The big game brings big business to Fort Wayne restaurants

A cashier takes a phone call during Super Bowl weekend

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Americans consumed more than a billion chicken wings and roughly four million pizzas on Sunday. Football fans in Fort Wayne were no exception.

Super Bowl 50 brought big business to the Summit City’s restaurants and many places had prepared game plans.

“it’s super stressful,” said Joy Nix, a shift manager at Buffalo Wings and Ribs on Jefferson Boulevard. “It’s a lot, but everyone always comes in here so stoked, ready to work.”

Their first Super Bowl order came in two weeks ago, but prime time is just hours before the big game where the restaurant pumps out 1,000 wings every 15 minutes.

“Sometimes people call and they want to place their order for 4:30 and we already put 1,000 wings down, so we’ll try to push them to 4:15 or 4:45 and see if that works out for them,” Nix explained.

With the restaurant making three times the business of a normal Sunday, that means no players on the bench. Nix joked that there might be one exception in which an employee could miss work that day.

“Maybe if you had tickets to the Super Bowl, we’d let you go,” she said.

Compared to a normal Sunday, sales for Oley's "Big Ten" pizza can increase from 200-700 percent on Super Bowl Sunday
Compared to a normal Sunday, sales for Oley’s Pizza’s “Big Ten” pizza can increase from 200-700 percent on Super Bowl Sunday

About ten miles east, the crew at Oley’s Pizza on Coliseum Boulevard started their day earlier than normal. They knew it would be a massive day for their ten pound specialty, “The Big Ten.”

“We will go through probably 25 to 30 of them where normally on a normal day you would go through maybe four,” said Rose Parnin, the restaurant’s co-owner.

She said Oley’s gets hit hardest right before the big game starts and during halftime.

“We’ve got the whole crew in here and everybody is just working as hard as they can work to get it done on time,” she said.

Parnin said Super Bowl Sunday is easily one of Oley’s top five busiest days. She said to pull the day off successfully, they just have to stick to their game plan.

“[It’s] confusing and you just say, ‘Hey, deep breath and continue on,'” she said.

Fort Wayne restaurant crews recommend that on big days such as Super Bowl Sunday, customers order their food as early as they can.

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