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Detroit Lions in the playoffs means business is booming for local eateries

Dining room table setting photo
Public Domain Pictures

A boost in business is on the menu for many bars and restaurants across West Michigan now that the Detroit Lions are in the playoffs

“It’s been so fun to watch this Lions team have the season they’ve been having and we absolutely can not get over the fact that Sundays have just been far busier and far more exciting in the restaurant.”

Bennett Ryckman is the Marketing Manager for Uccello’s Hospitality Group, which operates six locations throughout West Michigan. He says those Sunday games have lead to some operational changes in order to meet the needs of larger crowds.

“We definitely had to up our staffing pars, make sure our team is ready to rock and roll and just kind of make sure our numbers are where they need to be and be ready to handle a full restaurant.”

Ryckman says the recent winter weather did cause some challenges for their staff as well as patrons.

“Whether it was the guest getting to the restaurant or our team getting to the restaurant. We were able to just pivot when needed to. And it felt like the signs were there early on this season that this was going to be a special season for the Lions so we just made sure that every Sunday and the occasional Monday night football that we were ready to handle what was coming our way.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, Ryckman says they’re ready for the crowds.

“We definitely put some strategic scheduling just to ensure no one’s working long days the day before but we’ve been waiting for this for so many years so we’re just excited.”

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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