Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JUN 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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Page 92 of 107

JUNE 2018 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 91 on the ability for servers to upsell and encourage more food and drink orders. Customers can be influenced by servers, but not by a computer, so it's important to weigh the pros and cons. With sales potentially lower, is reducing labor costs worth it?" In 2014, Tony C's opened its first location in Somerville, Mass., as a concept celebrating Boston's sports history. It now has four locations, with one more on the way. The 500-seat sports bar includes a large television over the center of the bar and tele- visions every 5 to 6 feet totaling more than 100 in the space. "It's a great spot to go on a Sunday, with four to five games being shown at a time that are visible from every seat," says Sean McDonald, executive chef. Although definitely a sports bar, Tony C's is atypical of the segment. It offers California wines, craft cocktails and an extensive draft beer menu. And its customers are more apt to eat lighter and healthier fare, such as its salads, sandwiches or fresh fish tacos. Tony C's demographic skews from families to businessmen and women to hockey teams on weekends. A testament to its menu is the restaurant's expansion plans at the local mall, where a second food court location will soon serve as a companion to its full-service location there. "We can only fit so many people at one time, which is a great problem to have, but it can be tough to make reserva- tions during premier sporting events," says McDonald. Evolving Menus Upscale sports bars address food trends by diversifying menus to appeal to a broader range of customers. "Sports bars have already played with menu items, like adding a variety of wing sauces and variations of classic burgers, such as veggie, turkey, lamb, venison, chicken etc.," says DeBoer. "Some more nontraditional menu trends include gourmet poppers and nacho varieties, carne asada fries as well as other popular dishes like bratwurst or gourmet sausages." Segment staples, like elevated mac and cheese, fried pickles, curly fries, seasoned onion rings, signature potato chips and peanuts, remain strong sellers in sports bars. As consumers continue seeking diverse experiences in these options, craft beer from regional microbreweries and outdoor beer gardens continue to become popular among today's sports bars. Tony C's always focuses on the food. "We consider ourselves a restaurant first and a bar second," says McDonald.

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