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How Razorback football season negatively impacts restaurants

While football helps some businesses score big during this time of year, inflation also makes this a stressful time for restaurants.

LITTLE ROCK, Pulaski County — While Arkansas football helped some businesses score big during this time of year, for others it actually meant a financial sack.

At Grampa's Catfish and Seafood, workers said that business goes down by at least 30% when the Hogs play on the weekends.

They said that the slow business has made for an even more stressful time as inflation continues to rise.

"They're sitting around staring at empty chairs and wondering where they're gonna make the rent this week," Nathan Townsend at Grampa's said.

Townsend said it's slow this time every year when the Razorbacks are on TV. 

"Our Friday lunch business will drop 50% At the beginning of football season, because of the people who begin their weekly migration to Fayetteville," he said.

 It's not just because people are heading out of town though.

"Just drive through a really nice suburban neighborhood on a Razorback televised game. See how many houses have dozens of cars parked around," he said.

To help get by, Townsend said that he and his family have to take pay cuts in order to support their staff. 

"That's part of being in business, you have to take care of your people, and our people have always been family to us," he said.

Adding to the trouble, the cost of food and supplies have gone up, and Townsend said that means his prices will too. 

"Catfish during this economy has gone up 100%. We've gone from 50 something dollars a case to 106 dollars a case, chicken has tripled, it's up 300% and from $40 a case to 120 dollars a case," he explained.

Over at All Aboard in Little Rock, owner Vincent Schallenberg has also been dealing with higher costs. 

"I don't think there's not a single thing that has not increased," Schallenberg said.

He also said that it doesn't help when his restaurant isn't as full on gamedays. 

"If the game was scheduled during 11 o'clock kickoff or 2:30 kickoff, it usually, you know, we're cutting staff, and eventually they're going home with less money," he said.

Both Townsend and Schallenberg hope that Arkansans will remember to support your non-sports bar restaurants during this time. 

"We do have a good carry-out business. And I really appreciate our carry-out customers are they're great people. And that really helps get us through," Townsend said.

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