The New Normal for F&B in Sports and Entertainment Venues

Operators must prepare now to deliver safe and enjoyable hospitality environments for fans and employees upon their return to our venues in a reality of social distancing.

As our country continues to unite with full effort to defeat COVID-19, hospitality consumers are eager to get back to traveling and cheering for their favorite sports teams. Sports heal and temporarily pause the troubles in many lives, and we know the teams have been busy planning, ensuring all the right players are secure to compete for their communities and loyal supporters.

Though sporting teams are eager to take the field, and airlines are growing impatient to put planes back in the sky, it is necessary to ensure these businesses can create a sense of comfort and protection for each fan, traveler, employee, and partner while visiting entertainment venues and airports. It is also essential to extend business to the community, supporting small businesses heavily impacted by the shutdown of many industries.

Sporting suite operations can see the same level of service using single-serve offerings while moving away from extensive food displays.

We are asked every day by many people, including neighbors, “What is the new normal in sports and travel hospitality?” The “new normal” cannot be predicted this early in the planning process of reopening the airport and entertainment venue. However, it is our job to ensure we create a safe, empathetic, and enjoyable environment for consumers.

Are the days of fancy buffets, reusable items, lavish food offerings, and crowded clubs and lounges over? Of course not. Buffets can easily be reconfigured to action stations attended by trained culinary representatives using protective equipment and serving fresh packaged food items such as salads and desserts in a jar. Sporting suite operations can see the same level of service with different presentations using single-serve offerings while moving away from extensive food displays.

Quick Service Restaurants can quickly adapt by using different serving containers and better offerings of fresh packaged food and beverage items. It is also important to create smaller grab-and-go markets to ensure consumers have access to prepackaged food and beverage items quickly. Mobile ordering and the delivery process will be crucial components for many locations, including clubs and lounges, as operators will need to limit consumers to smaller gatherings to avoid crowded lines.

First Star Solutions can help evaluate readiness, including safety and sanitation practices, before your venue opens its doors. A walkthrough with a comprehensive report and action plan will guide your teams to provide the security consumers will require and ensure the spread of this virus does not continue.