Football season and wings usually go hand in hand. Don't most people enjoy watching their teams while enjoying wings and beer at the local sports bar, or Buffalo Wild Wings?
Sure, they do. But, as Marketplace reports, NFL viewership is down 12% and Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW) isn't feeling so much of the usual love. Business Insider reported that BWW has seen a 1.6 percent decline in sales revenue compared to the same quarter in 2015.
So what could be the problem? Why are we watching less football today than in years past?
Grub Street speculates that it could have something to do with the NFL’s increasingly bad reputation as it pertains to domestic abuse, brain injuries, racial slurs and politicized national anthems. Or, maybe it’s because the 2016 election has everyone’s attention right now, and things will go back to normal once it’s over.
Either way, according Stephen Burke, CEO of NBC Universal, the networks don’t appear to be too worried. “We’re watching it, and obviously you’d rather have ratings up than down, but having ratings decline modestly and still be very very strong properties doesn’t cause us too much concern,” Burke said on an earnings call, Broadcasting & Cable reports.
Restaurants on the other hand are trying to come up with a backup plan. They’re even considering showing other types of sports and teams on their screens. After all, 10% of the revenue of most sports bars and restaurants like BWW reportedly comes from the hours they are playing the popular NFL games, Grub Street reports.
Would you go into BWW for beer and wings and soccer? Or how about for beer and wings and cricket? Just doesn’t quite feel as right. Personally, I don’t need much of an excuse to want to scarf chicken wings, but 10% is a pretty large number when you consider how big BWW really is.
It could all boil down to a “weird” NFL schedule, to which BWW attributed a similar problem in 2015, when sales fell almost a whole percentage point. Wingstop even had the same problem. Most likely, the cause is a combination of these circumstances, and hopefully it will all blow over soon.