Children’s thoughts on Halloween are of costumes and candy, but a lot of adults are thinking about pie.
Fright Night comfort food comes with sausage, mozzarella and mushrooms, ham and pineapple, or maybe a pepperoni smile. It’s convenient, too, as long as someone else makes it.
Halloween isn’t a night when adults want to cook dinner — and pizzerias are big beneficiaries.
“Pretty much nobody wants to cook. You’re going out trick-or-treating, and you’re feeding the kids either before or after,” said Mike MacDonald, manager of Inferno Pizzeria’s Malta shop.
In terms of volume of thin crust sold, Halloween isn’t like Super Bowl Sunday, but local pizza shop owners say Halloween is one of the busiest nights of the year — even when it falls on a weeknight.
“People like to get out there and do their thing on Halloween. They don’t want to take time to prepare a meal. They’ll get hot wings and a pizza,” said Rory Wilson, co-owner of D’Andrea’s Pizza in Saratoga Springs.
Wilson said D’Andrea’s is used to the busyness of the August tourism season, so he didn’t expect any trouble meeting Monday night’s demand on the popular 20-year-old shop.
Pizzas flying out the door on Halloween is a national phenomenon, according to the restaurant industry.
About 20 percent of all Americans order takeout or delivery for Halloween night, the National Restaurant Association found.
Local pizzerias — and the big chains like Pizza Hut and Domino’s — all notice that the phone rings more on the spooky holiday.
“It’s probably our second-busiest night of the year,” MacDonald said. “We have extra cooks, extra counter people, and extra drivers, and we’ll have them on all night.”
That’s true across the nine Capital Region Inferno Pizza locations, MacDonald said.
Halloween is in the top five nights for Mohawk Pizza in Scotia, said co-owner Mazz Seraj. “It’s going to be a busy night,” he said Monday afternoon.
“People don’t want to cook. They’re too busy with trick-or-treating,” said Seraj, who said his business planned to have one extra person working Monday night to help keep up with the demand.
Goodfella’s Pizzeria in Amsterdam also expects a better-than-average night, said owner Todd Krajewski. “By the time children get out of school, parents just want to get something quick,” he said.
Krajewski said he encourages people to pick up their pizzas on Halloween rather than get delivery, so his drivers aren’t out trying to deliver hot pies while groups of children are in the streets.
Adult costume parties over the weekend also help business, Krajewski said. And those can make for some interesting sights in the shop.
“For the past week or so there have been little parties. We had one gentleman come in here in a Gumby outfit,” he said.
The other big days for the pizza business include Super Bowl Sunday, Thanksgiving eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, according to National Restaurant News. The pizza.com website, without providing statics, said Halloween ranks No. 3 after the Super Bowl and New Year’s Eve.
That might help explain one of the minor mysteries of life — why October is National Pizza Month.
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Categories: Business, Schenectady County