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Volume 25 No. 196
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Social Studies: Centerplate Focuses On Unique Bowl Game Experiences

Centerplate is handling concessions for four bowl games this year, including the Alabama-Oklahoma CFP semifinal in the Capital One Orange Bowl, meaning a likely boon to their business to wrap up the college football season. Centerplate (@Centerplate) Communications Dir Paul Pettas said the concessionaire does not settle for typical fare for bowl games. He said, “Historically, the business model dictates that you offer the same experience at the same time to everyone. But it’s counterintuitive to how people are today. Our goal the last two years has been to flip it on its head and offer menus and experiences that are specific to the event, specific to the venue and specific to the season, most importantly, because of the food.” Delivering unique food at the Orange Bowl is something Centerplate’s staff is crafting. Pettas said last year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl had dishes geared toward Alabama and Clemson, and the same should be expected in Miami. He added of promoting such items, “When it comes to our social channels, I’m always getting inspiration from our venues because it is such a great array of sources I can pull from.”

Must-follows: I read my Fast Company newsletters every single day. I’m constantly getting inspirational ideas from them.
Favorite apps: Probably Instagram, to be honest.
Average time per day on social media: Between 17-18 hours a day.

Clients influenced by social media:
We like to think at the core of our industry it is about experience. It’s about making the time people spend with us memorable, enjoyable and fun. An important part of that is the food and the shareability of the food that we are serving. When people eat with us, they want to share what they are eating with their friends, family, co-workers. The food item we are plating for them really is the embodiment of the team, local market. Everything we serve, we try to make it as local as possible. By keeping our finger on the pulse of the local market, we can really provide for our fans, their own personal food tour. You get a good feel for the local food scene.

Target audience:
When we sat down and designed our social programs, we said every channel is different. Look at our main channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Each one is kind of different. On Instagram, we are really targeting the general public, anyone who enjoys great content of great food. Our photos there are fun, they are engaging, they’re colorful. It shows off the best of the best of the culinary talent we have. On Twitter, there is more direct engagement there with the general public, but also with venues and our clients. When you go to Facebook, the engagement is geared more toward our employees and our team. There is engagement among our general public and venues there, but it is geared more toward our internal. LinkedIn is more different venues and our internal folks. Each one is different, but at the core, the goal is to deliver timely and engaging and informative content.

Setting the scene:
One of the big differentiators for us compared to our competitors is we like to think we aren’t just your typical hot dog guys; we aren’t serving just hot dogs and fries. We have incredible talent among our chefs and our managers and really think our food and experiences are next level and best in class compared to anything our competitors can offer. We like to think our content -- our food and displays -- are second to none.

Social outreach:
Our goal is to be accessible for those who spend time with us. We want them to see there is a real personal touch behind what comes from this huge corporation. We want to break down any preconceived notions. We are consumers, fans and guests just like the people who join us. We are accessible, responsible and here.

If you know anyone who should be featured for their use of social media, send their name to us at