Chicago Bears, Park District Recommend Aramark for Soldier Field Food and Beverage Service Management
The Chicago Park District and the Chicago Bears recommended today at the District’s Board of Commissioners meeting that Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services, LLC be awarded the contract to manage food and beverage service operation at Soldier Field.
Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services, LLC was selected pursuant to a publicly advertised Request for Proposals (RFP). As manager, Aramark will be responsible for the management of the food and beverage, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, operation at Soldier Field on Chicago Bears game day and for all other events at the stadium. They will prepare, sell, and dispense food and beverages throughout the stadium bowl and inside the stadium. Areas in the stadium bowl include fixed and mobile concession stands. Areas inside the stadium include all levels of the club, suites, and fixed concession stands. The contractor’s responsibilities also extend to the back-of-the-house areas including the kitchens and storage spaces. The contract term will be 10 years.
“We look forward to working with Aramark,” said Michael Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO. The company is a leading provider in food and beverage operations at over 170 stadiums, arenas, amphitheaters, and convention centers around the world, including 12 National Football League stadiums.
As part of its permit operating agreement, the process of selecting the Soldier Field food and beverage provider is done jointly between the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Bears, from the drafting of the RFP to evaluation of the proposals. The Evaluation Committee of ten was split evenly between individuals who represent the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Bears, and both entities utilized experts in stadium food service operations for consultation.
“We appreciate the collaboration with the Chicago Park District and SMG throughout the process and support the collective decision to select Aramark as the new Soldier Field food and service manager,” said Chicago Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips. “Aramark displayed a strong vision for the future of Soldier Field along with an enthusiasm and strategic plan to bring it to fruition. They will utilize their resources and expertise to create a first-class operation with fresh ideas to keep Soldier Field as one of the best year-round entertainment venues.”
Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services was one of three proposers, and garnered the highest score from the evaluation committee. The committee determined that Aramark presented the best overall proposal, considering all evaluation criteria, to manage and grow the food service operation at Soldier Field. Particularly, the Evaluation Committee felt that Aramark had the strongest combination of approach and vision, in addition to use and implementation of technology, strength of personnel, and creativity to move the food service operation at Soldier Field forward. The contract will meet the Chicago Park District’s 25% Minority Business Enterprise and 5% Women Business Enterprise compliance goals.
Aramark currently employs approximately 4,500 people in the Chicago area. Additionally, the company supports Chicago and the Chicago area through their philanthropic and volunteer efforts and through corporate programs relating to diversity, community involvement, philanthropy, volunteering, and internships for high school students. Aramark is part of the initiative to redesign Chicago City Colleges by creating a new hospitality-focused program that will give students frontline experience in the industry.