KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s that special time of year when the chefs out at Arrowhead reveal the new specialty items soon to be available at every Kansas City Chiefs game.
But this season there are also big tech upgrades coming to the stadium – trying to cut down on the amount of time fans have to wait in line.
This year fans will be given a more streamlined – almost futuristic – experience at some self-service locations focused on standard fare.
As far as the decadent food offerings go, the Big Red Sandwich with its brisket and coffee brined pulled pork was presented alongside other Aramark offerings including king-sized finger foods like the Bacon Cheeseburger Fries – which starts with one pound of fries and piles on the toppings.
“They’re hungry and they definitely like casual foods. You know, it’s the family get-together. They’re all having fun on the weekend. They just want to enjoy simply foods,” Jasmine Cetrangola, Executive Sous Chef for Aramark at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, said.
Then there’s the classiness of the Elote Nachos offered by Levy – next to the novelty of a twist on a stadium favorite.
“It’s a footlong all beef hot dog topped with cheddar cheese sauce and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos,” Leo Dominguez, Executive Chief for Levy Restaurants at GEHA Field At Arrowhead Stadium, described.
“Have you ever cooked with the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos before?” FOX4’s Jacob Kittilstad asked.
“I’ve done some of the traditional elote dishes with it. But other than that – that would be about it,” Dominguez replied.
But one new item is the stand-out showstopper.
“So this is our bone-in beef short rib. It’s smoked in house. Served with a little spicy bbq sauce, pepperjack cheese, and some crispy fried onions,” Dominguez said.
“Talk to me about the intention for customers – so they’ll buy it, they’ll get it, and then what’s the next step for them?” FOX4’s Jacob Kittilstad asked.
“The next step would be to remove the bone,” Dominguez replied.
“It’s so tender, it’s smoked so long, the bone just slides right out. Sort of an interactive dish,” Dominguez said.
But the innovations continue on the concourse where – at one location off the west end zone – there’s a new strategy for reducing lines for standard items. The gated area uses cameras to anonymously track individuals or groups of passing through and grabbing items.
Coordinators say it will help with speed as four different credit cards and their purchases can be kept track of at the same time.
Autonomous and self-serve systems have allowed staff to be re-applied to food prep which allows for service to be sped up. This season will increase that strategy even further.
“The technologies that you’ve seen today represents about 50% of the way our transactions are processed in the building,” Randy Kaplan, Director of Operations for Levy Restaurants at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, said.
There are also self-serve set-ups like the public sees at the grocery store. Aramark crews say they have led to the doubling of drink sales during the concerts leading up to Chiefs season. These booth have employees checking for ID during alcohol sales.