LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Pizza places will be working overtime Super Bowl weekend to make sure they can keep up with demand for take-out orders as the nation gears up for Super Bowl 50.
Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest money making days of the year for restaurants, and experts say more than $12 million will be spent on pizza alone. In order to keep up with the demand, one Lawton pizza place is making sure they're prepared well in advance.
Ted Dawson, a Pizza Hut district manager, says business is expected to double, along with the number of people he has on staff. He says over the past two months, he and his employees have been planning for the big day.
"We've ordered more product to make pizza, more product to make wings, we try to keep up," Dawson said.
Dawson says on Super Bowl Sunday, it's everything they can do to keep their heads above water.
"Everybody that's on the schedule is going to be here. That's not normal on a Sunday, but for this Sunday, everybody will be here," he said.
He says on a normal Sunday, he generally staffs around three delivery drivers. Come this Sunday, that number could easily double or even triple. He says Super Bowl Sunday presents challenges the food industry doesn't normally face on any other peak business day, such as a holiday.
"This day's a little bit different because, whereas New Year's Eve it's all day long, with the Super Bowl…it's kind of compact within four to five hours. Everybody wants their pizza at the same time. That makes it a big challenge for us," Dawson said.
That challenge is why Dawson says his staff has been preparing ahead of time, so they can be more efficient come Sunday.
"There'd be a lot of people waiting on their pizza, longer than usual. That wouldn't be good for us and it wouldn't be good for them. We're here to take care of them and make sure that their Sunday is going to be a great experience," Dawson said.
Dawson says most of their orders will be made online. He says the bulk of those orders will be carry or delivery. He says pizza and wings go together, and while he opted not to tell us how many wings and pizza's he sold during last year's Super Bowl, he says his goal for Sunday is to sell more of both items than he did last year. As for who he wants to take home the trophy Sunday night…
"If a new guy wins that's great, and if an old guy wins on his way out, that's great too," he said.
As if sales wasn't enough proof of pizzas' popularity during the Super Bowl, pizza was named America's number one food choice for the 2015 Super Bowl, with 46 percent of people in a Nielsen survey saying that they planned to serve or eat it that day.
If you're not sure why the Super Bowl is such a big deal, check out "The idiot's guide to understanding the 'big game.'"