Category: Industry Awards
ROBOTICS 101: Sodexo Live, formerly known as Centerplate, tested robot delivery of PPE and bottled water for the Elite Eight at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (Courtesy Sodexo Live) Robotic Delivery of PPE Supplies at March Madness Lynda Fonderoli, Director of Food and Beverage for Lucas Oil Stadium, Sodexo Live Robots have begun marching — well, rolling — into the venue world. Their 2020 milestone came in Indianapolis, where Sodexo Live, then operating as Centerplate, used robots from Starship Technologies to deliver personal protective equipment and bottled water to fans during some reduced-capacity games at the first NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to be played in the COVID-19-era. The six-wheeled robots, looking something like “Star Wars” Imperial troopers transformed into mechanized mini-coolers, were active in premium areas during the Elite Eight games March 29-30 at Lucas Oil Stadium. “When we looked at having a Final Four amid a pandemic,… Continue Reading Best New Technology
OWN THE CONE: The Bar-B-Cone fits an entire barbecue dinner into a waffle cone. (Courtesy Spectra) Bar-B-Cone Tim Hoch, Divisional Executive Chef, West, Spectra If you like takeout barbecue, this Excellence in Concessions winner is for you. Let’s cut straight to the good stuff: The Bar-B-Cone is an entire smokehouse dinner (beverage sold separately) layered in a waffle cone. The customer’s chosen base of smoked meat — beef brisket, pulled pork or chicken — is topped with layers of cheddar macaroni and cheese and Southern-style coleslaw, then topped with shredded fried onion straws and BBQ sauce. Utensils? Your call, since it’s 100% edible. But grab a napkin just in case — or a few. Tim Hoch, a divisional executive chef for Spectra responsible for the breakthrough, said the idea came about during brainstorming for the midway at the State Fair of Texas, no stranger to exotic concessions concoctions. He was… Continue Reading Best New Menu Item
“A Seat at the Table: Southern Cuisine Featuring North Carolina’s Women and BIPOC Farmers and Food Producers” Phil Evans, Executive Chef, Raleigh (N.C.) Convention Center, Centerplate The ‘eat local’ concept has long been a part of sustainability efforts. Meat and produce from nearby farms don’t require long-distance transportation to your table, cutting the use of fossil fuels and the carbon footprint for the transaction. Given a little time to think, Phil Evans figured out a way to expand that idea and make it even more meaningful. The name is long — “A Seat at the Table: Southern Cuisine Featuring North Carolina’s Women and BIPOC Farmers and Food Producers” — but the idea is simple: Give farmers who are women and people of color, traditionally underrepresented in the industry, a chance to sell to a major food buyer and make connections in the community. It also introduces new items to the… Continue Reading Best Sustainability Initiative
Hall of Favs, PPG Paints Arena Alicia Woznicki, Vice President, Design and Development, Aramark Sports & Entertainment Think you can’t have it all? Think again. At Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena, there’s no need to go from stand to stand picking up each family member’s favorite dish in the venue. It’s all at the Hall of Favs, a location new this NHL season at the arena, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The idea didn’t start with the urge to create a murderers’ row of arena food to make one-stop shopping more achievable and create a super-stand among concessions locations. It was more of a technology play, said Alicia Woznicki of Aramark, who worked on making the concept a reality. The location at PPG Paints Arena, created by combining two existing stands and a former bar, was conceived of as a place where all-star entrees and standout snacks would persuade more fans… Continue Reading Best New Concept in Food and Drink
BET ON BETTING: The Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., boasts two levels and an outdoor patio. (Courtesy Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena) Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena David Grolman, Senior Vice President of Operations, Caesars Sportsbook It’s not often that the opportunity arrives to be the first — the very first — to do something. It arrived for David Grolman, and he made the most of it. Grolman led the group that created Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena, which became the first sportsbook inside a North American arena or stadium when it opened May 26 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., home of the NBA’s Wizards and the NHL’s Capitals. The 18,000-square-foot space, which stretches across two levels and includes an outdoor patio, seats 315 for dining and has 17 betting windows and 17 self-service kiosks for placing wagers on sports of… Continue Reading Best New/Refurbished Space in Food and Drink
In his 35-plus years as executive director of WesBanco Arena and, since 2009, the Capitol Theatre, Denny Magruder has influenced countless venue managers.