Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Rowdy crowd helps business

While dealing with after-bar customers can be a trying ordeal for workers at local eateries, the amount of business generated from late-night feasters can be worthwhile.

At Ian's Pizza, a popular post-bar eatery, drunk students can make a late shift interesting for the restaurant's employees.

"It depends on the night and the people," Kristin Richards, an Ian's Pizza employee, said about the bar-time crowd.


Richards said dealing with late-night patrons who attempt to steal food or forget what they've ordered can be trying.

"People will stumble and fall while we're just trying to get them through the line that's going out the door three nights a week," she said.

The midnight to 3:30 a.m. shift can occasionally provide workers with some entertainment, but many nights the behavior of drunk students is simply annoying, Richards said.

"It can be a real pain, but it really depends on your mood," she said.

Some UW students can attest to putting employees through such pain.

"We were at Pizza Di Roma, sitting against the window along State Street," UW junior Eyton Zelazo said. "There was someone who wasn't feeling well, and turned to throw up against the window. Passer-bys were startled before they remembered the glass barrier between them and the incoming puke."

Despite the behavioral scene, bar-time business is worthwhile for some downtown establishments.

"For those three hours before we close, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, the line is out the door," Richards said.

Aside from the daily lunch rush, bar time tends to afford Ian's its best business hours, according to Richards.

Qdoba Mexican Grill experiences similar late-night revenue. Weekends generate the bulk of their business, especially throughout football season, according to Qdoba employee Billy Calkins.

Calkins has more of a jovial outlook on the late-night and post-bar-time crowd.

"It really depends on your mindset," Calkins said. "To me, drunks are funny, but it does get a bit old."

Calkins also said every customer is different.

"It seems there are really two kinds of drunk people — the ones out to have fun and the ones out to make a scene," Calkins said. "It gets especially annoying if you've been working all night; the indecision gets irritating."

UW junior Andy Moser said from the point of a late-night feaster, choosing somewhere to eat is not necessarily about taste, but about hours of operation and the ease of buying food.

Qdoba, like Ian's, is open until 3:30 a.m. on weekends. Other UW student favorites close earlier during the week and weekends.

Chipotle closes at 10 p.m. on weeknights. Chipotle manager Jackie Morin said the establishment has intentionally chosen not to cater to the late-night crowd.

"Our hours do not inhibit our business performance or our competition. We want a higher degree of appreciation for the food, and drunks do not appreciate the quality of the food they're getting. It's just fulfilling a craving," Morin said. "We have higher expectations of our customers."

Morin also said it is difficult to hire a late-night crew, but did not rule later hours out of Chipotle's future.

"The Chipotle on the University of Illinois campus is open late, so it's not an issue of company policy, and it has been something under consideration," Morin said.

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