NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Black Friday shopping is certainly a big day for stores all over Central Arkansas, but for those shoppers to keep moving, they have to eat. That's what helped restaurants get a piece of the "Black Friday Pie" as well.
It was a way to wrap up the day of shopping for some folks, but for others, it was just a break for another boost of energy. Regardless, a stop for some fuel made it a good day for the area's restaurant business.
THV 11 News caught up with a group of Black Friday shoppers from Morrilton, fueling up at this North Little Rock Chili's.
"Everybody's just kind of getting hungry. We decided we would come to Chili's and just take a break and relax," Amy Davis said.
It was a break taken by many others like them on Friday.
"It's been very busy from as soon as we opened the doors until even now, the mid-afternoon, we're still very busy," Chili's General Manager David Steer said.
Steer said he expected the Black Friday rush, being part of a packed shopping center and across from McCain Mall.
"Big majority, they are actually toward the end of their shopping day, we saw a lot of people wanting to have a nice warm meal before they go home and got to bed or go to work if they have to," Steer said.
Nearby at Old Chicago, the Razorback game filled the restaurant but so did Black Friday.
"About 11:15, 11:20 a.m. we had a lot of people coming in, big groups," General Manager Jon Gordon said. "You step up everything, you step up your bread people, you step up your kitchen staff, your servers."
And this year, Gordon noticed something different.
"It was a big mix compared to just women, this time it was men and women, husbands, wives, girlfriends, everyone was shopping, they had kids with them all day," Gordon said.
They served up plenty of pizza and more.
"They had to get substance," Gordon said.
Shoppers like the Morrilton crew were relying on that sustenance to get through even more shopping.
"For the next three or four hours, then we'll have to eat again," Davis said.
THV 11 also talked to some Little Rock restaurants, including Chedder's along University Avenue near 630.
The manager there told THV 11 that Black Friday is always a busy day for them, and over at Big Orange in the Promenade at Chenal, staff couldn't even take a break Friday for an interview for this story.
The restaurants that on Friday also expect these crowds to continue over the holiday weekend.