Home tailgating could be big this football season

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — With stadiums and restaurants limiting capacity this year, many football fans likely will do their tailgating at home. Some businesses are creating strategies to help with that.

The Cajun Cleaver butcher shop in Hoover has offered smoked wings on football Saturdays in the past. This year, they’re also delivering them.

“We’ve always smoked them on Saturday morning,” owner Nick Morris said. “People could come in, they would get them hot, right off the smoker, ready to go. So we’re just kind of taking an extra step out of it for those guys and bringing it to them.”

It’s the latest change Morris has made due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the spring, he added an online menu. Just before football season, he created a set of tailgate packages – including the smoked wings, barbecue trays, a burger bar and more – available for delivery or pickup from that menu.

“As football season came, and we kind of realized it wasn’t going to be a normal football season,” Morris said. “We were just trying to reach as many people as we could.”

The Cajun Cleaver also will deliver charcoal, grab-and-go food and other items from its shop. Morris said the tailgate packages have generated some interest since football season began, and customers are showing more interest with SEC football kicking off Saturday.

Other businesses, like 1918 Catering, have also adapted. Brothers Jason and Jamal Brown started the company as a catering service, but they added a food truck a few months ago after the pandemic began. Now their business model is based more on serving individuals than groups.

“I used to talk to one person to see 1,000 people,” Jason Brown said. “Now I talk to individually 1,000 people daily.”

Brown expects that approach to pay off during what figures to be a unique football season.

“Now, people are going to be looking for more personal services, small tailgate services at their home,” he said. “So we have the truck now which is also available for that, as well, so if anybody wants to have a private tailgate service at their home, we’re available for that.”


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