Increase in catering orders a good sign for restaurant during Big 12 tournaments

Spokes Cafe Big12.JPG
Posted at 8:32 AM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 09:32:49-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time in a long time, Dan Walsh is managing catering orders for large groups.

The owner of Spokes Cafe and Cyclery with two locations in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, said this week he’s prepared orders for groups from 14 to 60 people. He thinks the Big 12 Conference basketball tournaments are the reason.

“People are having smaller parties or groups,” he explained. “At their office, they’re watching games, or having gatherings around the conference room or manufacturing floor really enjoying Big 12 and eventually NCAA [basketball tournament] as well.”

One of Walsh’s restaurants is located a few blocks from the Kansas City Convention Center and Municipal Auditorium, which is hosting the Big 12 Conference women’s basketball tournament this week.

“Any time there is a convention, a basketball tournament, a dance tournament, any of those things, we always tend to get some spillover here,” Walsh pointed out. “This is the first time we’ll see if folks who are in town are willing to go out and traverse the neighborhood.”

Walsh said during the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 95 percent of his business has been carryout.

He’s doing everything he can at his restaurant to make guests feel safe dining inside. Tables are socially distant, he’s reduced capacity and hand sanitizer is available.

“People are starting to feel shots in the arms and getting a little more confident about getting out. We still have quite a ways to go in terms of what the numbers look like, but I think we’re going in the right direction from a business perspective,” Walsh said.

The cafe on Washington Street is open until 4 p.m. on weekends.