This season of Charlotte 49ers football, fans and guests to Jerry Richardson Stadium will have expanded concession options than those available during the inaugural season.
Brad Green, director of Catering and Special Services, says the goal of the new concessions is to provide fans with a completely unique experience at 49er football events.
“We’re looking to expand the menus. We also wanted to add some items that we would consider to be unique to the venue so that when people come to a football game they’d be able to try something that they may not be able to try at other venues,” said Green.
New this season, in addition to the options available during the 2013-14 season, are the Double Fun Corndog, which is a 15-inch deep fried hotdog that has been coated in a funnel cake and corndog mix, a footlong chili cheese hotdog, pulled pork barbeque sandwich and a bottomless popcorn tub.
Starting in November, fans will also be able to purchase donuts at the games.
Everything with the exception of these donuts were available at the first home game on Sept. 6, and will be available throughout the rest of the season.
The new items available at games were designed with the consumer in mind, as Green explains they hope to be able to provide snacks that football fans will enjoy.
“It’s not very common to go to a concessions environment and get a bottomless popcorn, unless you’re at a movie theater, and we know that movie theaters are very well attended by the majority of our population,” said Green.
According to Green, the Double Fun Corndog was an item that had been in the works since before the inaugural season, but it never worked out until this year.
“We just couldn’t get the mix correct. The batter and the dog have to be in the right ratio to get a good product. We tried last year and were unsuccessful and never released anything to the public. This summer we did some experimentation and came out with that, and it’s just spectacular,” said Green.
“It’s a one pound hotdog, so the thing is just ginormous, and really you could feed a family of four off of this hotdog.”
As these new concessions are in their first few games, Catering and Special Services will be evaluating how well the items sell this season in order to determine if they will return for fall 2015.
“We try things, and if they work well we leave them and if they don’t work well then we remove them,” said Green.
“The barbeque sandwich was very well received. The Double Fun Corndog, we sold quite a few of them and I think getting them out into the stands into the customer’s hands is the biggest battle. It sold very well given the fact that we didn’t do a lot of marketing behind it. The bottomless popcorn was sort of a no-brainer, and it sold like gang-busters.”
Green says other additions for fall 2015 are already in the planning stages.
“Our goal is to create a series of [souvenir cups]. Next year we’re hoping to put out a cup that will be of higher quality than the cup we’re using right now because we’ll be entering Conference-USA,” said Green.
“Our goal next year is to have a cup that you can put in the dishwasher. You know, these cups [we’re using now] are great, but once you put them in the dishwasher seven or eight times they start to get a little faded. Our goal next year is to beef up that program so we have a souvenir cup that can go on a shelf for 10 or 15 years.”
This year’s new additions are also setting the stage for years into the future of Jerry Richardson Stadium concessions, according to Green, who is thinking long-term with football food offerings.
“For the long range plans for the stadium, when it grows vertically with additional seats and the attendance grows, the program popularity grows, we’re hoping to add full-blown barbeque stands. Not fixed like you have the Bojangles, Papa John’s and Pickaxe, but something that would be a larger mobile cart,” said Green.
“We wanted to create a popular staple so that when we expand into the larger offers, we have a core customer built.”
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