Footy fever felt in shops
IT is that time of year when friends become enemies, clothing colours become uniforms and your preference for toads or cockroaches is similar to picking a side in war – it’s State of Origin time.
Bundaberg pizza shops are braced for the expected onslaught of football fans who pack the shops every year on Origin nights.
Pizza Hut franchisee Andrew Hamilton said he expected to sell more than 600 pizzas tomorrow night.
“It will be a big day because we have to prepare a lot of fresh dough,” he said.
“We will have extra staff on to get the pizzas to the customers as quick and hot as possible.”
Mr Hamilton said waiting times for deliveries were likely to be increased by about five or 10 minutes.
“It’s a real ritual,” he said.
“Grabbing a pizza and a few drinks and watching the footy. People love it.”
Mr Hamilton said while all but one of his staff were Queensland supporters, Blues backers were still welcome.
“Everyone’s excited and it’s all a bit of fun,” he said.
“It’s a great time of year.”
Pubs and clubs are also getting prepared for the expected influx of patrons.
Across The Waves general manager Brendan Royall said there could be up to 200 people at the club during the first round of State of Origin, compared with 40 or 50 on a regular Wednesday night.
“It’s a really big thing here,” he said.
“Everyone is really keen. It’s no one group of people; everyone loves State of Origin.”
Mr Royall said staff were already preparing for the football game.
“We are getting set up now,” he said.
“We need plenty of food and beverages to go around and we will be having pizza and beer deals on the night.”
Mr Royall said the event was always fun for patrons and staff.
“There is a fair bit of banter between supporters but it’s all in good fun,” he said.
Other businesses around town are also preparing for the first round of Origin.
Chop Shop manager Rick Elliott said the staff would be decked out in their maroon and blue finery.
“It’s all a bit of fun,” he said.
“We get dressed up and then have a beer and barbecue and watch the footy. There are two Queenslanders and two New South Wales supporters, so it’s lots of fun.”