The Sep. 21 Georgia-Notre Dame game brought a tidal wave of customers to downtown businesses, causing some restaurants to more than double their daily total sales in a single night.
The Red & Black spoke with the downtown businesses that had expressed high hopes for the big weekend.
Jerzees Sports Bar, Moonshine Bar and On the Rocks manager Jarrod Miller said the weekend was “wild,” but he saw more people on the streets of Athens than inside bars or clubs.
“The hype was a little more than what it was,” Miller said.
Despite his businesses being packed with visitors, the weekend wasn’t “record breaking” in terms of guests or sales. For the occasion, Miller ordered 35 cases of White Claw, 25 of Michelob ULTRA and 75 of Bud Light.
Grateful for the experience, Miller applauded Notre Dame fans for their good attitude and kindness.
“All in all, it was a good experience to be a part of and a great time to be in Athens,” Miller said.
Clocked! diner on Washington Street experienced an “all-time high” in their total sales during gameday. The diner’s sales total for the whole day totaled to $7,350 in food and drinks compared to their average sales total of $3,000 per day, manager Miller May said.
May said even with extra staff, the diner experienced high volumes of customers and a busy kitchen.
South Kitchen + Bar and the downtown and Falls of Oconee locations of Mama’s Boy also had an influx of customers and “rooted for the Bulldogs” inside their restaurant.
“We are happy to host so many Georgia and Notre Dame fans,” Mama’s Boy manager Sophie Elegreet said. “We had really high sales throughout the day and were tempted to stay open longer.”
Meanwhile, South Kitchen general manager Hillary Durr said staff were updated on the games score from customers and engaged in playful banter with Notre Dame fans.
The increase in sales came with fatigue for the business’ employees — Durr said all staff worked longer hours than usual in order to meet the restaurant’s demand.
Even with the chaos, each business and restaurant manager The Red & Black spoke to agreed the Georgia-Notre Dame game was good for business, the city and fans.
“I think it was a night to remember for everyone. I’ve never seen so many smiles in one night,” Elegreet said.
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