By SAM HOUSEHOLDER
---- — GOSHEN — While the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks prepared to face off in Super Bowl XLVIII, local restaurants were preparing to feed the local fans tuning into the game.
Chris Hardy, manager at the Papa John’s on Main Street in Goshen, said he and his Super Bowl Sunday staff of 30 were anticipating a rush to begin in the late afternoon.
“Definitely anticipating a rush,” Hardy said. “We’re pretty busy around here, it will be crazy, it’s always crazy, we try to do our best to organize it and contain it but for the most part it’s just crazy from start to finish.”
Maria Panetta, manager at Gerace’s Pizzeria in Waterford Mills said that they brought on a couple of extra staff members for the big day compared with a usual Sunday.
“Normally on a Sunday one person up front (at the counter) is enough,” Panetta said.
According to Hardy the orders will start rolling in around 4 p.m. and not taper off until 9 or 10 p.m.
“We’re one of the busier Papa John’s in the area,” he said. According to Hardy, he has been working for Papa John’s for seven years and has worked seven Super Bowl Sundays.
Panetta said that most of their restaurant’s orders were preorders for pick up between 5 and 6 p.m.
“Typically with the Super Bowl we’re busy up until the game starts and then we just get a few late stragglers” she said. She added that up until the game starts most orders are carry-out but as it gets closer to kick off, deliveries pick up.
The Super Bowl makes for one of the busiest days of the year for Papa John’s and Hardy said, “every little thing we can do” to get prepared, they will.
“We do a lot of business out of this little store,” Hardy said. Usually, according to Hardy, people wait until the last minute to order their pizzas but that they did have a few orders placed ahead of time.
“You would think we would have a lot of pre-orders, but nope, people just usually wait until the last minute,” he said. “I think they think they will get a better time that way.”
As for watching the game, Hardy said he forgot to take a TV into work but that someone might bring one so that employees could look in on the game during breaks and when they weren’t filling orders.
Papa John’s truck driver A.J. Hart was at the store early Sunday afternoon making usual deliveries of pizza ingredients. According to him, stores prepare for game day weeks ahead of time.
“Stores have been ordering ahead and they’re pretty good about knowing what they need,” he said. “This has been a month-long process where they’ll order stuff ahead of time so we’re not completely packed full on Super Bowl Sunday.”
Hardy said he left the company’s home city of Louisville, Ky. around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning and would be making deliveries as far north as Battle Creek, Mich. until late into the night, meaning he would miss the game, but would probably listen to it on the radio inside his truck.
“I haven’t seen much football this year, so I mean it’s not a big thing, but I’d like to at least listen to it,” he said.