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March 14, 2016
Planning & Strategy  |  5 min read

How a Local Small Business Became Caterer to the Super Bowl

by Saphiya Hindeyeh

It’s that time of the year again where millions of American football fans are anticipating the Super Bowl, the National Football League‘s (NFL) championship game. 

But we’re most interested in a different side of the upcoming game: the local small businesses behind the big day. So we talked to Amici Catering, a Phoenix catering company (and Infusionsoft customer) who reached a milestone in their company when they were chosen to cater for the Super Bowl tailgate party. 

What do this small business catering company and football have in common? As I tell their story, indulge me in my loose metaphors.

Note: For the less American-football-savvy people, I apologize in advance if you don’t get the football term references. You are not alone. I myself recently learned that there is no such thing as a slam dunk in football. When it comes to sports, unless they’ve dated a Kardashian, I probably haven’t paid attention.   

1. Loyal and local fan bases

#IndianapolisColts #NewEnglandPatriots #GreenBayPackers #SeattleSeahawks

Notice anything besides the overwhelming amount of hashtags used? (P.S. the world has decided: Using more than two hashtags is extremely annoying). 

They all have a sense of community, like a region or a city attached to their team name. They are local heroes in their regions, as is Amici catering is a local hero in theirs. There is something prideful about having your team and local small business be successful and represent your city. The community is proud of you, rooting for you, and will talk mad trash about anyone who isn’t your fan.  

Scott Harlig, Co-owner of Amici Catering, said Amici has a community behind them cheering them on, and that “family, friends, other businesses that we know are just so supportive.”

2. Game plans

One thing that I do know from football (mainly from movies) is that they always have a game plan where they devise an execution strategy to get to the end zone (I’m told that is where they score a goal, called a touchdown). 

Amici devised their own game plan. As Scott stated, “It takes a lot of planning that week [of the event], we have to bring the product into our kitchen, we have to spend time preparing it, we have to spend time transporting it the day before, and then on game day, we get there early and have to start putting it all together to make it happen.” 

Their touchdown will be hearing their audience ohhhing and ahhing over their food. 

Here's what Amici Catering has to say about their experience preparing for the Super Bowl and their dreams as a small business.

3. Knowing there is no “I” in team 

There is no “I” in quarterback either. The quarterbacks wouldn’t be able to score a touchdown without their linebackers or wide receivers, just like Amici Catering wouldn’t be able to feed hundreds without their team. 

Lori Harlig, co-owner of Amici Catering, said “[Catering] is team sport, it’s a team event. We love the hospitality industry because it brings servers and cooks and dishwashers and everybody together and you reach this goal and everything is great and you feel a sense of accomplishment as a team.” 

4. Big dreams and reaching for the top

Amici catering didn’t believe they would ever host an event this big. But they were always big dreamers. “We never would have thought [that we would cater for the Super Bowl], but you have those dreams and then you see them come up and you’re like ‘What? I can’t believe it, it’s truly happened.’”

Lori and Scott advised other small businesses to have big dreams, put them out there, and just go for it. Then don’t let anyone stop you from achieving them. Amici started their small business seven years ago in the beginning of the rough economy. But they went for it and worked through it, and look at them now. 


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