New Baseball Season, Same Food Service Fails
Take me out to the ballgame!
It’s spring and Baseball season is here… Fans are excited to see their favorite players hit home-runs and turn incredible double plays.
During the offseason as teams are working on their line-ups, chefs are hard at work creating unique and exciting menus for fans to enjoy while visiting their ballparks. The media oftentimes gives these stories attention, sharing locally and nationally what to expect when visiting your favorite ballpark.
Just picture Opening Day, fans rushing into the stadium to catch a foul ball and try one of these new items. Nonetheless, the mouthwatering experience and excitement falls short if the food service providers fail to properly plan for this excitement. Now, you’re in a long line at a concession stand because they are short staffed, finally you make your way to the cashier where your purchase satisfaction only worsens when you’re greeted in an unpleasant manner. To top off the experience, your highly anticipated new item looks nothing like the item you saw on TV because the concessions cooks have not been properly trained. Food service providers consistently failed to train their staff because it’s expensive to properly take a team member through orientation, alcohol safety training, job specific training and any other team related training that is hosted. On average each employee should see over 10-12 hrs of training prior to serving a guest, but often, they receive only 2 hrs of training.
The lack of training from food service providers cause teams to deploy a fan experience department to counteract all the complaints they receive each and every game. It’s a new season but the food service story is the same: the off-season promises fall short while food service providers spend the rest of the season just providing mediocre service, in many situations running out of beer, buns and even water on a hot summer day. First Star Solutions is not making this up, this is a fact that is more apparent over the past 4-5 years as social media has given each fan the ability to connect with someone or even just voicing their frustration to others.
Food service is not hard, making fans happy is not hard, delivering an off-season promise is not hard. You just need a team of food service professionals that are properly trained, a team that knows how to plan, while using historical data to properly order food and beverage, and one that takes ownership of opportunities and corrects them. Finding that team is the hard part. However, at the same time they need a food service provider that will support their needs and provide the necessary resources to be successful. You need food service providers to be honest, that will not write an unattainable budget for their team, and one that will add necessary training dollars to the budget. Each team President needs to demand training information including dollars required and training agendas to ensure their fans are being handled with the level of attention they all deserve.
It’s not hard to be successful, teams just need someone to hold food service providers accountable. We at First Star Solutions do just that. Together we can keep the off-season excitement alive, lines moving and a quality experience your fans will love.