Big 12 crowd increases customer base for businesses near campus

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    While TCU football lost its homecoming game to Texas Tech last weekend, businesses around campus came out on the winning side thanks to the increased customer base of the Big 12. 

    For local businesses, this past weekend was all about food, beer and overtime.

    Vicki Paliulis, owner of Dirty Laundry Boutique, said since the university joined the Big 12, sales have increased and inventory has gone up twice as much. 

    “I think when you have more to choose from, you’re going to buy more,” Paliulis said. “I think it’s a good thing for all the businesses.” 

    Paliulis said a typical home game is going to have five to six times more customers come in than on a weekday or an away game. 

    “Everybody is in town, and everybody is excited about the Big 12,” she said.

    The owner and manager of Dutch’s Burgers, Kay Greenlee, said she has seen a huge increase in game day sales as well as an increase in customers. 

    “On game days, beer sales have almost doubled,” Greenlee said. “Food sales are up probably 35-40 percent.”

    Greenlee said since the university joined the Big 12, Dutch’s staff also has been impacted. 

    “We’ve had to work them for longer periods on Saturdays,” Greenlee said. “I had to work 16 hours this past homecoming weekend.”

    Greenlee said out of all of the game days she has been a part of, last weekend’s homecoming game was the biggest. 

    “We had a line to the door for about three hours. It was overwhelming,” Greenlee said. “Business is great, and we welcome the Big 12.”

    Lucy Calabaro, manager of Fuzzy’s, said business has been better than last year since joining the Big 12. She said there has been an exponential increase in the demand for alcohol and food. 

    “We actually had to borrow some products that we have in different stores,” she said.

    Calabaro said they prepared for homecoming weekend by increasing security and adding more staff members. 

    “It was one of the biggest days for our business,” Calabaro said. “It was packed out the door. There was a line all the way out to 7-Eleven.” 

    Jay Cahn, sales associate for 7-Eleven, said that in the past two weeks, business has gone down due to the construction on Berry Street. However, Cahn said homecoming weekend made up for the decline. 

    “The Texas Tech and TCU game last week covered the whole loss,” Cahn said. “We are very happy. I hope Texas Tech will come every weekend.”

    Cahn said sales this year are much better for home games than last year, which means adding more inventory.

    Cahn said that 7-Eleven prepared for the university to join the Big 12 by ordering more energy drinks, juices and beer. 

    “Normally our beer sale is between $4,000 and $4,500. This past weekend I think we sold almost $8,000 dollars worth of beer,” Cahn said. “It was the biggest weekend for us.” 

    Brandon Brinkhus, assistant manager of Buffalo Bros, said the homecoming game had probably the biggest crowd he has seen of not just TCU fans, but of opposing fans as well. 

    “I was surprised about the turn out,” Brinkhus said. “We actually had to turn our pool table into a dining table.”

    Brinkhus said to prepare for the Big 12, they increased the number of bartenders and had to bring some more employees and servers on the floor as well as a patio extension. 

    “We definitely have to have more food on hand, more alcohol on hand and we had to increase our staff as well,” he said.

    Brinkhus said Buffalo Bros increased food and beverages and at least doubled the order of alcohol. 

    “We were definitely a little shocked about how much more business the Big 12 has brought,” Brinkhus said. “We have increased in all around sales.”

    Customer service representative of Toppers, Rayna Harrison, said the Big 12 crowds have positively impacted them, also. 

    “When Texas Tech won, we had a lot of people come in. Actually, that’s the first time I’ve seen more opposing fans than TCU fans,” she said.

    Harrison said before the football season, business was slow. 

    “Nobody really knew we were here,” Harrison said. “Not until the games started did people start knowing we were here.” 

    Harrison said in order to prepare for the Big 12 crowds and big games, Toppers had to increase staff and inventory. 

    “We have to double up on our insiders and we had to call in some extra delivery guys to work overtime,” Harrison said. “We’ve had to double up on our food also.”