PHILADELPHIA -- Foodservice contractor Aramark is hoping to catch baseball fans with a new lineup of portable and handheld meals just in time for Major League Baseball’s opening day.
Similar to convenience-store foodservice, stadium and ballpark menus have been undergoing a revitalization, adopting Instagrammable and chef-driven items. Aramark, the Philadelphia-based foodservice provider for eight MLB teams, including the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates, created its 2018 menu based on local food trends and consumer data. Some of Aramark’s in-seat vendors are even accepting credit cards, which the company says might be an MLB first.
“Food has become a major player in the fan experience and that increased role is a motivating factor for us to continue to enhance our menu offerings each season,” said Carl Mittleman, president of Aramark’s sports and entertainment division. “Ballpark food has come a long way. In addition to doing the classics well, we’re focusing on driving quality, increasing healthy options, making it convenient and providing personalization for our guests.”
Check out how the foodservice company is pitching portables ...
1. Locally inspired tacos
Each ballpark will menu signature tacos, served in quantities of three. At the New York Mets’ Citi Field, the company will serve South Bay Lobster Tacos, made with Maine lobster and topped with jack cheese, avocado salsa, citrus slaw, queso and jalapenos, in white corn tortillas. At the Kansas City Royals’ Kauffmann Stadium, customers can get a taste of the city’s legendary smoked meats with the BBQ Brisket Taco Trio. The handhelds combine Smoked BBQ brisket, queso fresco and green onions in flour tortillas.
2. Beyond hot dogs
With ingredients such as pierogis, waffles and blood-orange BBQ sauce, the sandwiches on Aramark’s MLB menus are informed by their surroundings. Even the franks sidestep traditional toppings. At Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, fans can order the Rocky Mountain Po’boy. The sandwich layers Rocky Mountain oysters, garlic slaw, guacamole, green chile ranch, pico de gallo and cotija cheese, all on a po’boy roll. Customers at Coors Field can also try the Triple Play Dog with Carolina-style pulled pork, crumbled bacon bits and purple slaw.
3. Plant-based options
As part of an Aramark initiative to provide vegans and vegetarians with more options that suit their dietary needs, the operator added five plant-forward menu items. The portable Vegan Cauliflower Cheesesteak at the Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park is made with roasted cauliflower, poblano peppers, onions, vegan cheese sauce and a vegan roll.