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Aramark is adding some heavyweights to its starting lineup as football season kicks off. The company’s sports and entertainment division, which provides foodservice to 11 National Football League (NFL) teams, unveiled its Tribute Menu Series of offerings tailored to honor the heritage of respective teams.
“As one season ends and we head into the off-season, we use that time to brainstorm new concepts and menu items that we think will not only enhance the dining experience and taste good, but further extend the team’s brand and further connect fans with their teams,” says David Freireich, PR director at Aramark. “Food is an extension of the stadium and an integral part of the experience of game day.”
With that idea in mind, the chefs and development team at Aramark set out to identify the unique flavors of each city and town it serves and recreate that taste experience in a way that harkens to fans’ passion. At First Energy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns, Aramark will dish out the Bad to the Bone Bologna, featuring fried beef bologna cut into the shape of dog bones, white American cheese, sweet pickles, and Chomp’s spicy sauce, on soft white roll. “It’s a nod to the venerable nickname for the fan base in Cleveland, the ‘Dawg Pound,’” Freireich says.
At M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, Aramark honored the team’s namesake, the famous poem penned by Edgar Allen Poe, with the Poe’s Pork Taco, featuring smoked pulled pork tossed with buffalo sauce and topped with green onion slaw on a flatbread tortilla. And at TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, Aramark drew inspiration from Vikings’ legendary quarterback Joe Kapp’s game day philosophy, 40 men playing as one for 60 minutes, to create the 40 for 60 Burger. A specialty blend of 40 percent bacon and 60 percent ground beef patty, the burger is topped with Cheddar cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, crispy onions, a fried egg, and special sauce, all served on a pretzel bun.
“In Philadelphia, we developed an item named after the team’s two best wide receivers, Mike Quick and Harold Carmichael. In Pittsburgh, we developed a sandwich that honors a legendary head coach, Chuck Noll,” Freireich adds, citing The Quick & Carmichael sandwich and The Emperor, respectively.
The new items and local flavors represent Aramark’s game plan when it comes to stadium foodservice: Make dining a bigger, better, more interactive part of the fan experience.
“It’s important for us to develop not only menu items but also new dining concepts and dining programs that enhance that game-day experience for all the fans and attendants,” Freireich says. “We’ constantly working to build our partnership with the teams to identify what’s new in the market place and use feedback from fans to develop new concepts.”
By Tamara Omazic