WINTER HAVEN – When Lou Delco noticed the three pickup trucks backed into his restaurant’s parking spaces so the passengers inside could enjoy the music, he knew he’d found the solution he’d been looking for.
When some of the restrictions of the COVID-19 were eased a couple weeks ago, Delco knew 50 percent of the seating still wasn’t enough to restart the popular Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Wednesday night trivia contests held each week. So, in addition to successfully continuing to serve his customers, Delco pondered how to get back those customers who specifically came for trivia – some who have been playing for 10 years.
After he set up an outdoor tent for bands in his parking lot on the weekends, he saw the solution.
“I brought in some bands to try to get people out when I noticed people sitting on their tailgates enjoying the music,” Delco said “I thought, ‘Why not do that for trivia?’”
Before the pandemic, the sports-themed family restaurant counted on about 20 trivia teams with between four to 20 people to be there for the good-spirited, lively competition.
One of those players was Chris Euverard, a Lake Region High School teacher, who has played for about six years.
“We were happy trivia was back when we saw it on Facebook,” Euverard said. “I’m glad it’s back after the stay-at-home orders.”
To adhere to the new norms, patrons are seated at least six feet away from one another and the servers and cooks wear masks and gloves while trying to maintain social distancing.
Euverard’s team — named “DFS” — had so many members last week that it had to be split into two groups, with one inside the restaurant and the other outside.
Delco said that the number of teams participating has grown every week since restarting it three weeks ago.
“The first week we had four teams and by the third week we had 12,” he said.
The teams are asked a total of 30 questions during three rounds plus bonus questions. According to Heather Boggs, Beef ‘O’Brady’s chief marketing officer, Delco is one of the first franchise owners.
“Lou is great at bringing the community together,” she said “His customers love him.”
She said that his tailgate trivia idea has been passed along to other locations.
“Beef’s is really good at sharing ideas amongst each other,” Boggs said. “We want to be able to give the customers what they want in a safe environment for all parties – customers and staff.”
Headquartered in Tampa, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is a community-oriented restaurant that has more than 150 locations.
Tailgate Trivia welcomes new teams and is played on Wednesdays from 7–9 p.m. at 300 Cypress Gardens Boulevard.
The teams with the most points receive gift cards: first place earns $20; second place gets $10 and third place receives $5.
“The way the trivia is done is fun. The food is great. The beer is great and Beef’s atmosphere is great,” Euverard said. “All good reasons to stop by.”