Sporting events, golf courses, cruise lines, and movie theatres make up nearly 62% of recreation segment foodservice sales, making the segment very sensitive to consumer spending patterns, especially expenditures on recreation. Quality and the range of foodservices is crucial to the guest’s venue experience. For this reason, venue operators have improved food selection, food quality, menu flexibility, and customer service. This has allowed for many venues to become food destinations in their own right.
The leisure segment has seen the introduction of local flavors and restaurant brands hit a fever pitch, particularly in sports arenas and stadiums, where operators are trying to create a memorable experience that expands beyond the event itself. The introduction of self-serve kiosks and mobile ordering has begun to reduce wait-lines, minimize labor costs, and allow for the consumer to spend more time watching the event instead of navigating the refreshment lines. Even “classic” ball park food has seen a revitalization with a newfound emphasis on “better-for-you” and clean-label ingredients, with menu items such as Applegate’s organic uncured beef hot dogs.