Sup Dogs manager Lindsey Ewing said customers who planned on watching the game were not allowed to enter until 4 p.m. This allowed regular lunch traffic to eat without being rushed by game day traffic.
“At 4 o’clock we had a line all the way down to close to the Varsity of people wanting to sit,” Ewing said.
Soon after 4 p.m., the restaurant was filled to capacity.
This was the second home UNC-Duke game for Sup Dogs, which has only been on Franklin for a little over two years.
“This is our second time doing it on a Saturday,” Ewing said. “It was awesome, but with time I guess we’ve learned how to manage it, when to let them sit down, not let them sit here for 12 hours.”
Ewing says that despite the amount of people there for the game, walkways were cleared and proper management prevented the space from becoming too crowded.
“I believe it was beneficial to our customers and our staff to have everything coordinated and to have a plan set for that day,” she said.
The home game crowds brought Sup Dogs its second best day in sales since it opened in June 2014.
Chris Carini, owner of Linda’s Bar and Grill, made sure to avoid crowding.
“More people does not equate to more business,” Carini said. “What equates to more business is the ability for people to move to and from their seat to the bar.”
Carini said he believes overcrowding reduces the quality of service and the overall customer experience.
“By doing that, you ensure a much more stable and better business as opposed to packing people in like sardines, where it takes them too long to get to the bar or too long to get food,” he said.
Carini has seen every UNC-Duke home game at Linda’s since 2011. He said business is affected by a Tar Heel victory. After a win, more people stay out to celebrate.
“When we win, people return after they rush Franklin Street,” he said. “When we lose, they go home.”
Goodfellows Bar normally opens at 8 p.m., but opened three hours earlier for the game. Owner Steve Woodham said he watched the game from his bar.
“We didn’t want to be overcrowded because it doesn’t do any good for people to be in here trying to watch the game with too many people trying to pack in,” he said.
Woodham said fewer people in the way made for a more relaxed and friendly place to watch the game.
“We did really good here,” he said. “The people had a really good time, the vibe was really good. Even the handful of Duke fans here were laughing with everybody, got over the loss pretty quickly and hung out.”