Homecoming week means many family, friends and alumni descend on Bloomington. This is a big weekend for football and tailgating, but it is also an important weekend for some of Bloomington’s most iconic restaurants and stores. Here’s how homecoming week affects them and what they do to prepare.
T.I.S. College Bookstore
Beth Theile, who does marketing for T.I.S., said homecoming definitely brings more customers to the store.
“With the onslaught of a lot of the alumni coming back, they like to shop and pick up some garments and things like that,” she said.
She said to prepare for this they make sure to staff more. She said all football games make the store busy, but Homecoming is especially busy.
T.I.S. also runs social media advertisements leading up to homecoming to tell people about deals, Theile said.
Mother Bear’s Pizza
President of Mother Bear’s, Ray McConn, said Homecoming is one of three of the busiest times of the year for them, the others being Little 500 and graduation.
He said it's 15 to 30 percent busier on these days.
He thinks a reason a lot of people come back to Mother Bear's is because they’ve been open for 45 years, meaning there are a lot of graduates have eaten there and want to come back.
“Mother Bears was a prominent part of their life when they were at school,” McConn said. “They probably ate pizza two or three times a week, probably often at Mother Bear's".
He said coming there is a tradition for many people. They have written their name on the wall, and they come for the good pizza that is made the same way it was back then.
He said they really only add a couple extra people because they always heavily staff for the weekends.
“We are already really busy on the weekends, so it's not like we all of a sudden have to double the staff, so it's really a matter of the busy hours being longer,” McConn said.
Nick’s English Hut
Mariah Weisheit, a manager at Nick's, said they definitely see an influx during home games in general.
She said she has only been there for six months, so she has never been through homecoming time.
They add extra staff and do extra prep work for these busy days.
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