NFL Lockout Ends, Restaurant Owners Breathe Sigh of Relief

26 Jul
NFL logo with football

Players and Owners are able to agree in time to save the season and the restaurant business from cardiac arrest.

Pizzerias and sports bars around the country can relax now that the NFL lockout has ended and the NFLPA have agreed to the owners’ compromise deal and the 2011-2012 football season will pretty much begin on-time. The bar and grill chains, pizza-delivery, and hospitality industry overall benefits greatly from the trickle-down revenue of football fans. That revenue had been threatened since four months ago when the NFL locked out the players due to the expiration of old contracts; and the continued unresolved dispute over new contracts could have resulted in a cancelled season. This caused much unrest in the restaurant business as much of their profits has long been supported by the Sunday afternoon and Monday night games.

Pizza Hut U.S. Chief Executive, Scott Bergren said, “There’s a trickle-down economics at play with NFL economics, and ultimately that trickle reaches us. Ending the lockout is very important to our fans and to our business.” Pizza Hut typically makes 15% – 25% more profit on an NFL game day over a typical Sunday. Other pizza delivery chains such as Papa John’s and Domino’s Pizza also experience a boost in sales when there is a game on. Papa John’s even signed a three-year agreement last year as the NFL’s official pizza sponsor, and last year they saw their shares rise 10 cents to $31.51, during a down market. Recent reports also showed Domino’s shares were up 21 cents to $26.03.

A popular sports bar chain, Buffalo Wild Wings, receives about 10% of its annual profit from NFL game days. The company was so concerned about potential profit loss that they created a Facebook page petition in light of the lockout to “Save Our Season,” and offered fans who signed six free chicken wings if the NFL resolved the dispute by July 20–the day players were scheduled to report to training camp. As of Monday, July 25th, the Wings’ Facebook campaign had nearly 5 million people, no word on whether or not they will get their free wings.

All the controversy over the precarious start to this year’s season now seems to stand to make establishments even more money as so much extra attention has been brought to the sport. The successful end of the lockout gives restaurants momentum to host kickoff celebrations when the games resume. And the fans couldn’t be more pleased!

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