Elevating the live event food and beverage experience!

Sodexo Live! is providing all hospitality, food and beverage services at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario, enriching the live event dining experience for guests, members, fans, and athletes.

Overview of the Story

As part of its post-pandemic rebound, Tim Hortons Field (THF) in Hamilton, Ontario has undergone a transformation to become a sought-after event destination in time for the 2021 CFL Grey Cup. A top priority, the live event food and beverage experience has been reimagined to deliver a wide variety of options emphasizing local vendors from around the region.  

To deliver a one-of-a-kind experience that highlights and champions the culinary creations of local vendors, Sodexo Live! was engaged by Tim Hortons Field to deliver hospitality that exceeds the expectations of guests while connecting them to their community of food fanatics.

As confirmed by the Harris Interactive September 2021 study conducted for Sodexo Live!, there is a healthy appetite for people to foster in-person connections. Four-fifths (80%) of respondents feel comfortable attending sports, cultural or professional events again.

Home of the Tiger-Cats (CFL) and Forge FC (CPL), Sodexo Live! also caters to corporate and social events at Tim Hortons Field. Located in Hamilton’s Stipley neighborhood, this unique area surrounding the stadium is a supportive community, with fans decorating their homes and hosting game day parties.

Created as a representation of the growing local population, vendors include a diverse range of offerings to the expanding Hamilton fan base. Led by Executive Chef Tina Rousseaux of Hamilton, menus are written to provide each fan with a taste of the neighbourhood, focused on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients as well promoting healthy options alongside traditional sports fare. Up to 70% of ingredients come from local suppliers found within 100km of Tim Hortons Field.

Our new high quality and locally-inspired food and beverage partners include Bon Temps HamiltonThe Cookie DOH! Factory and Bar Sazerac. Teams, caretakers, alumni, press, and fans on Club Level can choose from specialized catering options.

To keep our food and beverage programs fresh, vital and dynamic, THF vendors develop chef-driven seasonal cooking and a craft beverage program featuring on-trend cocktails, a creative assortment of fresh non-alcoholic drinks, and a superb selection of beers and wines. And don’t forget the coffee!

In addition to these new in-house concepts, we continue to operate the highly successful social gathering bars throughout the stadium including the Stipley Bar, Coors Original Bar, Craft Corner Bar, Canadian Club Bar and Brugal Bar.

Sodexo Live!’s hospitality management is bringing the Hamilton and Canadian culinary scene to life inside Tim Hortons Field. Together we are reimaging live event experiences for fans, families and the entire food community.

 

By the Numbers

  • 25,000+ fans
  • 500+ employees
  • 1,148 Club Level Seats
  • 30 Private Suites
  • 5 Social Gathering Bars on the Concourse
  • 50,000 beers, 6,000 liquor shots, 6,000 Ciders & Coolers
  • 5,000 hot dogs, 3,000 bags of popcorn, 3,000 pizza slices

 

Challenges

Providing an elevated food and beverage experience: For decades, the culinary options at stadiums have been limited to traditional fair and simple options, catering to the most easily produced items for the previous generation’s mainstream palette. This meant limited options and few dietary considerations.

Enhancing environmental sustainability: Providing food and beverages to thousands of guests takes a large amount of resources. Internationally sourced food, mass processing and transportation create an unsustainable environmental footprint.

Making payment options quicker and easier: The pandemic increased the length of lines due to physical-distancing requirements and increased the desire for cashless payment options.

Drawing in the community, retaining and growing the fan base: Due to COVID-19, all major live events were cancelled with Tim Hortons Field closed for nearly 18 months. Creating a safe, fun and exciting atmosphere offering new experiences was necessary to draw guests back.

 

Solutions & Results

Reimagining diverse and local cuisine: Working with Sodexo Live! culinarians, local operational leadership and partners, our Hospitality Solutions Group developed a robust food and beverage plan for Tim Hortons Field. Catering to the next generation of diverse and expanding food preferences, as well as eco-conscious consumers, our menus provide an exciting and memorable food and beverage experience. Seasonally created by a variety of local chefs and suppliers, Sodexo Live! is delivering a one-of-a-kind Hamilton food and beverage experience while staying true to the THF brand. Creating real value through an enhanced reputation, per capita sales have increased.

Reducing environmental impact: Using local and sustainable products and ingredients throughout our concessions menus creates a Hamilton-centric food and beverage program that resonates with fans and guests while decreasing our carbon footprint. Sodexo Live! maintains sustainable and locally sourced purchasing with as high as 70% of food purchased from local suppliers found within 100km of Tim Hortons Field. We work with each of these purveyors to ensure product availability and production scalability, promoting these efforts on our digital menu board system and integrating local partner spotlights. Reducing the carbon footprint of Tim Hortons Field, local agriculture, livestock and restaurant businesses are also supported in maintaining sustainable cuisine.

Making payment systems more efficient: Sodexo Live! partnered with Connect&Go, a global leader in RFID solutions, to introduce a cashless payment option to guests of Tim Hortons Field. With Connect&GO, guests link a credit card or load funds onto to their RFID wristband to pay for concessions with a simple scan of the wrist. This cashless payment system integrates with existing POS solutions and guests can use the same wristband all season long, branded with the team’s logo and colours. Proven to generate 42% increases in revenue and a 50% decrease in transaction times, 75% of first-time users continue to use their Connect&Go wristband game after game.

Enhancing stadium use and the guest experience: Sodexo Live! identified special event planners and decision makers from local companies and organizations to further enhance Tim Hortons Field’s brand and business. Redesigning premium spaces for nongame day events, the stadium can be used as a fun location for corporate and nonprofit social gatherings, private events, product launches and fundraisers with custom menu options. Tim Hortons Field is now a social hub with a dynamic and authentically Hamilton food and beverage experience that brings people together in a fun and festive environment. We are defining THF for the next generation of fans by creating an innovative food, entertainment, and sports destination that is a central component of the Hamilton community.

 

Find out more about how we work with stadiumconvention centres and other live entertainment venues.

December 01, 2021