Super Bowl Sunday drives restaurant sales for the chains already seeing soaring demand

National Football League followers convene in downtown Tampa forward of Super Bowl LV throughout the COVID-19 pandemic on January 30, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.

Octavio Jones | Getty Images

Super Bowl Sunday is an enormous day for soccer — and eating places.

But the chains that can seemingly profit the most from feeding hungry followers have already seen their sales soar throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Only Thanksgiving tops Super Bowl Sunday as the largest consuming vacation, in accordance the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The huge recreation drew greater than 100 million viewers final yr. Non-football followers tune into the NFL championship for interesting commercials, an entertaining half-time present and the meals unfold at watch events.

For Yum Brands’ Pizza Hut, Super Bowl Sunday is its busiest day of the yr. Domino’s Pizza sometimes delivers about 2 million pies that day, up 30% from a typical Sunday. Fat Brands, which owns Hurricane Grill & Wings, Buffalo’s Cafe and Buffalo’s Express areas, sells half 1,000,000 hen wings on Super Bowl Sundays. For Wingstop, it ranks amongst its prime 5 sales days yearly.

Throughout the pandemic, pizza and hen wings have been staples of Americans’ quarantine food regimen. Both are identified for touring nicely, and the classes’ greatest gamers have been engaged on making their meals extra handy for years.

In its fourth quarter, Pizza Hut reported U.S. same-store sales progress of 8%. Domino’s has seen U.S. same-store sales progress hit double digits throughout its second and third quarters. And Wingstop, which was already outpacing the remainder of the trade’s sales progress earlier than the disaster, reported that its same-store sales soared 25% in the third quarter.

“If what we’ve just experienced over the past 12 months is any indication — beating the industry in sales — we expect that to continue this Sunday,” mentioned Brian Gies, international chief advertising officer of Church’s Chicken.

Church’s Chicken, which serves hen tenders and boneless wings, launched its Texas Tenders ‘N Shrimp meal in time for the Super Bowl this yr to capitalize on that demand. The menu merchandise was created to enchantment to prospects who observe Lent, which does not begin till Feb. 17.

Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison mentioned by a spokesperson that the firm remains to be anticipating sturdy sales for the huge recreation. Compared with years previous, nevertheless, the hen wing chain might obtain extra orders and a decrease common examine due to the lowered dimension of gatherings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advisable minimizing the visitor lists for watch events and holding celebrations open air or nearly.

“I think it’s going to be a very big weekend for us, and I think that sales will be off the charts,” mentioned Fat Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn.

Supply chains beneath strain

The pandemic has additionally resulted in provide chain challenges for the restaurant firms awaiting a busy Super Bowl. Prices for mozzarella cheese are up, which is able to hit pizza chains’ income. For the first week of February, Wisconsin wholesale costs for a pound of mozzarella cheese rose as excessive as $2.70, in response to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report launched Wednesday. In February 2019, mozzarella costs averaged about $2.15 per pound.

Chicken wing chains are beneath much more strain. Wholesale costs are up, and restaurant operators are reporting shortages.

Wiederhorn mentioned that the firm often sees a good provide this time of yr anyway.

“The only time it wasn’t a battle was when McDonald’s entered the chicken wing business, like seven or eight years ago, and it failed miserably. They dumped all of the wings on the market because they had to get rid of them,” Wiederhorn mentioned.

As a outcome, Fat Brands begins planning its Super Bowl wing orders a yr upfront. But the provide drawback is especially unhealthy this yr, because of outbreaks at meat processing vegetation and better demand for hen wings pushed by elevated supply sales for the class. Fat Brands is bringing in some frozen hen wings to complement its standard provide of contemporary wings.

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