Aramark District Manager Jay Morrison speaks to media during an event detailing new meal options Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 at Empower Field at Mile High. Improvements to the concession program include an expanded menu, automated kiosks, and drink markets. (Daniel Brenner/Special to the Denver Post)
The Broncos are upping their food game this season at Empower Field at Mile High.
The stadium’s new food service provider, Aramark, is partnering with several local restaurateurs, including Bonanno Concepts, for new food stalls at the stadium. Empower Field also added new concession tech in an effort to serve customers more quickly.
“Empower Field at Mile High is constantly looking for ways to improve the fan experience, and we are confident that with Aramark as our concessionaire, we can modernize how fans enjoy food and beverages at our stadium events,” said Jay Roberts, the stadium’s general manager. “We are also thrilled to debut several newly renovated concession stands on Sunday, which is the first step in a multi-year process to improve speed of service while also adding more variety to the menu.”
Fans at Sunday’s home opener against the Chicago Bears will find new food options at Frank Bonanno Concepts (Section 119), where chef Frank Bonanno plans to feature rotating menu items from his 11 Denver-area restaurants. Look for bao buns stuffed with pork belly and topped with hoisin sauce and green onions and a fried hot chicken sandwich topped with American cheese and rooster sauce.
Bonanno admits he’s a little nervous about this Sunday.
“It is an evolving concept,” he said. “But I’m 100 percent positive we are going to hit it out of the park.”
Other local favorites new this season include GQue Championship BBQ (Section 135) and Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs (Section 103). Federal Blvd Burger (Sections 107, 512, 538; United Club Sections 314, 332) will serve up burgers with Jack cheese and peach and green chile chutney. In Section 518, you can find a new kimchi hot dog with Sriracha mayo and cilantro.
For those who don’t eat meat or are cutting back, you’ll find several stands selling vegetarian street tacos (Sections 103, 107, 119, 503, 539) made with chipotle-roasted cauliflower and ranchero black beans. And for those who most definitely do eat meat, the Orange and Blue Burger (United Club Sections 303, 342) is made with a chorizo patty topped with bacon and blue cheese crumbles.
In addition to new menu options, Aramark is hoping technology can cut wait times and get fans back in their seats quicker.
The Tenders Love and Chicken stand (Sections 103, 122), which offers home-style breaded chicken tenders and dry wings with a selection of 10 self-serve sauces, features 16 self-service kiosks where fans can order and pay for their food with the goal of reducing wait time by as much as 50 percent.
“An overwhelming number of people are looking for increased choice and speed of service,” Roberts said.
At Drink MKT, fans have the choice of 77 different alcoholic beverages in a can, from craft beer to hard seltzer and 26 non-alcoholic beverages such as soft drinks, coconut water and Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. If you’re looking for something more high-end, there are 13 wines ($50-$100) sold by the bottle.
Once fans make their selection, they will proceed to self-checkout scanners where customer service representatives will check IDs and open alcoholic beverages, but they will no longer remove the caps from non-alcoholic beverages.
Aramark, which is also the food provider at Coors Field, replaced Centerplate as Empower Field’s concessionaire this season. Aramark and Levy, the long-time vendors at Pepsi Center, are being replaced this season.
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