State Farm Arena Food and Beverage Scores Skyrocket To Top of NBA
NBA Season Ticket Member Survey Shows Near 300% Improvement in Fan Food and Beverage Satisfaction
ATLANTA -– In the NBA’s most recent 2018-19 Fan Loyalty Tracker, State Farm Arena and the Atlanta Hawks received the No. 1 score of all NBA teams in season ticket member satisfaction in in-arena food and beverage satisfaction. Designed to measure member satisfaction across a number of critical fan experience categories, State Farm Arena topped all teams with 60 percent of respondents being very satisfied in the food and beverage space.
A similar survey conducted during the 2017-18 season showed this season ticket member very satisfied percentage to be 22%. The 38-percentage point improvement to an NBA-best 60% in the 2018-19 season is the largest in the league. The average score among NBA teams in food and beverage satisfaction is approximately 38%.
“A significant part of the fan experience is the quality, diversity and pricing of their food and beverage options. Knowing how important a good meal is to a great night out, we made improving our food and beverage options a priority by hiring a tremendous Food and Beverage team lead by the VP of Hospitality Bobby DiCicco and Executive Chef Joe Schafer, incorporating popular Atlanta restaurants into the Arena and adopting fan-friendly pricing,” said Brett Stefansson, EVP and General Manager of State Farm Arena. “We are so pleased our fans are seeing the difference and enjoying all that we have to offer.”
Formerly of Bacchanalia, one of Atlanta’s Forbes Travel Guide 4-Star restaurants, Executive Chef Joe Schafer was hired prior to the 2017-18 season to bring a restaurant-quality experience to State Farm Arena. With an emphasis on quality and locally-sourced, fresh foods, Schafer transformed the experience in the Courtside Club before expanding to the entire arena.
Under his leadership, some of Atlanta’s most popular and star-studded restaurants were brought into the transformed arena: Zac Brown’s Social Club, Todd Tucker and Kandi Burruss’ Old Lady Gang, Gio’s Little Italia, J.R. Crickets, B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque and Rita’s Italian Ice. Last week, the James Beard Foundation announced Bryan Furman of B’s Cracklin BBQ as a semifinalist for the prestigious 2019 James Beard Best Chef Southeast award.
“We are thrilled to complement the great entertainment at State Farm Arena with a fine dining experience,” Schafer said. “Our goal is to create an environment where everyone who enters the building can find something authentic, that appeals to both their tastes and wallets and we are happy to see we are moving in the right direction.”
Prior to opening in October, State Farm Arena became the first NBA venue to offer fan-friendly pricing, offering 11 of the most popular menu items for less than $5 for every event held at the Arena. To ensure high-quality customer service and decrease potential wait times, State Farm Arena also increased points of sale areas by 71%, added nearly 40% more beer taps and created new line designs and self-serve stations.