As the 2023 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football season kicks off across the country, Aramark Sports + Entertainment (Aramark, NYSE: ARMK), the award-winning food and beverage partner at 14 collegiate football facilities, has much to unveil for sports fans, including a fresh new lineup of culinary concepts and innovative technology that will increase speed of service and elevate the gameday experience unlike ever before.
“College football venues host some of the most enthusiastic and passionate sports fans in the nation, and with this season’s lineup of innovative tech offerings and culinary concepts developed in-house at Aramark, there is even more for guests to be excited about when they walk through the stadium gates,” said Alison Birdwell, President & CEO of Aramark Sports + Entertainment. “We know these fans never want to miss a moment of the game, so we’re thrilled to provide guests with solutions that get them what they need fast while also satisfying their appetites.”
Introducing Self-Checkout Technology
With a variety of new and convenient self-checkout technologies, purchasing gameday favorites has never been faster. These AI-powered, grab-and-go models will get fans back to the game at record speeds:
- Walk Thru Bru locations: Guests who verify their age as 21+ using valid, government-issued identification can self-serve a wide variety of beverages at our Walk Thru Bru locations and check out faster than a traditional portable with these kiosks. (East Carolina University, University of Tennessee, University of Washington)
- Self-dispensing popcorn machines: With the swipe of a credit card and push of a button, fans will be able to fill up their own buckets of popcorn and be back to their seats in no time. (Virginia Tech, NC State, University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and University of Washington)
Launching Signature Restaurant and Concession Concepts
Aramark’s culinary teams were hard at work this offseason creating new and unique dining concepts specifically for its collegiate football accounts.
These new concepts offer a fresh take on fan favorites like burgers, pretzels, and popcorn and push the envelope on popular cuisine categories like barbecue and comfort food, among others:
- ‘Pack n Cheese: A creamy mac and cheese concept. (NC State)
- Bakes & BBQ: Sweet and savory – fans can try a local apple fritter pulled pork sandwich. (University of Washington)
- Black Sail Grill: Hamburgers, hot dogs, and bratwursts from a new Black Sail Grill tent; grilled items – including Philly cheesesteaks – at a new food truck location. (East Carolina University)
- Cackalacky BBQ Shack: Carolina barbecue favorites with a standout pulled pork mac and cheese using the officially licensed Tar Heels BBQ Sauce. (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)
- City Steak: Philly cheesesteaks with signature topping options, in addition to fan favorites such as hot dogs, popcorn, and peanuts. (Virginia Tech)
- Fire in the Hole BBQ: Pork and chicken barbecue sandwiches with an array of zesty sauces. (East Carolina University)
- Hokie Float: Serving decadent Coca-Cola® floats with vanilla ice cream as well as cookie ice cream sandwiches. (Virginia Tech)
- HuskyVines: Showcasing a rotation of featured wines from University of Washington alumni wineries. (University of Washington)
- Margarita Casita: Frozen drinks on deck for fans to enjoy popular margaritas and more. (University of Arizona)
- Southern Slushie: Thirst-quenching spot offering frozen daquiris, domestic beers, seltzers, and more. (University of South Carolina)
- Twisted Toppings: Pretzels with a twist – fans can try a classic Bavarian pretzel or opt for a cheesy pizza pretzel. (Virginia Tech)
- Wolfpack Grill: Cheesesteaks hot off the grill in addition to traditional gameday fare. (NC State)
These savory new dishes can be found at multiple locations throughout the stadiums:
- Cracklin’ Nachos: House made barbecue spiced pork rinds with a pimento cheese dipping sauce. (NC State)
- Smoked Sausage on a Stick: A locally sourced Carolina sausage with just the right combination of smoke and spice. (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)
Expanding Proven Concepts
In addition to its entirely new culinary brands, Aramark is also expanding the proven concepts that students have come to know and love.
First introduced to the collegiate audience in the 2022 football season, these concession locations feature elevated nachos, taco, and chicken tender dishes; all concepts also offer meat-alternative options:
- Big Dipper’s Chicken is a premium concept that features chicken tenders and hand-tossed fries with a variety of sauces for dipping. (East Carolina University and University of South Carolina)
- Crunch Loaded Nachos offers elevated classic nachos and three meat-based options. (East Carolina University and University of South Carolina)
- Eat Drink Taco offers high-quality tacos sold in pairs with a side of chips and salsa. (University of Tennessee)
Further expansion of these concepts will take place as Aramark gears up for arena season.
About Aramark Sports + Entertainment
Aramark Sports + Entertainment serves more than 150 award-winning food and beverage, retail, and facility service programs in premier stadiums, arenas, convention centers, cultural attractions, performance venues, and unique entertainment destinations across North America. The company has received accolades for industry innovations including autonomous markets, dining concepts powered by artificial intelligence, and high-profile events like NBA All-Star 2022 and MLB at Field of Dreams. In 2021, Aramark entered into a strategic collaboration with the Philadelphia-based Starr Restaurant Organization, led by entrepreneur and James Beard Award-winning restaurateur, Stephen Starr, which will bring the renowned culinary visionary’s highly sought-after concepts to clients throughout Aramark Sports + Entertainment’s portfolio. Aramark ranked No. 1 in the Diversified Outsourcing Services Category on FORTUNE’s 2022 List of ‘World’s Most Admired Companies’ and has been named to DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” list, the Forbes list of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity,” the HRC’s “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and scored 100% on the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.