Restaurants hitting home runs in baseball stadiums

May 12, 2015 | by Cherryh Butler | As seen in Fast Casual Magazine
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Peanuts and Crackerjacks have always been staples at baseball stadiums around the country, but a few restaurants are trying to add other cuisines to fans' traditions. Chronic Tacos, for example, is in its fourth year as a vendor at the Los Angeles Angels Baseball stadium, where fans now associate tacos with their baseball experiences, said Mike Mohammed, CEO of Chronic Tacos. He said that although there are only 80 games in Angel stadium each year, the brand has experienced consistent sales and will continue it partnership.
"We have been ranked by fans as the top vendor in the stadium," he said. "Since we've been involved with the stadium there has been growth for the brand as a whole. We are anticipating opening 10 new locations in 2015 and spreading into Washington, Arizona, Colorado and the East Coast." 
To help the brand resonate even more with fans, Chronic Tacos gets involved beyond food,
sponsoring promotions each year, including, "Angels Hat Night," where fans receive a co-branded Chronic Tacos Beach Hat on June 23 against the Houston Astros. Chronic Tacos will also sponsor the first pitch that night in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "Strengthening our brand presence with partnerships like ours with the Angels is integral in reaching our customer with the chance to embrace an opportunity to be a part of something greater than us," Mohammed said. "The Angels have a rich history not only on the field, but within the fans that fill the seats. We are so fortunate to be able to share such a dedicated and enthusiastic group and look forward to a continued partnership for years to come. "Those partnerships are a two-way street, however, said Dennis Kuhl, chairman of Angels Baseball. "As we explore concessions partnerships for Angel Stadium, we look for a partnership that will be mutually beneficial for our fans and for the partner," he said. "Whether our fans are experiencing the partner's food for the first time or they are a regular customer, we want our fans to be excited to see the partner here and most importantly enjoy the food. Our partnership with Chronic Tacos is a great example of a relationship that has accomplished this."


Going beyond MLB
Major League stadiums aren't the only baseball option for restaurants in which to partner. The Philly Pretzel Factory has found success by partnering with the Camden Riversharks, an American professional baseball team in Camden, New Jersey. "We think it's a good fit for the Philly Pretzel Factory brand," said CEO Dan Dizio, who is in his second season with the Riversharks. "We are a quick, inexpensive, value-based, filling snack that's perfect to enjoy while taking in a game. We wanted to start out with a local stadium and team like the Riversharks and see how it works before moving forward into any other stadiums or arenas."
Since the stadium experience is similar Pretzel Factory's other locations, it's been a great way to market the brand to a new audience, Dizio said. "We have a lot of people who experience Philly Pretzel Factory at the game, and become regular customers at our traditional locations afterward," said Dizio, who is now looking into partnering with other stadiums and arenas.