Fans flocked from all over this week for the three-day minicamp held at the Falcons' team headquarters in Flowery Branch, and while they had an idea of what they could expect from the team on the field, they were likely surprised by the concession area aimed to improve the fan experience.
Aramark, the Flowery Branch catering company, was set up inside the gates at the facility, catching fans off-guard with a dollar menu — a concept created by Falcons owner & chairman Arthur Blank, Falcons director of logistics and facilities Spencer Treadwell and food & beverage director Keith Prichard.
"My concept that I pitched back to Spencer was, what if we gave fans a half-pound burger for a dollar and we just blew this out and really did this for the fans?" Prichard said. "Not just give them some snack, but let's give them something substantial."
And that was the goal from the start. Coined "Falcon Fan-freshments" by Aramark, the trailer just outside the gates of the field served up everything from the half-pound burger to a quarter-pound, 10-inch hot dog to pretzels, popcorn, peanuts and all the stadium favorites, all for just $1 each.
"With Aramark's experience and creativity, they went above and beyond my expectations," Treadwell said. "Our goal was to make this a fan benefit, a fan perk — something that was real easy for the fan to come and grab and make it almost like a Masters feel. We want you to feel like you're getting a great benefit when you come here because we want to let fans know that we appreciate them coming here."
Fan feedback during the three days was overwhelmingly positive, Treadwell and Prichard said. With this being Aramark's first year with the Falcons, Prichard said they achieved their goal during minicamp — which had nothing to do with profit and everything to do with fan satisfaction.
Aramark will be on-hand during 2012 Russell Athletic Training Camp for fans attending open sessions, and while there will likely be a few additions, the dollar menu available at camp will remain.
"If you're a Falcons fan, or even just a fan of football, it's a great afternoon. You get to see some professional football players and you can feed a family of four for $12 — less, if you want," Prichard said. "Where can you do that anywhere else? It's great entertainment and a chance to show great fan support, and you get a little something in return — where you would go out and spend $25-50 for four, you've got it here for $12."