By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
It’s Super Sunday.
The de facto national holiday marks the end of football season, a spectacular flourish before the sport that has become America’s game goes into hibernation. It’s a day of celebration, friends and parties.
It’s a day of pizza. And it only makes sense that the culmination of America’s game marks the most popular day for pizza of the year.
According to pizza.com, a site that compiles facts about pizza and listings of pizzerias around the country, the average pizzeria will use 55 pizza boxes on a typical day. That number roughly doubles on Super Sunday.
So how do restaurant owners prepare for the pervasive parade of pizza purchases, and what do they do to stimulate sales even more?
Some local stores started taking advance orders from customers wanting to stay ahead of the masses calling the day of the game.
Amber Orcutt, manager of Art’s Pizza on Broadway Street, has been working there about nine years and said there’s a definite increase in sales and foot traffic on Super Sunday. She said she’s already received calls from customers looking for information on specials they might use to stock their Super Bowl parties.
“It’s especially busy on Sundays if we are running a good sale,” Orcutt said.
Art’s has been in business since 1956 and has a second location on South Scatterfield Road. Orcutt said a lot of people aren’t aware of the Scatterfield location yet, so more business is expected on Broadway. Art’s is currently running a buy-one-get-one-half-off deal.
Clay Sexton, operations manager at Greek’s Pizzeria on Martin Luther King Boulevard, said he really has no idea what to expect on Super Sunday, except that it will be busy.
Greek’s recently changed management, so Sexton has not seen what Super Sunday is like for his restaurant yet. But he said since he took over the location it has been busy every day.
“It’s a good thing to be as busy as we’ve been,” Sexton said. “We’ve been blessed. We’re expecting what we do to increase even more.”
Greek’s offers 20 percent off every Sunday order when customers bring a bulletin from a church service.
Most sales on Super Sunday are carry-out or deliveries, but the restaurants do see some dine-in traffic. Not surprisingly, one of the variables that improve chances of dining in are good drink specials.
Orcutt said that since they started serving beer a few years ago, there’s been a significant increase in dine-in sales. In case customers do come in on Super Sunday, Art’s will have a TV tuned into the game and a $5 pitcher special.
“We always do our best to make sure the atmosphere is friendly and people are happy,” Orcutt said.
Sexton said he expects coming years to be more lucrative for Greek’s on Super Sunday. Sexton is working on getting a license to sell alcohol, which he thinks will increase dine-in sales. But Greek’s features seating for 120 and has four TVs, so Sexton said he expects some people to stop in to see at least part of the game.
“Next year, we’ll definitely have more. We’ll have a better idea of what we want to do.” Sexton said. “But we’ll go forward with what we offer.”
Other pizzerias are utilizing the Internet to increase sales on Super Sunday. Patricia Williams, manager of Pizza King on Madison Avenue, said her store is featuring a special for followers of the restaurant’s Facebook page for a 16-inch, two-topping pizza for $19.99.
“It’s a great special,” Williams said. “It’s 36 pieces and can feed up to five.”
Williams, who has worked at Pizza King for 10 years, said sales fluctuate from year to year on Super Sunday, but generally they are twice what they are on normal Sundays.
National chains have unleashed a number of sales campaigns to prepare for Super Sunday. Papa John’s is offering customers a chance to vote on the result of the Super Bowl coin toss for a chance to win a free pizza. Pizza Hut is offering any large pizza for $10. And Little Caesar’s is offering a large pepperoni pizza for $5.
Find Jack Molitor on Facebook and @AggieJack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.