Take Me Out to the Ballgame: How MLB Stadiums Have Stayed Ahead with Concessions, Even with Ongoing Supply Chain Issues

For the past two years, many MLB stadiums have been partially full or fan-less. For ballpark food services, Delaware North and Aramark, there has been lots of flexibility, preparation and predictability that has gone into getting concessions into stadiums, while dealing with the ongoing supply chain issues.

The two biggest services of ballpark food – Delaware North and Aramark – say they made sure to have great preparation and predictive behavior, which has helped them keep the price of a hot dog in the $3-$7 range this baseball season.

Kevin Miller, VP of food and beverage for Delaware North, told USA Today, “Our job is to bring analytics to our clients as much as we can, and make sure we have a value proposition for our guests.” Miller continued to say, they don’t want fans to have to struggle to pay more, especially as inflation has occurred.

So, what do those food and beverage services do?

Well, back in September, Miller’s team identified 11 main menu items Delaware North needed to obtain, (with French fries and hot dogs at the top of the list) and worked to secure contracts and obtain supplies with multiple vendors, USA Today says. Then by October, Miller and his team had a better idea on what lies ahead.

Still, there has been a massive void of hot dogs that has had to be filled, as only 65% of hot dogs were provided by presenting sponsors at the ballparks, Miller told USA Today. “We’ve had to pivot, based on supply chains, and we had options to move toward another product, based on contracts that procurement developed for us,” Miller says.

Aramark has been having similar issues to Delaware North. Aramark, which holds contracts for nine major league parks, and along with Delaware North, they control concessions for two-thirds of all big league parks.

Aramark told USA Today, of what they have been doing to ensure fans have a great experience. “We are using detailed forecasting, having ongoing and constant communications with suppliers, utilizing backup suppliers from our broad network, and ensuring our operators are flexible and have pre-planned menu options to ensure availability and mitigate costs,” they said in a statement to USA Today.

Going Forward

We will continue to provide updates on the latest in the industry and more throughout the year and beyond. If you have any questions or comments regarding this topic, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact our team today!

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