa.com

Published 02/07 2016 11:34PM

Updated 02/07 2016 11:34PM

DES MOINES -Millions gathered nationwide to watch the big game, Super Bowl 50.

Game day is over now, and we have a new champion: The Denver Broncos. But it's not just a fun time to be a Broncos' fan. It's also a great time to work in the restaurant business.

According to the National Retail Federation, nearly 189 million Americans tuned in to the broadcast.               

More than 43 million people hosted Super Bowl parties, and obviously, it's a huge day for takeout, with 12 million people catching the game at a bar or restaurant, plus millions of deliveries.  That's why it's nice time to be in the food business.

It's Chad Burton's first Super Bowl helping managing Guru Barbecue in Des Moines.

"It's kind of crazy from the beginning, you know, wing prep, ribs going out today,” said Burton. “Everybody's trying to go and get their stuff in time for 5 o'clock so they can go party."

And the food has the match the quality of the competition on the field. More than 189 million Americans took in the Super Bowl, the majority doing so while chowing down on game day delights.

At Guru's they'll be putting together hundreds of pounds of wings, which meant preparing well ahead of time.

“You kind of build up the last couple of days leading up to it, and you smoke your stuff early so you're ready for the day,” said Burton.

But that's barely a blip, when you consider nationwide, 1.3 billion chicken wings will be part of game day feasts.  

Just down the road at Gusto Pizza Company, the crew is preparing for its own busy afternoon. The shop only opened till 4 p.m., because of its own Super Bowl party, but plenty of take-out business.

"It wouldn't be our top day. Valentine's Day is a big day for us,” said Casey Morgan, the marketing manager for Gusto Pizza Company. “Right around the holidays also gets very busy, but Super Bowl game day is also very significant."

For those who don't want to leave the house, restaurants like Morgan's are delivering, but Gusto is working to corner another part of the market.

"We take all our signature pizzas and we partially bake them for people and they can come in and take them, finish them at home right before the big game,” said Morgan.

And while it might mean some extra work, no takeout business really can complain about a super Sunday.

"It's another great way for them to get together, whether you're cheering for the Broncos or Panthers, it's just another great day of football,” said Burton.

Here's one last food fact to chew on. The average American spent more than $82 dollars on food, decor and team apparel.  That's about $5 more per person than last year.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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