Nutritional home run

FSD says goodbye to coverage on sports venues, cruise ships and more.

FoodService Director magazine no longer typically reports on foodservice in such venues as sports stadiums and arena, amusement parks, cruise ships and state and national parks.

With limited resources, in terms of staff and magazine pages, it didn’t make sense to give space to what are really commercial restaurants operating in spaces contracted out to foodservice providers. The bottom line is, there is really little comparison between what a management company can do at a ball park or football stadium and what a foodservice staff at a 200-bed hospital does.

However, sometimes there occurs at one of these venues something so noteworthy that I can’t let it go unmentioned. Aramark did that last week when, at Coors Field in Denver, it opened what the company believes is the first concession stand to sell only gluten-free items.

The stand is located on the left field concourse and sells hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, chips, cookies, soda, water, and even Redbridge, a gluten-free beer. In making the choice to open the stand at Coors, it probably didn’t hurt that Aramark’s chef at this account, Rik Keissling, suffers from celiac disease.

Aramark has been active in promoting awareness of celiac disease for a while now. For example, the week before the gluten-free stand opened at Coors, The company hosted its second Celiac Awareness Night at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Several groups involved with celiac disease attended the game and Aramark set up a special gluten-free concession area at the ballpark.

Aramark certainly isn’t alone in beginning to respond to the dietary needs of sufferers of gluten allergies. Other stadiums and arenas around the country offer some gluten-free foods. But the Philadelphia-based conglomerate certainly has taken the lead in this area, both in action and in promotion. A dedicated stand means that fans with celiac disease don’t have to wander the stadium hoping that the stand they visit will have foods they can eat.

In a market where most customers believe profits reign supreme—and it’s hard to argue the point when you see some of the menu prices in stadiums and arenas—it’s easy to simply consider the action to be sound business, nothing more. And obviously Aramark executives hope that such a move will help increase business.

Nevertheless, it is a step the company has taken willingly, not by force of law, and Aramark deserves the positive publicity it will receive from this action.

Keywords: 
new concepts

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

This semester, the East Quad dining team at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is taking steps to offer more authentic global cuisine , Michigan Daily reports.

The team has partnered with the Office of Student Life to start a conversation with students on how best to create and serve Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. Additionally, the university invited chefs from Japan and India to campus to help its chefs create more authentic recipes.

The school’s push for more accurate global cuisine was partially inspired by an international food event that got cancelled...

Industry News & Opinion
Madison food truck

The Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wis., has partnered with a local organization to debut a food truck that will serve healthy, locally sourced lunch options for Madison high school students, according to The Capital Times .

The truck, which was donated by the Emmi Roth Cheese Co., will visit four high schools Tuesday through Friday, spending a day at each campus. Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch can use the food truck as they would the school cafeteria for no-cost or discounted meals.

Members of MMSD and partner organization REAP Food...

Industry News & Opinion

Identifying prospective employees may be less challenging for foodservice operators than getting would-be recruits to complete the hiring process , according to a new study of why job applicants bail.

The report shows that nearly three out of fours applicants (74%) will drop their effort to be hired if they suspect management is racist, and two out of three (62%) will flee if they learn of sexual harassment allegations. Roughly the same proportion (65%) will halt their pursuit if they encounter indications of a gender gap in pay.

About half (45%) of candidates won’t show...

Menu Development
zoodles

Here’s how two operations are spotlighting produce this season.

Oodles of zoodles

Binghamton University underscored its growing focus on plant-based options with a recent zoodle pop-up on campus. The pop-up, which served vegetable noodle bowls in vegan and vegetarian varieties, sold out of the dishes in four hours. The Binghamton, N.Y., school aims to add zoodles to its regular menu in the fall.

A buffet boost

The dining team at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, recently re-evaluated its buffet offerings with an eye toward adding healthy options. It updated the fruit and...

FSD Resources