Earlier today I had the unique opportunity of touring Boston’s Fenway Park with it’s Aramark food and beverage managers. Aramark is a food service giant, literally…with over 250,000 employees in 22 countries, they are one of those companies that serve the companies that serve you. Fenway Park is one of the many locations where they operate all the grills, concession stands, vendors, suites, and club houses. It was great getting some insight on how they handle the rowdy crowds 81 games a year, as well as the privately held events during the off season. Here are some details that I thought may be interesting to share.
1) One of the first questions I asked was whether they had a formula to predict their needed inventory based off ticket sales. The answer, “We can count on a sold out stadium EVERY game of the season”. Red Sox fans have a cult like loyalty to the team, making it a little easier for Aramark to stock their shelves properly. Naturally, weather may be a deterrent for fans, but besides that, 40,000 heads shuffle into the stadium every game.
2) Fenway has 40,000 people shuffling into a 100 year old structure…that hasn’t been renovated. To put it simply, 100 years ago the architects weren’t exactly designing for food production. The back rooms were small, very small, along with the concession stands. If this helps you picture it, I felt that me trying to fit comfortably in an airplane restroom is how Aramark feels in Fenway. This forces them to carefully design their stations and train their staff for maximum efficiency in serving.
3) If you throw down the cash for season tickets, you can gain access to the EMC Clubhouse. There, they serve gourmet food from local farms prepared by top notch chefs. Who knew you could catch the game as well as a Ribeye.
4) Lastly, I decided to wear green pants for the tour so that I’d match the Green Monster!