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All-inclusive hospitality program a hit with fans at PGA Championship

Patina Restaurant Group, the restaurant and premium catering subsidiary of Delaware North, introduced a new level of convenience at this year’s PGA Championship: Food and non-alcoholic beverages were included in the price of admission.

Here’s how it worked: When fans came through the main gates at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., they were given a bracelet that granted all-inclusive access for the eight concessions outlets around the course. Upon each concession visit, they had the option of entrée items, sides and non-alcoholic drinks and could return as often as they desired.

The weeklong event wrapped up Sunday, and the response from fans about the all-inclusive program was overwhelmingly positive, according to survey results collected onsite by Kathleen Batten, director of customer insights, and Lindsay Truesdell, director of partnership marketing. 

“The all-inclusive ticket was extremely well-received by guests,” Batten said. “Of those surveyed, 96% would recommend the all-inclusive ticket is offered again for future PGA Tournament events.”

pgaconcessions-5397133The overall quality of food and beverage offerings scored 4.3 out of a possible 5 points among surveyed guests. One item in particular – an 8-ounce, all-beef cheeseburger – was a big hit. 

“We served more than 1 million food and beverage items, including 60,000 cheeseburgers, which is a testament to our ability to scale and serve high-quality food and beverage in a championship golf setting,” said Bob Wilson, group president of Patina Restaurant Group, Travel and U.K. operations. “I am proud of and grateful for the extraordinary effort put forth by everyone involved to serve more than 200,000 fans during the weeklong event.” highlighted the move to all-inclusive in a recent story. An excerpt from the story can be found below.

The PGA of America’s decision to move to an all-you-can-eat model was not taken lightly. The idea was proposed by foodservice management company Delaware North, with whom the PGA of America has partnered to handle its food and beverage offerings the last two years.

Delaware North is deep in the sports space, managing concessions at venues such as Lambeau Field, Busch Stadium and MetLife Stadium, and it saw the PGA Championship as an ideal opportunity to extend the offering into golf.

“No one has done it to this level,” said Brian Karns, PGA Championship director. “But the [sports] industry as a whole is headed this way.”

Karns added that Delaware North and its subsidiaries have “tremendous amounts of data on consumer behavior,” as does the PGA of America from conducting its own events. “We know how much the average person spent, what they spent, what the popular items were, and then we levered that against other venues like Lambeau Field that have some level of all-inclusive and looked at how is the consumer behavior there.”