Do You Need a Food & Beverage Service Provider?

Are they truly the experts in providing high-level and quality food in Sports & Entertainment venues?  Or are they trying to drive as many dollars as possible to their bottom line by reducing food quality and labor?  This is a question you need to ask when making the decision in choosing your next provider.


As you ask the question, “Do we need a food service provider?” Let me help you understand why you may not need one if you are operating a small venue.  These same principles will also apply for your large facilities. 


Often the venue/team may have several of the tools required to successfully operate their own food and beverage at a venue. You may have been told by the big food and beverage service providers, “Let the professionals handle your food operations.”  Sound familiar?  Of course!  They are saying you must have a food and beverage service provider, because in most cases the food service department generates more revenue in venues/facilities than all other departments combined. 


Do not be afraid, you can easily create a department in which the venue/team will have full control of your fan experience. I guarantee outside of the sport/entertainment that is being hosted at your venue, your biggest complaint is food service (pricing, food quality, variety, friendliness and sanitation).  These complaints add stress to not only your fans and sponsors, but also to the ticket and sponsorship sales team.   These topics are all frequently addressed with your food and beverage service providers, some get corrected and others are ignored because of the financial impact it will have on their P&L. 


Now with a little off season work you can take full control of your fans and sponsors experience by operating your food service in-house.  See below on what you should focus on internally.


Hire an experienced knowledgeable team/venue food service consultant. 

A great consultant will guide your team through the process, helping you achieve your targets and analyzing your business every step of the way.


Second, hire a great food service General Manager, someone who can align your objectives (fan experience, technology and first in class), with their experience. 

Too often food operations are not successful because of this very important position.  Shortly after finding a General Manager, a chef needs to be identified.  Although filling this key position takes time it is essential for the success of your venue.  First Star Solutions is prepared to help you with these goals.


Achieving the right purchasing program is a very important objective, as you need to drive quality, but at the same time you need to have a positive cash flow.  Your food service consultant will help you with this objective for your venue.  Your G.M., chef, and consultant will assist you with identifying the numerous incentives and rebates involved with the purchasing process. 


Financial experts will tell you that by removing the middle man (the food and beverage service provider) the team/venue has the ability to net more profit while providing better quality food and staff.    This can be accomplished by removing the profit sharing and giving you full control and transparency to financials, something that is rarely shared by a food service provider.  Yes, in 90% of contracts food service providers support each contract with an upfront investment. This will be lost, however, can be re-gained through your food and beverage margins which are extremely high in venues.


In-house food service is not something every team/venue wants, nonetheless it is gaining momentum in venues throughout the United States. Teams are working toward full control of fan experience and lowering prices while maintaining quality and margins. 

Do you think your venue needs to put a plan like this in place? Contact First Star Solutions today.