A Mercedes-Benz Stadium Blog by Mike Gomes, SVP Fan Experience
Recently we took another step toward excellence by enlisting our fans to help us program the fan experience at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. As you may know, we’ve already announced our game changing Fan First pricing for food and beverages that will feature favorite concession items such as $2 hot dogs, $3 slices of pizza and chicken tacos, $4 cheeseburgers, and attractively priced specialty items and vegetarian options. All of us as fans love these prices, but we’ll love them even more if the food is high quality and delicious.
As part of our Listen and Respond philosophy, we decided to do something that isn’t typically practiced when opening a new sports and entertainment venue. We thought, before we serve any food items in the new stadium, who better to taste the food they would be eating in Mercedes-Benz Stadium than our Falcons Fans?
Being the only team in the NFL to have a dedicated fan council comprised of season ticket members, we invited roughly 100 Falcons Fan Council members to participate in a food taste test before any of us who work for the Falcons had the chance to try. We asked them to give us opinions on the taste, quality, and overall value of about a dozen offerings.
The results were fantastic as fans really loved the food. Just about everything we tested had most fans giving the food the highest possible rating for taste and quality with many items having over 90 percent of our fans rating the food as a 4 out of 5 on our 5 point scale. What did they say about our food? “Portion sizes are amazing for an affordable price.” “The chicken taco is superb.” “The pizza was SO good. Perfect crust, perfect sauce.” “Actually liked the veggie burger and I’m not a vegetarian.” “I plan on tailgating INSIDE the new stadium.” (My personal favorite!!)
We are thrilled with the initial results, but not every offering was a home run. Indeed we received several comments and suggestions from fans about how to change certain items to improve taste or the presentation of the food itself. We even received some feedback on the proposed names of a few items and the prices of some of the specialty offerings. As we continue to say, it’s not just about the price, it’s also about the quality, so we will go back into the kitchen and adjust recipes and food preparation in order to make the food as best as it can be…for our FANS.