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Where everybody knows your game: Camaraderie and competition in SWFL’s sports bars

Posted Feb 2022

A chain sees changes

Long before the pandemic forced the restaurant industry to adapt, Duffy’s Sports Bar and Grill followed its campaign of providing a venue to share unique experiences while watching games. The Lake Worth-based company has 33 locations in Florida, including Cape Coral, Estero and Fort Myers. It’s the Southeast’s largest family-owned and operated restaurant group.

Duffy’s president Joe Webb said his guests’ experiences boil down to a lot more than watching a sporting event. Reliance on the sporting calendar, which heats up during tourist season in Southwest Florida with the NFL and college football seasons in full swing followed by March Madness, isn’t necessary.

Webb prioritized full-time residents even before seeing an uptick in transplants who were once considered snowbirds but are now staying permanently. “This migration isn’t limited to retirees,” Webb says. “We have also seen an influx in varying demographics from northeast cities choosing Florida as a home base. We have anticipated this and have many initiatives to reach and welcome these new customers to the Duffy’s family while catering to our loyal MVPs.”

To ensure year-round residents remain the cornerstone, Duffy’s emphasizes its MVP loyalty program, which offers an average of 10% off every visit by earning points for free meals, free birthday meals, special giveaways and perks such as Kids Eat Free every Wednesday. Other promotions including 2-for-1 drinks every day have boosted the company through the pandemic. “Since the pandemic started almost two years ago, we have rebounded in sales slowly but consistently, and today Duffy’s is operating stronger and better than ever before,” Webb says.

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