Metro-east restaurants have ordered thousands of pounds of food and added Sunday staff to prepare for Super Bowl Sunday.
Reggie Lewis, owner of Big Reggie's Famous BBQ, at 4004 W. Main St., Belleville, ordered an extra 400 pounds of ribs for the big day.
Lewis said business is typically up about 75 percent on Super Bowl Sunday.
Lewis' staff will start preparing the meat and made-from-scratch spices and sauces Saturday. A crew will have the grills started at 6 a.m. Sunday, ready for the doors to open at 11 a.m.
Big Reggie's has been taking orders all week, but Lewis said he expects to have plenty of wings and ribs available Sunday. "If they come in, we'll have them," Lewis said.
Geo's Wings, at 4307 W. Main St., Belleville, will have four additional cooks ready to prepare the extra 1,200 pounds of wings ordered for the expected influx of orders. Co-owner Karen Smith, who called Super Bowl Sunday "exciting and stressful," said she hoped Geo's would be able to sell all those wings.
Smith may be in luck. The National Chicken Council estimated that 1.23 billion chicken wings will be eaten during Super Bowl weekend this year.
The Dandy Inn will have an additional 400 pounds of chicken wings for their third busiest day of the year -- after St. Patrick's Day and Good Friday. "We used to have a lot more business, before everyone got big, flat screen TVs," co-owner Mark Daniels, said.
According to the National Restaurant Association, 15 percent of Americans will order takeout or delivery on Super Bowl Sunday. Sixty percent of those orders will be for pizza, which is why Papa Johns starts planning two months before the game.
Papa Johns spokesman Lance Stasko, said stores typically see a 50 percent increase in business compared to a regular Sunday. Papa Johns has extra staff on Super Bowl Sunday as they try to meet their delivery goal. The pizza restaurant strives for a delivery time of 35-45 minutes during the peak ordering time of one hour before game time until halftime.
Not all restaurants are cheering the arrival of Super Bowl Sunday. Brandon Ponder, at Joe Boccardi's in Shiloh, said the store will close at 5 p.m., 30 minutes before kickoff.
"It's usually a slower day for us because we are a family restaurant," Ponder said. "The owner gives the employees that night off as kind of a gift."
Big Daddy's in Belleville will open one hour earlier than normal, but isn't expecting a larger crowd than usual.
"It isn't any more special for us than an average Sunday," manager Andrea Mowrer said.
Contact reporter Roger Starkey at 618 239 2535 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Game time: 5:30 p.m. Sunday
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