Hungry for Steelers Football Snacks?
Pine Township Giant Eagle has a food game plan.
Dave Tomko likens Pine Township Giant Eagle's plans for the Steelers game on Sunday to a football team's preparations for the big game.
"At the corporate level they've put together a game plan specifically for the upcoming playoff game, just as the coaches do for the players," says Tomko, manager of the Wexford store. "Our job at store level is to execute the plan, just like the players execute their game plan. "
Giant Eagle's game plan involves practically every department in the store, from bakery to floral to prepared foods to the deli and meat departments. They can't afford holes in their lines.
In a tour of the store a few days before the big game, Assistant Manager Tim Beckes pointed out a few displays that were already in place. Others were being prepared to be filled to overflowing by the weekend (with more merchandise stocked in the back) when he expects shoppers to descend like the Steel Curtain on the Jets offense.
"This weekend we'll have someone at every register and it still won't be enough," says Beckes. "I expect Sunday will be as busy as Christmas Eve."
His biggest sellers will be any prepared foods, but especially wings, fried chicken, cheese and cracker trays and sandwich rings. They're making giant sandwich rings for this game, since it's such a big deal.
Also popular are chips, anything salty, dips, chili ingredients, dip ingredients, raw wings, and kielbasa and smoked sausage, as well as quick-to-cook foods like frozen pretzels and pizzas.
"We'll be wiped out of that stuff," he says.
And don't get him started on all things black-and-gold themed. There will be black-and-gold floral arrangements with Steelers balloons, cookies, cakes, cupcakes and gobs decorated with black-and-gold icing and sprinkles, and even black-and-gold tortilla chips.
They also are getting a shipment of Terrible Towels before the game, just in case anyone needs an emergency towel wave. After all, Myron Cope always did say the towels were meant for the playoffs, so owning one should be mandatory this weekend.
Giant Eagle also has some miscellaneous Steelers gear, hats and stuff that they always carry, but he expects that shelf to empty by Sunday evening as well. No matter what they do or how much they get, Beckes says, if it's edible, Steelers-themed, or can be made quickly, they'll be sold out by the time the game starts on Sunday.
Can the refs throw a penalty flag for empty shelves?
One thing that does surprise him: They used to sell very little canned chicken, but it's become so popular in the past few years they have to keep extra in the back during football season.
Why? Because it's used to make Buffalo chicken dip.
Oh, and we beat Buffalo, so go ahead, enjoy.