Domino’s, DP Dough discuss late-night weekend business
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 22:09
After a night of attending parties, students often make their way to Main Street in search of food, or alternatively collapse on their couches and call for delivery. This is a regular occurrence for junior Dan Unti, who says he orders food “every time” he goes out on the weekends. Sophomore Victoria Palko says she drunk-eats at least once a weekend when she goes out.
In an article titled “Why You Drunk Dial Domino’s” in Men’s Health magazine, author Kiera Aaron outlines several theories as to why drinkers crave and eat more food when they are drunk.
“Alcohol calories aren’t recognized by the body,” Aaron says researchers claim. “One theory: Since alcohol is a toxin, your body wants to metabolize it as quickly as possible, which is why you don’t feel full from alcohol calories.”
Aaron also says even though moderate consumption of alcohol enhances the taste of salt and fats, the cravings of greasy food are far more than just physical. She says this could come from the association of drinking with friends with craving greasy food.
Unti says Domino’s is the first food he craves when he’s drunk.
Junior Alana Shebiro says she frequently sees students on Main Street and Elkton Road in search of food when they’re drunk. Likewise, Palko says Main street is always “super crowded.”
Shebiro says she doesn’t think students cause a problem for restaurants on these streets.
“I feel like they go at a time when they’re not really going to be disturbing customers,” Shebiro says.
Shebiro says it is helpful when students give these restaurants their business. Similarly, Unti says he believes his drunken business helps restaurants profit.
Edward Reith is one of the general managers at DP Dough on Main Street. He says the restaurant’s traffic comes from local businesses during the day and families and deliveries at night.
Ashley Epifano, a manager in training at Domino’s on East Cleveland Avenue, says most of Domino’s business is from students, except in the summer when they go home.
Both Reith and Epifano say the busiest nights of the week are Fridays and Saturdays. Reith says on weekend nights, DP Dough receives a surge of business from customers who have just left the bars.
“There are definitely kids that are intoxicated, but for the most part it’s only after 1 a.m. in the morning,” Reith says. “Obviously everybody goes out on the weekends, so the college students do order, and we get a decent bar rush after the bars let out on Main Street.”
Epifano says she knows students are drunk when they order huge amounts of food and ask her to come out and party. She says she has been asked to parties by patrons multiple times.
“When it comes to about one, 2:00 in the morning and our phones are going off with kids, most of the time they’re pretty much drunk,” Epifano says. “We know they’re drunk because of the slurring, the laughing—they don’t know what they’re going to order or how they’re going to pay.”
Both Epifano and Reith say the restaurants are open and deliver until two or three in the morning, depending on the day of the week. Delivery orders are usually larger than in-store purchases, Reith says.
“Deliveries can be a little bit bigger,” Reith says. “Especially if it’s a couple of people ordering at the same time.”
Breadsticks, cheesy bread and large pepperoni and plain pizzas are staple items ordered on the weekend, Epifano says.
“We usually spend between fifteen and twenty dollars,” Unti says, referring to him and his friend. “That’s for two pizzas.”
Reith says DP Dough also receives business from students when there are sports games during the day, especially during football season. Epifano says Domino’s gets “prepped up” for game nights, too.
Despite the students coming in and ordering the food while drunk, Reith and Epifano find tremendous value in and appreciation for their business.
Palko says she thinks these businesses would survive without the business of drunken students, but they would not be doing as well without the business of students who come into the establishments after they are finished partying.
“I think that the revenue the businesses make during the weekend is much higher than during the week because they have so many more people drunk-ordering more food,” Palko says.
Reith says that with or without intoxicated students’ business, DP Dough would still make a profit, although drunken students’ business definitely helps.
Epifano says students are among the most valued customers Domino’s encounters.
“All around, when we’re dealing with students, it’s a pretty big deal,” Epifano says. “Being at this location, I think the students are the most important customers that we do involve ourselves with.”
Just because some of the customers on weekend nights are drunk doesn’t mean they are bad ones, Reith says.
“There are great customers, whether they are intoxicated or not,” Reith says. “And there are bad customers, whether they’re intoxicated or not.”
Epifano says serving drunken students can be an entertaining aspect to her job.
“All around, it’s actually kind of fun,” Epifano says. “We get to play around with them [and] they joke around back.”