This Sunday during the Super Bowl, Pizza Hut will produce over two million pizzas that will be consumed by football fans as they watch the game. Among the fans will be Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams.
In 2000, the then 16-year-old Williams worked at Pizza Hut as a cashier, cook and delivery driver. “I grew up in the small town of Wynne, Arkansas, which had about 8,000 people,” Williams said. “You knew the people who were good tippers and definitely got those people their pizzas first.”
For Pizza Hut, the largest pizza restaurant in the world, the day of the Big Game is also the largest delivery day of the year. To prepare, Pizza Hut hired an additional 11,000 employees.
Last week in Pittsburgh, I hung out with Williams and watched him put delivery drivers through various drills at the Pizza Hut Delivery Combine. “Coach Williams'” whistle never seemed to get a rest.
When he wasn’t scolding Pizza Hut delivery drivers, I challenged the Carolina Panthers’ all-time leading rusher to a 40-yard dash and asked about his unexpected big role in the AFC Championship, what kind of pizza he will eat while watching the game this weekend and whether he get his picture taken with the iconic Franco Harris statue at Pittsburgh International Airport like I did.
In response to my challenge to a 40-yard dash and assertion that I could hang with him for at least five yards:
“I’m still sore from the game (AFC Championship), but even being sore, I don’t think you would be any competition. I’m a sore winner and sore loser. No, not even for five yards. I can tell your first step is probably trash.”
On getting called into duty during AFC Championship and scoring a TD after Le’Veon Bell’s injury:
“My thing is this — and Coach Tomlin always says it shows my age and calls it a ’90s cliche’ — if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. Whether you’re a starter in this league or a backup, it’s a privilege to be in this league. You’re one play away from potentially being the starter. I tell the young guys all the time that if you have an ego in this league, it will put you out of this league.”
On who would win a fight between Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin and his former coach in Carolina, Ron Rivera:
“Coach Rivera played with Mike Singletary and the ’85 Bears, won a Super Bowl. Coach Tomlin played receiver (laughing). Have to go Rivera.”
On his experience with the extremely life-like Franco Harris statue at Pittsburgh International Airport commemorating the Immaculate Reception:
“I think that is everyone’s first picture when they come to Pittsburgh. But that was not my first picture. My first picture was with the dinosaur on the first floor, because my kids are huge dinosaur fans. When we got here, my kids were scared of it. I said, ‘It’s Franco Harris, it’s not real.’ They were so scared of it I picked them up. We went down to the second floor with this huge T-Rex and they were like, ‘Daddy let’s get a picture!”
His favorite type of pizza:
“Meat Lover’s pizza; that’s my favorite pizza of all-time. When I used to work there, I had my own recipe where I’d put the breadsticks on the outside over the crust. That way, I get the pizza and the breadsticks at the same time.”
Pizza Hut anticipates selling more than two million pizzas during the hungriest day of the year for pizza fans – enough pizzas to cover a football field twice or provide each attendee in Houston with 27.8 pizzas or 222 slices. Some other fun facts about Pizza Hut and the day of the big game include:
– The day of the Big Game is the highest tipping day of the year
– Drivers will log nearly five million miles on the day of the Big Game
– Most popular pizza topping is pepperoni
– Peak ordering time is exactly one hour before kickoff
– More than 50 percent of orders come via digital channels, i.e. apps, PizzaHut.com, Twitter and Facebook chatbot, Amazon Echo and others
– 94 percent of Americans eat pizza at least once a month
– Average American eats about 46 slices a year
To view the Pizza Hut Delivery Combine videos, follow Pizza Hut on social media at Facebook.com/PizzaHut and YouTube.com/PizzaHut, and visit PizzaHut.com to pre-order pizzas for your Big Game party using the quick and easy online order service, including any two medium pizzas for $6.99 each to satisfy everyone on your team.