Businesses prepare for busy graduation weekend

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Avery Lake

Graduation ceremonies for Shelton State Community College, Stillman College and University of Alabama graduates are happening this weekend, bringing families celebrating students’ achievements into Tuscaloosa.

Many business owners have spent the past few months planning for this weekend because they need more inventory alongside more employees.

River is a favorite local restaurant that’s in high demand for celebrations, so manager Lauren Jones has had this weekend marked on the calendar for months.

“This is like Tuscaloosa’s Super Bowl,” Jones said. “We ordered extra food. We’ve run all the product mix that we can from the last seven years and we have employees coming in who have worked for us before to come in and help out, so we’ve done everything we can and we’re ready.”

Hotels are also booked solid and have a full schedule planned so employees can accommodate families.

Hotel Capstone, for example, is working overtime to get rooms ready, but they’ve also doubled up on food and beverages for the restaurant.

Director of Sales Annette Smallwood said they’re ready.

“We prepare for graduation like we do for football,” said Smallwood. “I mean it is what it is. We order up. We staff up. We’re ready for anyone who comes in and we hope they enjoy their weekend. I know our restaurant and our bar is ready.”

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