Leveraging new technologies that allow for flexible menus, made-to-order preparation and enhanced speed of service, stadium foodservice providers are scoring points with consumers.
When it opened in March 2011, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz., was not just distinguishable as the first Major League Baseball facility located on Native American land, but also as a stadium seeking to raise the bar for traditional ballpark fare.
When Safeco Field, the home of Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners, was built in 1999, foodservice was more of a focus than in decades past. However, it wasn't on par with other ballpark amenities. The foodservice program was one of the first priorities when the 47,000-plus-seat stadium began a 4-year renovation project about 2 years ago.
Change is inevitable in a foodservice operation. To minimize the disruption, it is important to design in flexible options such as multi-use foodservice equipment, utility distribution systems and more.
For operations like convenience stores and delis, refrigerated display cases are among the most essential pieces of equipment. They provide a way to offer prepared foods and single-serve drinks that is both safe and cost effective.
At first glance, renovating a space may seem cheaper and less complicated than building a new foodservice operation from the ground up. That's rarely the case, however, and renovations require extensive up-front research, coordination and more to ensure projects go smoothly.
Now in its 20th year, Croc's 19th Street Bistro in Virginia Beach, Va., is a popular restaurant among tourists, locals and those visiting the nearby convention center. But it has also made huge strides as the first green-focused restaurant in the state, as recognized by the state's tourism department and its Virginia Green program, a self-certifying initiative geared toward conserving the state's natural resources through waste reduction, recycling and energy and water efficiency, among other sustainable efforts. Croc's earned this certification in 2008, a couple years after the restaurant had already set forth on a green plan of action.