Iron Bowl: An Economic Boost for Montgomery Restaurants
It's not just football fans who have been looking forward to the Iron Bowl all year. It's a big money-maker for local restaurants. This year, they're busier than ever.
Step into any River Region restaurant Saturday, and you'd probably find a scene like this one. Seats filled with fans decked out in their team's gear, and ready to cheer them on.
"it's always crowded in here, every game, everybody comes out, more Alabama fans than Auburn, of course, I mean, Roll Tide, you know what I'm saying, other than that I'm here for the gooey fries," said Nick Fletcher, who was watching the game at Baumhower's in Montgomery.
These fans, though, are here more for more than food. "Seeing everyone else have a good time and we have a good time, being all together. We had our traditional Thanksgiving and then we came here today," said Beth Gray, an Alabama fan.
"This is a rivalry game and I just like to be around a lot of people that's on opposite sides and to get along and cheer for my team, and they cheer for their team, so for the excitement," said Lisa Brumby, an Auburn fan.
They're willing to shell out some cash for the experience. At Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Montgomery, take-out orders are the biggest business of the day. "Definitely because of the Iron Bowl, I think most people have their own Iron Bowl party, have their own Iron party at their house or at their own establishment so they come in and get some food, leave, head right back out," said Resean Jones.
Those customers will leave some of their money at local restaurants, which some diners say isn't such a bad thing. "I think it's important to support local businesses during this time of this year and it brings a lot of people together and it brings good money to the local businesses," said Sebrennia Smith.
All the restaurant managers CBS 8 News spoke to say they had extra staff on hand for game day, which they say adds to employees' paychecks along with the local economy.