Sports bars are called sports bars for a reason. They’re hubs for sports fanatics to hoot and holler while chowing down on chicken wings and guzzling beer, all while watching whatever game happens to be on TV. And with the Olympics, sports bars are anticipating a steady flow of traffic over the 17 days of global games.
The larger chains, including Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), Chili’s (EAT), Applebee’s (DIN), and Dave & Buster’s, are not offering Olympics-specific deals but will be playing the games at their locations.
In a recent note to clients, Stifel said Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) will benefit from the Summer Olympics. Another bright spot is the growth of the chain’s takeout business, which currently accounts for 16% of the company’s sales, according to Stifel.
Buffalo Wild Wings Times Square will broadcast the Olympics over the next two weeks, but the restaurant isn’t offering any special offers or promotions tied to the games. A manager at the location told Yahoo Finance it will continue to offer weekly discounted wing promotions — “Wing Tuesdays” and “Boneless Thursdays.”
Similarly, sports arcade chain Dave & Busters is offering its regular variety of promotions — eat & play combos — that are available every day of the week. Though there are no unique Olympics offerings, it plans to broadcast the Olympics during business hours.
Chili’s and Applebee’s aren’t offering grub or booze for cheap, either. You’ll be able to watch The Olympics at their locations, but don’t expect any special deals. A Chili’s Grill and Bar spokesperson told Yahoo Finance: “We typically broadcast popular sports games because our guests enjoy cheering on their favorite athletes and teams while snacking on their favorite dishes.”
Meanwhile, Bounce, a popular sporting club in Manhattan, is offering several specials pegged to the Olympics and Rio de Janeiro. The bar is offering Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha, for $10 and a $25 “Notorious Phelps” burger made with three patties, smoked pork belly, truffle hash browns, cheddar cheese, hollandaise sauce and an egg. (It’s unclear how anybody but the swimmer Michael Phelps could metabolize such a creation.)
A manager at Bounce told Yahoo Finance she’s expecting larger crowds whenever the US team is competing in all 42 sports. “The Olympics will draw a group of people that aren’t normally sports focused; they come because it’s a social and global event,” she said. “However, a lot of our regular clients go away for the summer so we’re not expecting a surge in traffic.”
Because franchises are anticipating an increase in foot traffic anyway, they don’t feel compelled to entice consumers with additional deals. This Olympics season, your best bet will be to stake out a local sports pub for unique deals that’ll satiate your stomach and your wallet.
Melody Hahm is a reporter at Yahoo Finance.
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