What is in this article?:
- Centerplate taps local, data, tech trends
- Data, tech get smarter
CEO Des Hague discusses the onsite foodservice provider’s latest efforts.
Des Hague, chief executive of Centerplate Inc.
Centerplate Inc. is focusing on local food, smart data analysis, and adapting to how Millennials prefer to receive information as it grows its business.
Des Hague, chief executive of the foodservice and hospitality company, discussed how Centerplate is harnessing these trends to improve menus and operations at its 360 onsite accounts, which include San Francisco’s AT&T Park, the Colorado Convention Center and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores.
“A couple years ago, people were talking about going local. This year, they’re talking about going hyper, hyper local — getting as much as you can from local communities,” Hague said. “It’s not just what the restaurants are doing. The retailers are saying they need a differentiated strategy to keep their guests happier. [Local is] a differentiator.”
Centerplate offers local ingredients at Sophie’s, the restaurant at Saks Fifth Avenue department stores, as well as at stadiums, concert venues and convention centers.
The company transformed the food offerings at the recent North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center in Detroit, where grass-fed beef, sausages and other foods from local purveyors appeared on the menu.
Local foods are also a priority at AT&T Park, home of Major League Baseball team the San Francisco Giants, as well as the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, where Centerplate has planted a garden to grow produce for use onsite.
Local is not enough, however: The food also has to be good, Hague said.
“I don’t want Centerplate to be the Dell [of event foodservice], but the Apple — not the cheapest, but the best,” he said.
For example, the company seeks great beef for burgers, German casings for sausages, top-quality fish for tacos and naturally-raised chicken for chicken tenders.
“We want to make those products the best and to give the fan the right experience all the time,” Hague said.