When it comes to watching the most viewed sporting event in the United States, owners of Bobby Lupo’s — Ernie Safady and Dennis Benjamin — would like to be home throwing their own parties. But the game is really good for business.
“We don’t want to fully staff this place, when most people are going to have parties, because that is what we would be doing if we weren’t here,” Safady said. “We are just going to focus on deliveries and those pickups.”
The Harker Heights pizzeria, which normally is closed Sundays, is opening for the Super Bowl from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. It already is taking pre-orders.
According to the National Retail Federation’s Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, about $12.3 billion will be spent on watching the game, which will be seen by 181 million viewers.
Those viewers plan on spending about $68.27 apiece on food and beverages, athletic wear, decorations and televisions, stated a release from the federation. The number is just below last year’s $68.54.
Food and drink purchases are projected to make up the majority of sales, 77 percent, the release stated. Apparel or accessories sales are estimated at 8.1 percent and buying new TVs at 7.2 percent.
Of the projected viewers, 39 million plan to throw parties and 62 million are expected to attend those gatherings, the release stated.
Pizza and wings are typically staples at those parties, Safady said.
That is why his kitchen is narrowing down its menu to just those two items and letting people either pick them up or have them delivered. The eatery also staffed extra delivery drivers to handle the anticipated increase in business.
“It is easy to eat while watching the game,” Safady said about pizza and wings. “It is basically finger food ... and they feed a lot of people.”
Harker Heights’ Jackpot Saloon is opening up every space in the bar to accommodate the Super Bowl crowd, said Andy McCormack, who runs the bar’s kitchen.
“(The Super Bowl) is one of, if not, the busiest day of the year,” McCormack said. “We expect over 200 people here every year.”
The bar already reserved more than 150 seats for guests and expects more to come as the game gets closer.
“There is just something about getting together with your friends and family,” McCormack said about the bar’s Super Bowl Sunday crowd.
“In here you can be as loud as you want and just have a fantastic time. Most of the people aren’t fans in here and they are just hoping for a good game. It is some good-natured ribbing and everyone has a good time.”