Stadium Squandering

“All-you-can-eat” is no longer the domain of Vegas, rest stop and ethnic buffets. This food service strategy that often yields great waste has a new venue–stadiums. 

This season, L.A.’s Dodger Stadium implemented an All-You-Can-Eat Pavilion to attract fans to the frequently empty right field bleachers. The service runs from 90 minutes before the first pitch to the start of the 7th inning. FYI, beer not is not included.

Fans are “limited” to four of the following items per trip: Dodger Dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn. The St. Louis Cardinals have a more upscale and expensive scheme and with other teams studying the Dodgers’ idea, it seems sure to spread.

While big eaters enjoy the experience, the premium paid seems exorbitant. That section’s tickets cost $6 last year and have jumped to $35 ($40 day of game) this year. Even with $4.75 Dodger Dogs, I’d prefer to have the $29 difference ($34 day of game) to eat what I choose.

While the tickets encourage unhealthy gorging ‘to get your money’s worth,’ they also cause food waste. The concession stand must prepare massive amounts, because the tickets guarantee food until the 7th inning. It’s difficult to predict demand, with weather, traffic and other factors, possibly leading to much excess.

On the plus side, the food can be donated because it’s not a buffet and the hot dogs are wrapped. If this trend must spread, hopefully it’ll do so with Rock and Wrap It Up!, a food recovery group that coordinates stadium donations

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