Restaurants see more business from NCAA tournament

Restaurants see more business from NCAA tournament »Play Video
TRI-CITIES - In between church services and egg hunts, some of you probably spent the day hunkered down watching the NCAA tournament.

And if you decided to grab a beer while watching the games? Well, you're not alone. March Madness is profit prime time for many local bars and restaurants.

Every year, people clamor for seats at their favorite restaurants to watch their favorite teams square off in the NCAA tournament.

Sam Clements manages the Applebee's in Kennewick. He says,"It's just an exciting time of year."

He also says college basketball tournaments always seem to be a catalyst for fans to hit the bars and cheer on their favorite teams.

"It's pretty quiet all year long and then all of a sudden bam, you have all this intensity from everybody around the area. It's intense," he says.

It sure is. Especially when you consider the numbers. A recent study says 1/5 of Americans expect to flock to bars or restaurants for march madness.

It comes as no surprise for restaurants like Kimo's in Richland, which packs people in on game nights.

Austin Hudspeth is a bartender. He says, "People are coming in to see the highlights of their favorite team getting the job done, so I'd say it's a pretty good turn our for March Madness here."

Some restaurants in our area see as much as a 30 percent increase in business during the tournament. Figures like that keep owners happy. But for managers like Sam, it's more about the people than the added revenue.

"It's the banter, once again, back and forth with not only the team members but as well as the guests and management staff. It gets pretty intense."

Bars and restaurants are now gearing for the final four games which will begin next Saturday.