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Super Bowl a super downer for area pizza delivery shops

Hours before the Seahawks trounced the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII last Sunday, workers at Domino’s Pizza on 64th Street prepared for the game day delivery rush, but the boom never came.

On a day that’s historically a high point for delivery companies, drivers only answered 43 calls, the pizzeria’s general manager Joshua Price said.

“I made sure I staffed heavily and prepared heavily and had plenty of food, but it never really came to fruition, to be honest,” Price said.

Delivery spots around town reported similar lags in business this year, blaming the lack of a Maryland team to draw attention to the game or customers’ belief that delivery services would be flooded for the poor showing.

“It was actually slow compared to a typically Sunday,” said Dawn James, co-owner of Just Deliveries, which brings fare from sushi and Chinese to Popeyes’ chicken to customers in Berlin, Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Bishopville.

With a bolstered staff for the day, the Super Bowl only brought 10 calls to Just Deliveries — down even from the typical 15-20 orders it gets on weekend days this time of year, James said.

“We thought it would be busier,” she said.

Across the bridge, though, Pizza Hut in Ocean Pines saw a healthy day of takeout and delivery business.

“It was very busy,” Director of Operations for the pizzeria Andy Adkins said. “Super Bowl Sunday is double what a normal Sunday’s business would be, even during normal football season.”

With extra staff to man the ovens and phones, Pizza Hut brought a slew of its new hand-tossed pizzas to customers throughout Berlin, Ocean Pines, West Ocean City and Bishopville, he said. Without the Ravens to draw customers to the bars, he thinks more people stayed in for the game, making business better than last year.

“It was definitely busier than the normal Sunday,” manager at Fat Daddy’s on 82nd Street Scott Sudol said. “Wings were definitely No. 1,” with pizzas close behind in popularity.

The “Super bowl’s a good day for us,” said Charlie Kight, of family-run Mama Della’s in Ocean Pines, though “last year was a lot better, because the Ravens were in the Super Bowl.”

Price, who’s been with Domino’s for 16 years, said the winter deserves the brunt of the blame for the Super Bowl slump.

“We’re definitely busy between the summer months, this being a resort town,” he said. “We were incredibly slow for a Super Bowl. Here in Ocean City, we usually are.”

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