Staff at the North Thompson Sportsplex are already serving healthier food choices but are prepared to do more, if needed.
That was the message facilities supervisor Roger Mayer brought to District of Clearwater council during its Nov. 20 meeting.
Mayer pointed out that the concession generally is only open on weekends, which limits how much quality food, such as fresh salads, can be offered.
“Over several years the facility has put out a wide variety of foods, including soups, chili, sandwiches, subs, pasta and pizza, as well as the standard fare of fries, hot dogs and burgers,” Mayer said. “Other than pizza, which continues to sell, the customer looks for burgers, fries and hots dogs – these are the big sellers.”
Steps that the Sportsplex has taken include reducing the portion size for burgers, hot dogs and French fries, serving the burgers on a nine-grain Ciabatta bun, using healthier margarine and mayonnaise, deep frying with canola, and converting to a heart-smart soy cheese.
All foods are prepared fresh and can be served without items such as cheese, bacon or mayonnaise.
Mayer noted that the liquid cheese nacho machine has been removed because of its high cholesterol content. Healthier choices added to the menu over the last several years include yogurt, vegetable pltas, granola, fresh fruit, chicken breast burgers, turkey burgers, nutra grain bars, sun chips, fruit gummies, fruit juices, milk, veggie wraps and herbal tees,
“The customer definitely wants healthier foods,” Mayer said. “For example, we now sell more bottled water than anything else from the vending machine.”
Sales of pop and sports drinks are down while those of water and juice are up, The arena does not sell energy drinks.
Mayer reported that the concession expenses over the last five years have averaged $45,000 while its revenues over the same period have been $51,000, making a net profit of $6,000. He added that this did not include the wages and benefits of operations lead hand Bob Behan, who manages the concession as part of his job.