Rory Wilson, owner of D’Andrea’s Pizza in Saratoga Springs, has a big job ahead of him this weekend.
He’s running a staff of eight on Sunday, with one person specifically focused on making chicken wings, as the crew prepares to fill the needs of hundreds of football fans looking for a Super Bowl food fix.
Since Tuesday, Wilson has been overseeing game-day prep — including the baking, freezing and frying of roughly 3,000 wings.
“It really shows, when everyone comes together, how well things can go,” Wilson said.
While D’Andrea’s hasn’t seen many pre-orders for food just yet, Wilson, who is offering a deal of 50 wings for $35.99 or 100 wings for $70.99 and $5 off orders before game day, thinks orders this year might go a bit differently.
“I think people are going to order smaller orders,” Wilson said. “They’re not going to have a lot of people at their houses as opposed to when they used to order hundreds of dollars of food. It might be $30 and we’ll get more of those orders.”
D’Andrea’s isn’t the only spot preparing for kickoff. There are plenty of wings, pizzas, sandwiches and snack assortments to choose from at other local restaurants and grocery stores. And even with the pandemic, owners and managers are expecting food to sell just as well as it does every other game day.
In total, Americans are projected to eat 1.42 billion wings on Sunday, up 2% from last year, according to the National Chicken Council. Lined up, those wings could circle the circumference of the earth three times.
“The wing market is tight right now, and wholesale prices are a little high,” said Senior Vice President of Communications Tom Super. “But there won’t be a shortage. I just wouldn’t wait until the last minute to order them.”
The most popular order for Sunday’s game at Clifton Park’s Ravenswood Pub turns out to be the classics, said owner Scott Schreifels: “chicken wings and pizza.”
Ravenswood’s deals for Sunday include a 12-cut pizza and 20 wings for $30, 25 wings for $25, 50 wings for $50 and 100 wings for $100. As of Wednesday, they had already prepped 4,500 orders of wings for the big game. The orders, which can be placed until 3 p.m. on Sunday, have been generally smaller than last year.
Things are a bit different over at Recovery Sports Grill in Amsterdam.
“We’re hoping to be busier than usual,” manager Kyle Franklin said. “Especially with the takeout, even with the social distancing and everything, a lot of people are still planning parties.”
Franklin said the restaurant’s big to-go package deal has already ended, but there’s still plenty of wing deals available.
“Deliveries should be pretty hefty,” Franklin said. “We already got about 10 or 15 big orders of wings. It’s been a bit of a struggle getting chicken now, because during the Super Bowl it all goes fast. But fortunately we have a bunch.”
Franklin recommended customers get their orders in by 2 p.m. on game day, otherwise they might not be able to get their food as fast as they’d like.
Other deals in the area are at Druthers Brewing Company in Saratoga, where the restaurant — also located in Albany and Schenectady — offers a Super Bowl Party Pack. The deal features one order of wings, one monkey bread, beer-cheese dip, one full-size loaded mac n’ cheese, one Buffalo chicken pizza and two 2-liter growlers all for $75. Saturday at 10 p.m. is the last chance to place pre-orders.
Restaurants aren’t the only places prepping food for the game of the year.
“As much as we recognize that many will be enjoying the big game at home this year, likely surrounded by fewer people than usual, it doesn’t mean we can’t cater to everyone’s favorite comfort food,” said Mona Golub, vice president of public relations and consumer services of Price Chopper/Market 32.
Price Chopper is offering a variety of take-and-bake round pizzas, wings, and sandwich platters. it’s big deal this year includes two 12-cut pizzas and two pounds of wings for $24.99.
“The big platters, we’re making fewer of than we are the family sized and medium-sized platters,” Golub said. “With our take-and-bake pizza, people can rest assured that we are making those safely with minimal contact to the product itself in the way that it’s being prepared.”
Wilson said he always enjoys the Super Bowl rush at D’Andrea’s, and this year is no exception. If anything, he said, it might even give families a better viewing experience.
“Overall it’s going to bring families together more, in a sense,” Wilson said. “Hopefully those that haven’t tried this in the past will give us a shot this year.”