Restaurants prepare for Hobo Day

IAN LACK Reporter

Hobo Week can be one of the most exciting and busy weeks of the year for students with several events taking place that provide great opportunities to meet new people and have fun on campus.

However, it is important for students observing SDSU’s homecoming week to remember there is more preparation and hard work that goes into Hobo Day and the weeks leading up to it than one would expect. The Hobo Day Committee begins planning for SDSU’s homecoming week in the spring semester by booking events and making reservations for students as well as the many other guests of SDSU.

“We estimate that there are about 10,000 people who come in from outside of Brookings on Hobo Day, and then you have everyone from within the Brookings community who are all going to these events during the week,” said Grand Pooba of Hobo Day, Paul Dybedahl.

With the amount of people who cram into Brookings to catch the Hobo Day game, parade and other events, a strain is put on the community’s eateries to accommodate the incoming guests as well as leave them with a positive impression of the restaurant and of Brookings in general.

Brooking’s own world-famous Nick’s Hamburger Shop, feels the full effects of Hobo Day year after year. Co-owner Todd Fergen arrives at the shop at 7 a.m. with a manager in at 8 a.m., employees at 9 a.m. and customers in to eat by 11 a.m. This leave four hours of preparation for three times the foot traffic the shop sees throughout the day.

According to Fergen, people celebrating Hobo Day make Nick’s a priority, especially alumni.

“Lots of alumni want to come in here, and this is where they want to stop,” Fergen said.

For Fergen and the shop, Hobo Day starts before the sun rises and continues long after it sets. Closing time for the shop is typically 4 p.m. on Saturdays, but for Hobo Day the shop stays open until 2 a.m. for window orders. He said keeping the window open for orders allows for more orders overall and has been a “smashing success.”

The same goes for Buffalo Wild Wings, according to Tye Theriault, general manager of Buffalo Wild Wings in Brookings. Theriault said Hobo Day is the busiest day of the year for the restaurant.

“We’ve got to stock our freezers and coolers to the brim and, with everything else, we just have to over-order everything in the week leading up to Hobo Day so we don’t come up short,” Theriault said.

The Culver’s in Brookings has become increasingly involved in Jacks athletics; especially on Hobo Day.

“We sponsor the Culver’s cannon that runs in the parade and fires for every touchdown, and we feed the press box and the maintenance staff,” said owner Seth Stogen. “We do a lot of different things with the athletic department in conjunction with football games and are really proud of it.”

Culver’s, open since 2009, has served the Brookings area during Hobo Day every year since it’s opening. In the restaurant’s experience, the “Hobo Day rush” starts about two hours before kickoff and continues until closing.

While Brookings’ places of business will offer environments of Jacks pride; students, alumni and others can attend the Hobo Day parade and football game Oct. 24.

 “Getting to see Hobo Week full of all kinds of events we plan and see them implemented is pretty awesome and to then see all the hard work of the parade team take place on parade morning is such an awesome feeling,” said Grand Pooba Paul Dybedahl.