This is the biggest day of the year for them.
They aren’t football players, but employees at Domino’s in Tupelo, and they think of today as their game day.
“It’s not stressful the two weeks prior, but when the Sunday comes, it’s like, ‘Bring it,’” said Hunter Brown, the regional director of Domino’s in Tupelo and Memphis. “Let the phones ring. Let the Internet drop. Let the baking begin.”
Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s say today is the biggest delivery day of the year for them nationally. Domino’s expects to deliver 11 million pizza slices today.
In Tupelo, deliveries will be three to four times the amount of a regular Sunday in July, Brown said. The crew will start making pizzas around 8 a.m. today and will go until the store closes around 1 a.m.
Home parties average about four large pizzas, he said, and usually have multiple meat toppings.
Earlier last week, he already had several church orders for at least 50 pizzas, he said.
And delivery orders for churches usually are single-topping pizzas, he added.
Along with pizza, the most popular items consumed today are wings, chips, burgers, ribs and, of course, beer.
Papa V’s in Fairpark filled up its beer cave, refrigerated cases and shelves last week.
“We have overstock on everything,” said Manager Terryle Hughes, “especially cases.”
The store also ordered extra draught beer for its growler station and extra imported beer.
Tupelo allows beer sales after 1 p.m. today.
“Last year, we sold more domestics, but this year, I think imports will outsell domestics,” Hughes said.
Papa V’s also is making ribs and chicken for carry-out. As of Wednesday, pre-orders were light, but Hughes expected them to pick up as the weekend approached. The store is taking orders until 1 p.m. today.
Palmer’s Supermarket is expecting a rush of shoppers today.
“They’ll absolutely wait until the last minute,” said co-owner Jason Palmer. “It happens every holiday.”
Palmer said the store ordered extra Velveeta, Rotel, chips, plates, bagged salad and beer – “everything you need to have a party,” he said.
Todd’s Big Star is pushing similar party items, along with chicken wings, finger foods and other items from the deli.
“We’ll be busy up until about 3 o’clock,” said Manager Clay Knight. “We have a full crew (today). We run it like a Saturday.”
Other stores like A Cook’s Place and Home Chef Market bulked up on specialty dip mixes, glazes, barbecue sauces and Captain Rodney items.
“Easy stuff, tasty stuff,” said Jody Lehman, owner of A Cook’s Place. “You want to watch the game, not be in the kitchen.”
Home Chef Market on North Gloster Street also is stocking extra seafood, steaks and a specialty hamburger mix with fillet meat and bacon blended in.
The store will be open from noon to 4 p.m. today, and butcher Seth Copeland said they’ll stay open later if it is busy.
Nearby, Lost Pizza will be open, and owner John Mark Elliott said he’s hoping for the best.
“This will be our first Super Bowl Sunday to be open,” he said. “I’m excited. I think we’ll be busy.”
He’s planning for extra carry-out orders of pizza and wings.
Back at Domino’s, Brown hopes more Tupelo residents will have parties this year because of their Ole Miss connection to Eli Manning, who is playing with the Giants in the Super Bowl against the Patriots.
“When I wasn’t in the business, I pulled for my favorite team,” Brown said. “Now that I’m in the business, I pull for the team that can get the biggest crowd.”