Tag Archives: aramark

Camden Signs With DNC

16 Nov

Camden Yards, Baltimore

New Food Service Provider: Delaware North Companies

Date: Nov. 10

The Baltimore Orioles have signed a 12-year partnership with Delaware North’s Sportservice division to provide food services at Camden Yards including concessions, catering and retail. The deal replaces Aramark, which served the park since it opened in 1992.

Both the team and Delaware North will invest a combined $11 million to redesign and enhance the food and beverage operations, including a new point-of-sale system, new grills and more kiosks for fresh food preparation stations. Corporate Chef Roland Henin will be brought in to work with the organization.

Sportservice will also redesign the team’s retail store with new merchandise displays and an emphasis on year-round activity to boost interest in ballpark tours and visits to the Camden Yards museum. — Dave Brooks



Ottawa Partners with Aramark; Paciolan Integrates Purdue and Florida St. with StubHub; Centerplate Retools Bi-Lo Center Deal

11 Sep

Rendering of the Ottawa (Ontario) Convention Centre

Ottawa (Ontario) Convention Centre

Full Services Provider: Aramark

Date: Sept. 8, 2010

Terms: The 15-year deal is traditional in that it involves a percentage of the gross and an investment by Aramark. It’s non-traditional in that it is “seamless,” offering clients a one-stop shop branded Ottawa Convention Centre, rather than dealing with various and multiple providers and contracts. Aramark will coordinate all event services, including catering, retail food and beverage and set up. Jennifer McCrary will serve as general manager of the Ottawa Convention Centre for Aramark.

The $180 million Ottawa Convention Centre opens in April 2011. Paul Keough, senior VP, redevelopment and client services, said the Ottawa Convention Centre management staff used focus groups and facility tours to vet the best way to handle the concessions contract. It became clear, he said, that “clients just want a simple way to use the facility, with no hidden costs and no surprises. They do not want to be ping-ponged about, making more than the necessary handshakes.”

The most successful convention center operations they saw in North America and Europe were those that had a seamless relationship with service providers. The Ottawa Convention Centre will be that type of operation. The name Aramark will not be on the cups and contracts. It will all be the Ottawa Convention Centre and McCrary, an Aramark employee, is titled general manager for facilities for the center. The OCC person will be the Aramark person.

“It’s not just food and beverage; it’s delivery of services,” he emphasized.

The convention center will do a projected 700-900 events annually, grossing $25 million in total revenue, including food and beverage, rental and ancillaries, Keough said.

Aramark’s Dan Smith said McCrary moved to Ottawa from their Palm Beach (Fla.) Convention Center operation. She will coordinate all event services, from managing catering and retail food to overseeing plant management, including engineering and mechanical maintenance, housekeeping and grounds.

Aramark also will be responsible for cleaning the facility’s exterior windows, consisting of 1,045 triangular window panes.

Interviewed for this story: Paul Keough, (613) 563-1984; Dan Smith, (215) 409-7403

Paciolan and StubHub

Clients: Purdue and Florida State

Date: Aug. 30

Terms: Paciolan has signed an agreement with secondary ticket marketplace StubHub to enable fans to buy and digitally resell tickets to games at Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind, and Florida State in Tallahassee.

The deal allows season-ticket holders to digitally list and sell their tickets on StubHub, while buyers can easily purchase tickets and print them at home, all digitally. The deal is the first of its kind for both companies and is similar to a StubHub deal in place for Major League Baseball, which Paciolan facilitates for both the Colorado Rockies and the Philadelphia Phillies.

“StubHub is a great partner for this deal because they have won the consumer wars,” said Kim Damron, VP of Client Partners. “Each year they spend millions and millions on advertising in the college market.”

Paciolan Founder Jane Kleinberger said both Purdue and Florida State approached her about piloting the program after she announced the partnership at a recent PacNet user conference. Paciolan expects to add two more schools by the time basketball begins. Kleinberger said the partnership allows buyers to purchase tickets without worrying about fraud, while box offices are better equipped to deal with tickets that are purchased through StubHub and can provide better customer service.

“We’ve definitely been in the college market for a long time in terms of college partnerships,” said Danielle Maged, head of Partnerships and Business Development for StubHub. “We now have 18 college partners. We’ve had the University of Southern California for a number of years, and Alabama (too).”

StubHub often lists tickets below face value for basketball and baseball, but Maged said that’s not necessarily the case for large conference football.

“On the college front it matters what the record is, how far along the season is and opponent,” she said. “Just from the naked eye, I haven’t seen a ton of listings below face value.”

Interviewed for this article: Jane Kleinberger and Kim Damron, (866) 722-4526; Danielle Maged, (415)222-8412

Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, S.C., and Charter Amphitheatre, Simpsonville, S.C.

Management: Greenville Arena District

Concessionaire: Centerplate

Terms: The Greenville Arena District (GAD) assumed management from Centerplate, effective Sept. 1. GAD owns the 15,000-seat Bi-Lo Center and manages Charter Amphitheater at Heritage Park. Centerplate will continue to provide food and beverage service at Bi-Lo Center through an extension of its existing contract for 10 years from this year (2020) and will expand that concessions agreement to include the Charter Amphitheater in Heritage Park, which has 3,500 fixed seats and 11,700 lawn seats.

Roger Newton, general manager of Bi-Lo Center, said that in the transition from Centerplate management to GAD “all staff was rehired. Everyone is staying.”

GAD owns the Bi-Lo Center. The board is appointed by the state. Originally, under the management agreement with Centerplate, Centerplate was the backstop for the bonds that built Bi-Lo Center. When the Greenville Grrrowl hockey team left the building four years ago, those bonds, though paid, were technically in default because Centerplate was no longer obligated to be the backstop.

Now, everything is back on track, Newton said, including addition of a new hockey team, the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. That team, formerly the Johnstown (Pa.) Chiefs, begin play at Bi-Lo Center this season.

GAD bought Centerplate’s management contract for $2.5 million, Newton confirmed. Centerplate had been paid $1 million a year in management fees. That contract was due to expire in September 2013.

The concessions side is a percentage deal. Centerplate now pays 35 percent of the gross, down from 40 points before.

Centerplate also added the Charter Amphitheater to its venues. It had been a Premier Events food contract. GAD took over the venue from SMG in February and has booked eight shows this season. Newton said it will probably end the year with 50,000 attendance. Per caps on concessions have been as high as $18 and average about $8, he said. The city added a VIP tent area this year, which offers an upscale menu and liquor and drinks.

Centerplate’s Bob Pascal said the deal is a good one for the concessionaire, extending the company’s presence in Greenville. It does not portend an exit from venue management for Centerplate, he said. Each deal is case by case. — Linda Deckard and Dave Brooks

Interviewed for this story: Roger Newton, (864) 250-4917; Bob Pascal, (203) 975-5943

Consol Energy Center Celebrates Its Coronation with Sir Paul

19 Aug

Gathered in the lobby a few hours before the Paul McCartney concert opens the arena are Liza Cartmell and Mike McDonald, Aramark; Jay Roberts, SMG GM at Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh; Aramark's Dan Regan; and SMG's Hank Abate. The two sold out shows are the first for Consol Energy Center and the last on McCartney's U.S. tour.

REPORTING FROM PITTSBURGH, PA. — From the local art to the state-of-the-art, the excitement was palpable as Consol Energy Center here opened its doors for its first concert today, Aug. 18. Paul McCartney declared from the stage, “We’re the first people to play here and you are the first people to see people play here. That’s pretty cool.”

Barrie Marshall, Marshall Arts, who has worked with McCartney for years, told Venues Today that McCartney likes to open new buildings. He’s always looking for new markets and new buildings because “people are being given a better experience for their money in a new arena,” Marshall said.

McCartney was set to play a second show Aug. 19, which concludes his “Up and Coming” summer tour which started in Phoenix and has drawn 600,000 people to 25 shows.

For Jay Roberts, general manager of Consol Energy Center for SMG, this day was a long time coming. He’s put in some very long days for six months, partly because he was still operating Mellon Arena, the old home to the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League, at the same time he was opening the new $321 million arena.

Walking the floor before the opening with Liza Cartmell, president of Aramark Sports & Entertainment, was Aramark’s Dan Regan, and they were impressed. Cartmell pointed out the Brewhouse bar on the upper concourse, a pleasant space with a view of downtown Pittsburgh. It’s the kind of space not often seen on the upper levels, she said.

Angus cheeseburgers were selling for $5.75; Italian sausage, $5.50; grilled chicken sandwich, $6.75; Smith’s hot dog, $4.75 and chicken tenders and fries, $8.50. A Pizza Hut Pizza was $9; WingStreet wings, $9.75. A large draft beer retailed for $7.75; a regular draft beer, $5; a regular soda, $4.50; a bottled soda, $4.

The doors were held for 45 minutes because McCartney was late arriving from New York and couldn’t start his sound check until 5:30 p.m. The crowd gathered and when the doors finally opened, the concessions stands were slammed. The subsequent three-hour show had no intermissions, but people found time to buy food and drink.

Merchandise varied from an $85 leather jacket to $40 T-shirts to $20 mugs and programs.

McCartney’s tour arrived in 15 trucks and eight buses. The crew was returning to England Friday. No future tour plans have been announced.

Prior to today, they had hosted 15,000 people are various sneak-a-peek and VIP parties. Tonight was the big test and it did well. — Linda Deckard

Interviewed for this story: Jay Roberts, (412) 804-7820; Liza Cartmell, (215) 238-3424; Barrie Marshall, +44 20-7586-3831

A few questions with Liza Cartmell

2 Jun


Liza Cartmell

Venues Today discussed the state of the industry with Aramark’s Liza Cartmell, who is also one of our three 2010 Women of Influence, announced today. Following are some of her observations on changes and trends in food and drink concessions.

If you were going to predict what this business would be like in five years, what would be the major change?

I think you will see a lot more partnerships between concessionaires and owners of facilities and sports teams. It’s not so much about the margins as it is about being able to operate in an environment of shared interests. The expectations of the fans and the flexibility the team needs to adapt to what’s going on in the marketplace mean they need us to be more flexible. If they’ve put us in a box that says you’re vanilla, and the market is looking for chocolate, we can’t meet their needs. We’ve mutually agreed in a growing number of places to migrate to that.

What are the major changes in concessions this season for baseball?

There was a little more of a seismic shift last season because of the economy and there is more of a continuation now. We went very aggressively last year and continue this year into more packaging, value-oriented offerings. We continuously upgrade the core product because we find it’s not so much about people not being willing to spend. They want to make sure they’re getting value. We can get them to continue to spend by introducing more fresh hamburgers, higher quality sandwiches, and select specialty items like the gluten free. These are not big money makers, but they take care of a niche in the market excluded previously.

Is the all-inclusive ticket going to grow in this marketplace?

We continue to roll out the loaded ticket technology. Every team is at a different level as far as utilization of it as a marketing tool. It’s one of those things like nobody used to use credit cards in the facilities and it took about 10 years to really get the momentum of people even thinking of taking out their credit card at the game. Adults who went to sports always brought cash. The longest line in the building for the last 10 years wasn’t the bathroom; it was the ATM.

What about using your cellphone or some other kind of electronic wallet at the concessions stand? How far down the line is that?

The capability exists today, but the willingness and that pioneer group is a very small percentage. If you’re talking 40,000 people and it’s two percent, that’s 800 people; that’s just not a lot. We have that with loaded tickets, where the dollars and percentage are very, very small. We’ve had loaded tickets since we opened the Phillies six years ago. They’re the largest users, the most forward-thinking in introducing it and making it available, but it’s still under five percent dollarwise.

When will you see a return on investment?

ROI can be consumer satisfaction and the team’s capacity to offer a variety of packages for people. One of the big successes in loaded tickets for the Phillies has been in their premium areas; the ability for their premium ticket holders to provide as an amenity a complete experience. That the entrepreneur knows that’s a great value because they’re able to entertain yet they don’t have to go to 81 games is big. Do I get the value because I can eliminate my cash counting and my run to the bank? I’m never going to get the ROI on that. It’s a totally different ROI for different people if they use it in the right way.

Is it true major concessions companies work on two and three percent margins these days?

Pretty much. And it’s not sustainable. People need to make operating decisions that aren’t great and that’s not good for anybody. In the last couple of years, we’ve walked away from a number of deals because we were not willing to be in that environment where the only way we could not lose money was to do the wrong thing. We’ve lost some market share, but that’s okay.

Will there be a correction?

There’s one already underway. The economy is forcing people to think differently about what they need to do to succeed. I don’t think the suite model as it was configured will survive. The basic deal was to charge you a set fee, say $250,000, for the suite. Then you will go to 10 football games or 81 baseball games and I may or may not charge you extra for the concerts and, by the way, I’m going to charge you an arm and a leg to have food in the suites. You are going to be outraged at the prices you are going to have to pay in order to entertain properly in accordance with the suite environment you are trying to set. But you are going to have an administrative assistant to the president who will balk at the price and order popcorn and peanuts, hot dogs and a couple of beers. All of a sudden, the experience is nowhere near what it was designed to be.

How did it get there?

For a long time, people were willing to spend whatever price it took to be able to touch the sports world. It was a corporate item; that’s what it cost. Now people are looking at $300,000 and saying that’s big, I’m going to have to cut six people. And, by the way, at StubHub I can buy that suite for two big meetings and I’ll spend $40,000 and that’s all I care about; I’ll bring all my best customers. There’s this whole recalibration. People are bringing the analytical, disciplined part to the value proposition and not saying it’s sports, I’m going to buy it. — Linda Deckard

Interviewed for this story: Liza Cartmell, (215) 238-3000