Super Food Sunday in State College
While football and commercials are two of the main focal points of conversation during the Super Bowl, there is no denying that a big part of the experience leading up to the big game is the food. Wings, nachos, pizza, buffalo chicken dip, sandwiches, and more make for pure Super Bowl heaven. No matter what your preferred food is, many choose to go all out on Super Bowl Sunday.
In State College, there is no shortage of options to satisfy hunger and provide the perfect gameday meal. Over the past few days, I caught up with four select downtown establishments to see what Sunday was like for them and how they handled the Super Bowl appetites. All four places have their own niche in the Penn State market, but all were popular Super Bowl choices for good reasons.
Wings Over Happy Valley: Twitter: @wohv Owner: Steven Moreira
Wings Over was no doubt one of the most preferred choices on Sunday. It took a while to get through to place an order on the phone, but as many on the Onward State staff witnessed, I was not going to be denied, eventually breaking through and ordering four pounds of boneless wings. My order contributed to the 1600 pounds of boneless wings that were cooked on Sunday, along with 14500 bone-in wings. Honey Barbeque was the most popular flavor but Hot Garlic, Sweet Chili, and Cruisin’ Altitude were not far behind.
Wings Over utilized social media to encourage customers to pre-order their wings in order to prevent long delivery times and they were extremely pleased with this tactic. Almost all of their pre-order slots were filled by Saturday. Those who did not place pre-orders could expect delivery times to be around forty-five minutes. Moreira made it a point to say that despite longer than usual delivery times, everyone received their food hot and fresh. “Once an order was completed, it was at the customer’s door in ten minutes. We overstaffed our delivery drivers to make sure we could accomplish that, and they all did an excellent job. Delivering food is not as easy as it seems, and they always do a great job making sure customers receive their orders.”
A few customers were disappointed with the close to an hour wait but overall seemed understanding of the circumstances. Staff was nearly double what it is on a normal day, and everyone had a specific job to carry out which allowed for an efficient system.
Moreira concluded, “It was easily the most food we’ve ever cooked in a single day. The staff really stepped forward on Sunday, and I couldn’t be happier with the way they performed. I can’t single anyone out because they all did such a great job and were the reason the day went so well.”
No doubt Wings Over brought its A game and capitalized (more than we can say for the Patriots I guess).
Quiznos Downtown Twitter: @PSUQuiznos Owner: Nick Savereno
Quiznos is well known for their social media promotions involving tweet deals, and they utilized this to advertise party trays for Sunday. Quiznos reported a relatively average day in terms of business. They reported spikes in catering; however, they have not fully released delivery options for single orders to the public yet. With delivery relatively limited to catering only, Savereno stated that there was only one tray delivered all day. Quiznos reported a good amount of foot traffic earlier in the day ordering deli subs. Business would settle down in the hours leading up to the game before few individuals came in right before kickoff to grab their last minute sandwiches.
Are U Hungry Shift Manager: Rob Weyls
Despite not being a traditional “football food” kind of place, the home of the fat sandwich did well on Sunday. This was the busiest Super Bowl for them in four years, and Weyls believed their new wings were a big reason why. Are U Hungry offered $0.37 wings as well as several reasonably priced specials that combined wings, fries, and soda. One of these specials was comprised of twenty wings, a side order of fries, and two sodas for $12.50. There was little foot traffic as kickoff approached, but Are U Hungry was efficient when it came to deliveries. They had anywhere from 10 to 15 employees working throughout the day, including an extra driver to help deliver orders. Drivers would spend an average of 16 minutes on the road before reporting back, making between four and six deliveries within that time span.
Gumby’s Manager: Matt Yadgir
Gumby’s brought in major profits through large orders on Sunday. Yadgir noted that they had been receiving pre-orders since last Wednesday but were still receiving plenty of calls on Sunday. Between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. — their peak hours — Gumby’s saw a money flow of $4,500 per hour. Their 22 on-duty employees worked to produce an average of one hundred orders every hour. Delivery times reached as high as ninety minutes during peak hours, but most customers were understanding. During some of their calmer hours, they were still averaging between $1,500 and $1,800 per hour through orders. Yadgir added that while this was definitely a busier and more profitable weekend than usual for Gumby’s, it was relatively similar in comparison to the past few Super Bowls.
Let us known about your food choices on Super Bowl Sunday in the comments below. Did you choose to order from one of these four places, or did you take your appetite in a different direction?