Ok, it's been quite a week of review from last Friday's game and preparation and planning for our Home Opener next week.
Let's start by explaining a bit about the relationship between concessions and the Tiger-Cats.
The Tiger-Cats award the concessions contract to a company that they feel can run it well. After a very extensive process that involves quality, experience and an expected return to the Club amongst other things, the contract was awarded to the Compass Group. Don't forget that when they submitted a proposal for this, it was under a lot of promises by us that things would be improved. They got the contract after the team had been in receivership, the stadium was really beat up and the stands were less than half full. They took the risk and started the first game of 2004.
Compass is by no means a little backwoods operation. They are the 12th largest employer in the world (with over 400,000 employees) and have sales of over 27 billion dollars! They do the concessions at places like Wrigley Field and do the catering for events such as the Academy Awards.
So, why was it so hard to get a coffee and a hot dog at Ivor Wynne Stadium last Friday???
Well, there are a multitude of reasons most of which I'm not going to get into. But, I will say that all items have been addressed and there is an extremely detailed action plan that will be followed to the tee for every game on in, in order to ensure that we don't have the same problems that we had last Friday.
Important parts of this plan include:
an extensive increase in the number of managers on site. They have brought in people from a number of their Sports & Leisure venues and increased the management team from 5 to 16. Each has a very specific area that they are in charge of.
a substantial increase in the # of staff.
all concessions will be staffed, stocked and up and running 1/2 hour before the gates open. There will be no closed concessions when people arrive. When fans arrive, the concessions will be waiting for the customer, not the other way around.
all equipment is being inspected this week to ensure that everything is in proper working order.
staff are all scheduled for "reorientation" next week. This will be to make sure they know their area and so that they can bring up concerns from the previous week.
stock at all locations will be increased a minimum of 25%
there has been an increase in the number of draft beer technicians to ensure proper operation.
new distribution schedule for all products
increase in the number of radios so that staff can inform the proper people regarding supply, staff or equipment issues.
This is kind of a quick synopsis of the 67 page plan that Compass has provided us. Naturally it has a lot more detail.
They have given us this so that we have a clear idea as to how to audit their systems. Our response was that "you will have the Tiger-Cats on you like an alien face-hugger, fat kid on a Smartie etc., but, you will also have 28,000+ "auditors" that will let us know how well you do".
We are also working closely with our partners at Labatt, Pepsi, Pizza Pizza etc. to ensure that things are served properly for the big game on June 24th and beyond.
Ok, I'm a two-finger typist and can't hold out much longer...
I would like to thank all of you that took the time to email or PM me with your thoughts from the last game. I must admit that I was expecting the some very heavy handed rants, but, I was very impressed by the well thought out constructive criticism (and a few accolades) that was received. I tried to personally answer them all, but if I haven't got to yours, please know that your messages have all been read and forwarded out to the appropriate people.
So for the rest of the season, let's remember, keep the hot dogs HOT and the beer COLD. There are 28,000 "auditors" that will be watching.
This isn't Rocket Surgery!
Vice President Corporate Partnerships