DCU Center
New England's Premier Arena & Convention Complex

Creative Foods & Constant Innovation; Arena Food On The Next Level

The DCU Center has undergone a lot of changes in the past few years, most notably a fresh take on their food and beverage department. After nearly 18 years in hospitality, Al Fera, Director of Food and Beverage of SAVOR… at the DCU Center, weighs in on the fan experience and why entertainment and food go hand in hand

Creative Foods & Constant Innovation; Arena Food On The Next Level
On what he really wanted to bring to the table when joining SAVOR… and the DCU Center team…

I wanted to keep the staples that everyone loves at arena events, but put a modern and creative twist on them. It is important to understand that there’s more than one way to sell nachos and more than one way to sell hot dogs. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel but I really wanted to step up the quality and creativity around common arena cuisine.

On keeping it fresh…and steering away from boring...

By paying attention to what’s trending in high-end markets, such as food trucks in larger cities, I’m  able to grasp what would work for Worcester. But then I like to make it more fun by thinking like a “big kid” and what they would enjoy. The luxury of not being a full service restaurant is that we can change it up based on the audience we are expecting. We’ve  made 4 layer stacked PB&J’s for kid shows, but we wouldn’t have done that for Green Day. To know your audience and what would come across to them as fun is really important.

The answer everyone is dying to know from an industry insider…

Why do the lines get so long at every venue for food and beverage?

Historically, people tend to get up around the same time, which is what causes congestion. Here’s the secret: if you get up 3 minutes before an intermission or period ending, you’ll have better luck with shorter lines.

On what cuisine stands out to him when visiting other venues...

Any food that’s big and obnoxious and something I would never make for myself. At a game down in Miami l had a Cheeseburger that was sandwiched between a Glazed Donut – it’s those things that stand out to me.

On enhancing the fan experience and additions to come...

It’s key to have it be fun – that’s why there are food puns everywhere throughout our concessions. It’s definitely the direction I plan to keep going in, and to maintain the creative consistency throughout.

Next time you’re here for a show or a game, check out Slice, Slice, Baby (get it?), Lets Be Frank, or Nacho Mamas to get a taste of the creativity that lies within our arena.