Massive food delivery orders from NCAA Tournament teams are paying off for local restaurants

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INDIANAPOLIS — NCAA athletes may be stuck in a March Madness bubble, but that isn’t stopping them from ordering out from Indy’s local restaurants. The unique rules and regulations for ordering out are dropping massive buys at Indy restaurants in dire need of their business.

“Orders come in, you got that group of 34, but many of the players are ordering frankly more than the usual grown man does,” chuckles Patrick Tamm, President and CEO of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association (InRLA).

“They are about $800 to $1000 for us, so its 35-40 menu items,” lists Blake Fogelsong, owner and director of operations at Clancy’s Incorporated, “They are tougher orders. They are individual, and they want the boxes labeled. That’s the challenging thing is doing it from 6 pm to 10 pm while also having our dining room busy.”

Clancy’s Incorporated owns the Grindstone Charley’s chain as well as Clancy’s Hamburgers at the Garage Food Hall.

Per NCAA tournament rules a single team can only order from a single restaurant at a time, not individually. InRLA says teams began placing orders early and often starting on Monday.

“We are seeing pizzas, we are seeing Waffle House, we are seeing Grindstone and everything in between,” lists Tamm, “These are 20-year-old, unbelievable athletes, obviously we are also seeing a lot of double orders of protein.”

“We have done $4,000 just in extra carry out catering to these teams,” says Fogelson talking about Grindstone Charley’s on Indy’s west side, “We expect about another $4,000 to $5,000 in revenue over this week.”

The food is dropped off at designated locations at the hotels and taken to the players. The restaurant employees never come into contact with the athletes.

With the increase in orders and foot traffic, places like Grindstone Charley’s continue to hire new employees. Some restaurant owners admit it has been tough for places to find enough workers.

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