I can’t imagine many jobs on Super Bowl Sunday harder than making and delivering pizzas. While everyone else is enjoying the biggest sporting event of the year, you’re not only facing one of your busiest days, but are also constantly being reminded of how you’re not watching the Super Bowl because your job is to make sure all those people who are watching the Super Bowl enjoy themselves that much more with piping hot pizza.
The president of Pizza Hut, Artie Starrs, apparently had a similar revelation. While attending the Super Bowl last year with other top company brass, he says he began to feel guilty imagining how rough his 150,000 employees must be having it. “I decided that next year we need to have one of our employees in the field come sit in these seats and have this experience,” he told CBS MoneyWatch. And with that idea, he began on a path towards one of the sweetest stories you’re going to hear going into the big game: Starrs held a companywide contest where the winner would get to take his spot at the Super Bowl, and he would go do that person’s job back at their local Pizza Hut.
Entrants into the six-month-long contest were chosen via customer satisfaction scores. Finalists’ names were put in a glass bowl. And then Starrs himself randomly selected the winner: Vickie Weaver, a 20-year Pizza Hut veteran who manages a group of locations around Huntsville, Alabama. As a result, she and her husband will be headed to Houston this weekend. Meanwhile, Starrs will go down to Huntsville on Sunday, doing whatever’s needed of him, even if it’s cooking and delivering pizzas. “I can hold my own,” he was quoted as saying.
Starrs said he doesn’t seem to have any regret about his decision to give his seats away. “It’s super-inspiring for her to come,” he said. “I think this is something that we are going to be doing going forward. It’s a new tradition.”
Alright. Let’s hold that optimism until after you’ve had to bring a carload of pizza to a bunch of drunk Alabama football fans, okay?