NFL-Sized Food Operation Keeps Bills Players Fed During Season
It’s no small task to keep an NFL team’s players, coaches and staff fed during a hectic football season. Delaware North Sportservice, which already keeps thousands of Buffalo Bills fans fed on game day as the food and beverage operator at New Era Field, also has the tall task of running the team’s player dining facility each day during the season.
ESPN.com recently featured a behind-the-scenes look at the logistics behind feeding Bills team personnel, including the impressive quantities of food coordinated through Sportservice and the intricacies of players’ eating habits and the strict diets set by the team.
“Everything is going to be as healthy as possible,” Bills assistant strength and conditioning coach Will Greenberg said in August. “The idea is if we can give as many good nutrients as possible while they’re here, there’s going to be times where guys go and they want cheeseburgers somewhere — they’re going to have that, that’s going to be their choice, that’s fine. But if we can give them three meals here and maybe a take-home meal, that’s a great chance for guys to eat healthy all the time.”
Smoothies (above) are a popular choice for BuffaloBills players. Pictured below are ready-to-eat portions of chicken with quinoa and vegetables,and beef with brown rice and vegetables.
The Bills’ dining facility serves about 250 people per day, which includes players, coaches and staff members. The kitchen staff arrives as early as 4 a.m. to begin preparations for the day and serves food until about 7 p.m.
“Every day is game day for us during the season,” said Glenn Zdazenski, Delaware North’s generalmanager at New Era Field. “Our whole team works extremely hard to create a seamless dining experience for the Bills as they go about their daily schedules.
Beyond running a smooth operation, we’re also sure to have our chef team work closely with the Bills’ training staff to ensure menus are designed to fit the players’ dietary needs.”
Properly designed menus with plenty of nutritious offerings are the norm. For example, the article noted a recent meal that consisted of zucchini noodles and brown rice with Thai-themed chicken, and steamed asparagus and white rice with beef tenderloins. Steamed broccoli and sweet potato wedges were available with BBQ rotisserie chicken.
On average, the Sportservice team at New Era Field serves 50 bunches of asparagus and 60 pounds of broccoli every day. Here’s some more eye-popping numbers on how much food is prepared each week:
• 700 pounds of rotisserie chicken
• 500-600 pounds of grass-fed beef
• 250-300 pounds of salmon
• 392 pounds of strawberries
• 52 cases of water
• 7,200 ounces of specially made smoothies