Super Bowl Blackout Was Positive for Pizza and Wings
The Super Bowl is more than just a game: it represents an economic and eating boom for key segments of the food industry — especially on a night when the game was placed on hold because of a power outage, two executives told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Monday.
Sally Smith, President and CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings told CNBC that the power outage was a welcome development for foot traffic. "I like any kind of a game that extends the time that our guests can stay in our restaurants," she said.
When asked about a recently reported shortage in chicken wings, Smith acknowledged "pressure on the price of wings," but the company managed to keep adequate supply. (Read more: Downright Un-American! Chicken Wings Prices Up Ahead of Super Bowl.)
Game viewers with the munchies also flocked to pizza for comfort food.
"It was a strong night for us," Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino's Pizza, said in a separate interview. He estimated that the company had over 300,000 digital orders.
Doyle told CNBC that at one point, Domino's had 1,000 digital orders per minute leading up to the game.
Social media also played a major role in this year's Super Bowl, with many companies using their ads to invite viewers to 'hashtag' names and catchphrases.
For Buffalo Wild Wings, the blackout "was a hit" for the company on social media, despite the company placing no advertising. Nonetheless, Twitter users associated Buffalo Wild Wings' current ad campaign with the power outage that stopped play in New Orleans' Superdome for approximately 35 minutes.
A TV ad from the company shows fans causing a blackout in order to delay the start to a game while at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant. Fans on Twitter quickly made the connection.
The Internet also helps boost sales, Domino's CEO told CNBC.
"The digital trend continues to go up every year, it becomes a bigger part of our game time," Doyle said. "We make more on digital orders," he said, noting that the company usually draws higher revenue, has slightly lower costs and offers a better user experience for orders placed on the internet.
Doyle said the blackout was a small incremental positive for Domino's. Although the game was longer, the trend is that after halftime business begins to slow, he said.
The pizza giant also dabbles in poultry. Doyle said that on Sunday, the company sold a total of 2.5 million chicken wings.
Overall, however, "pizza is more important for us."