How homecoming affects local businesses

Homecoming season is full of fun activities for students: the Powderpuff game, the Homecoming Football game, and of course, the homecoming dance. Depending on who it is, some people go out, some people order in, and some people get together and make their own food. We all already know what students do to celebrate homecoming, whether you’re a parent or a student, but what about where they go for food or where girls get their hair done? How does the homecoming season affect local Elmhurst businesses?

To figure out where most students went or where most students ordered in from, we sent out a survey. Most of the responses were inconclusive, with 50.2% of students not knowing where they were going to go to dinner, going to someone’s house, or having their parents cook. The most popular restaurant to get food was Roberto’s, on Spring Road, with 14.2% of the student population ordering or going to Roberto’s.

“It’s wonderful,” said Rosalia Moreci, daughter of the owner of Roberto’s. “People grab pizza before or after the [homecoming] game and a lot of students come in before and after the dance for pizza.”

Most York students and Elmhurst residents enjoy Roberto’s pizza.

“In my personal opinion, Roberto’s pizza is really good because is has the perfect amount of cheese to sauce.” said sophomore Sophia Fisher. “Their crust is also really good because it is super crunchy. But I also like their soups, specifically the pasta fagioli soup because it has a lot of flavor and the pasta in it makes it even better. Oh, they also have really good lasagna.”

Another well known Elmhurst favorite is Portillo’s because of their close proximity to York, their good prices, and their delicious food. They bring in lots of York students during the homecoming season.

“[Homecoming] absolutely increases the amount of customers we have on that night,” said Natalie Brown, manager of the Elmhurst Portillo’s on 155 South Route 83. “On homecoming night we typically have between 1500 to 2000 people come in.”

Accommodations have to be made so that the restaurant doesn’t get backed up because of the rush of kids.

“There is a staff increase of almost 2% on homecoming night,” said Brown. “It is sometimes difficult to find people to work because a lot of my staff are high schoolers.”

So many students are drawn to Portillo’s after the dance because it is easy and a good way to refuel.

“The food is so good” said freshman Nora Kirk. “It’s a great place for my friends and I to go because there’s so much space.”

High schoolers prepare for homecoming in many different ways and there are places all around Elmhurst to fit those needs.

“Dancing is hard work and it’s great to have so many options around Elmhurst for places to go before and after,” said Kirk.