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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Solving the Food Line Crisis
2006-04-19 10:28
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Are you willing to drink a beer or eat nacho cheese that was poured no more than five minutes before you ordered, if it would significantly reduce the amount of time you waited in line to by food at Dodger Stadium?

People already accept hot dogs that were grilled before they ordered them. Still, the food lines at Dodger Stadium deteriorate rapidly, because the workers taking the customer orders are also on a treadmill of salting pretzels, pouring, de-foaming and topping off beers, and wandering about to fill nacho cheese requests.

So far, the best solution the Dodgers have come up with is installing more television sets in the food lines so that people aren't as anxious about their wait. I say that more needs to be done to make the food lines move faster - and reducing serving time is the area where the most dramatic change can be made.

That's what brings about my question. Would you object to the Dodger food servers pre-pouring to stay just ahead of the pace of orders? Would you be willing to drink a five-minute-old drink, if it meant you got back to your seat 10 minutes sooner?

P.S. As reader "bhsportsguy" recalled in the previous thread, the Dodgers used to have a buffet style setup. This was superior, because food was out there for you to grab (and being refreshed all the time), you could still request special orders such as extra grilling for your hot dog, and people could jump ahead of you to pay if they had all they wanted.

But in the short term, I think the pre-pour method is what's needed.

Comments (123)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-19 11:04:41
1.   jystakes
I would definitely accept preprepared food and drink to get back to the game. The whole point of it all is to watch the game, not to have fresh made to order food.

Is this just a topic of discussion for entertainment sake, or is there a way of actually making a change?

2006-04-19 11:05:31
2.   Vishal
5 minutes for a drink? yeah, sure. 5 minutes for nachos, probably not. nachos are best when the cheese is still hot.
2006-04-19 11:06:16
3.   Jon Weisman
1 - I'm serious about it - but it's not like I can claim any serious influence.
2006-04-19 11:08:04
4.   capdodger
From Jacob L in the previous thread:
Also, they need to bring back the crank oninon and relish things, but that's another topic.

So are there no onions at all?

2006-04-19 11:08:56
5.   Jon Weisman
2 - So you're saying your nachos are ruined by the time you get back to your seat, or a couple of minutes after you get back to your seat?
2006-04-19 11:09:41
6.   Sam DC
2 I'm not saying I don't like ballpark nachos, but I'm not sure you can just go around calling that yellow stuff "cheese". Let me check with the Department of Agriculture; we'll get back to you.
2006-04-19 11:10:38
7.   Jon Weisman
4 - No, there are, they are just in a small vat that you scoop out of.
2006-04-19 11:13:08
8.   JJoeScott
I favor pre-pouring over the trend of giving out beer in plastic bottles - dangerous. Of course it would be better if they just had beer vendors strolling around like in Wrigley and Comiskey (sic).
2006-04-19 11:15:30
9.   capdodger
6 - I think the proper name is "Cheese Food".
4 - Good. If the onions were gone, I was going to abstain from Dodger Stadium in protest until the onions were returned. It's that important to me; I feel stronly about my condiments.
2006-04-19 11:15:49
10.   Christina
I'd be fine with a pre-poured drink. In high school, I worked at my stepfather's Italian eatery and we always made lots of salads in advance of the evening rush. We're talking baseball food, not fine dining. Pre-made is generally okay. I get lunch at CostCo every weekend and they always grill their hot dogs and polish sausages in advance. Still yummy.

I do agree with Vishal that cheese on nachos should be hot. However, I never plan to order baseball nachos again in my life after last season, where some nachos I ordered at the Coliseum forced me to leave the A's game early and gave me the worst food poisoning case of my life. Just the sight of baseball nachos is enough to give me a sick feeling in my stomach even now. Sooooo...my vote doesn't really count here.

2006-04-19 11:17:54
11.   Bob Timmermann
8
Unless you plan on petitioning the California Legislature to change the rules for the sale of alcoholic beverages in the state, there won't be any beer vendors.

You can get a beer brought to you if you are in seats with waiter service.

2006-04-19 11:17:56
12.   Jacob L
PT1. - The chain fast food places stink. They cost twice what you'd pay for the same food outside the park, and as far as I can tell, they're not well patronized. I would gladly sacrifice all the space going to those concessions for more space devoted to either basic stadium fare or new and GOOD specialy items.

PT 2 - Is there any reason they can't have dog vendors in the seats? I know the dogs might not be as good as from a stand, but some people would take that tradeoff to avoid getting up, and it would relieve pressure on the whole system.

PT 3 - I guess bhsportsguy and I recalled the old cafeteria lines simultaneously in the last thread. More of that.

2006-04-19 11:19:37
13.   Robert Daeley
I wonder if there's any information available on how other large ballparks handle it -- or don't, as the case may be.

Our solution is to eat before going to the park or grab Dodger Dogs, etc., before the game, when we first get there. Then we can snack from the vendors in the stands without missing the action.

2006-04-19 11:20:07
14.   adamclyde
admittedly, it's been 2 good years since being at dodger stadium. I have more experience of late out in the bronx, since I've been exiled to yankee-dom. But if there are any similarities here, which I suspect there are, most of the problems would be solved if the people behind the counter seemed to care at all that they should move even slightly efficiently.

Case in point. I order 2 hot dogs. that's it. no drink, nothing else. Takes at least 90 seconds to get my order. Long time for a simple order and there's a long line behind you. Here's how it goes. she takes my order. talks to co worker for about 10 seconds. meanders over to the hot dogs. puts one in a bun (fumbling like it's the first time, even though I've seen her doing this for 2 years). comes back, wraps in foil. talks to co worker. meanders back to hot dogs, fumbles over bun, inserts hot dog, meanders back. Wraps that hot dog. Looks for bag. Finds it and puts both in it. Talks to co worker. Tells me price. Takes my money. Talks to co worker. fumbles over change. And, like a true new yorker, gives me my change with a dirty look. gotta love it!!! Glad they don't put the toppings on these things or they'd be 30 minutes.

If only this were an isolated case!

Anyhow, I'm guessing there is something that could be done to move the workers a little more efficiently...

2006-04-19 11:22:22
15.   The Saul
In Camden yards they have vendors walk around selling hot dogs, like we have at Dodger Stadium with peanuts et al.
The hot dogs were in a igloo-like container, but was heated so the dogs stayed hot. They also had a mini tray with them with ketchup, mustard, onions and relish.
It was pretty sweet, hot dogs delivered to your seat.
I always wondered why it was never introduced here.
2006-04-19 11:23:49
16.   Bob Timmermann
There have been times when hot dogs were sold in the stands. If you go to the LA City High School Baseball championship game at Dodger Stadium, they will sell you hot dogs out of an insulated pouch. The crowd there isn't big enough to warrant opening up a stand.

I think the big problem with selling hot dogs with vendors is finding something safe to carry around a lot of hot food and dealing with carrying around condiment packages.

I think the only hot food that is sold by vendors are the little pizzas because they stack nicely and are fairly easy to handle.

2006-04-19 11:26:39
17.   Marty
I just wish there were still Jody Maroni sausage stands at Dodger Stadium. That was the only food I liked there.
2006-04-19 11:26:53
18.   Goiter
I'm all up for Jon's idea.
2006-04-19 11:27:25
19.   adamclyde
15 either yankee stadium or shea shea stadium (can't remember which, offhand) has guys walking around with hot dogs... Actually, could be that both do, just can't recall...
2006-04-19 11:28:02
20.   Linkmeister
There's something to be said for watching college baseball at a stadium which only holds 5,000 or so and typically has only about 2,500 in attendance. Lines are shorter even without vendors in the aisles.

That said, here's a guy with an idea:
http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Pneumatic_20Stadium_20Food

2006-04-19 11:30:10
21.   Bob Timmermann
Wasn't the Buckminster Fuller-designed stadium that O'Malley toyed with in Brooklyn supposed to have hot dogs that would be delivered to your seat through some sort of conveyor belt?
2006-04-19 11:31:44
22.   regfairfield
I've found that this is the only viable food solution:

Show up 30 to 45 minutes early and load up on staples like hot dogs and drinks.

If you want to eat anything else, pray someone comes wandering down the aisles with what you want.

If you need beer, go to the beer outpost, do not go to the general concession stand.

Of course, if everyone instituted this plan, it wouldn't work anymore.

2006-04-19 11:32:32
23.   Jon Weisman
16 - Frankly, you're hard-pressed to find any vendor in the stands these days. In my section, everything from peanuts to desserts seems to make the rounds only two or three times a game, tops. If you don't buy a dessert in the first inning, the game could end before you see that guy again.
2006-04-19 11:36:13
24.   Jon Weisman
Tangent: And I thought living at the library was a cliche. (Thanks to L.A. Observed)

http://tinyurl.com/m6a6m

2006-04-19 11:45:17
25.   Marty
Maybe the answer is more food-only and beer-only stands. If all you are interested in is getting a beer, you shouldn't have to wait with people who want food, and vice-versa.
2006-04-19 11:51:36
26.   scareduck
15 - they have the same thing at Wrigley, except the containers are all steel. God, the guys lugging those around must get exhausted by the end of the game.

They already have pre-pour drinks at the Panda Express, and IIRC at the Carl's Jr. My problem with this is that no matter what the label over the drinks say, you get a regular Coke.

2006-04-19 11:52:12
27.   scareduck
22 - you are wrong. Traffic is unpredictable.
2006-04-19 11:56:13
28.   Sam DC
One hitter for Hudson through 8 against the Mets. Meanwhile, David Wright has 3 errors.
2006-04-19 11:57:34
29.   Robert Daeley
21 Oooh -- you know, hot dogs would fit in a pneumatic tube system very well. :) Heck, we could think bigger and do the Jules Verne thing with public transportation to and from the stadium. ;D
2006-04-19 12:07:39
30.   Sam DC
Oops -- Hudson gives up a double then a single. Now Delgado is up with the tying run on first . . . one out in the ninth.
2006-04-19 12:08:40
31.   JJoeScott
23 - Conversely, at the other baseball stadium in Los Angeles -- Angel Stadium -- the vendor to aisle ratio is about 2:1.
2006-04-19 12:10:09
32.   Sam DC
And Hudson gets Delgado and Wright for a CG win. Braves 2 Mets 1. 1 BB, 6K, 97 pitchers/65 strikes.
2006-04-19 12:11:44
33.   The Saul
When I went to the Dodgers-Braves game, I waited 35 minutes to get my food. For 15 minutes the line did not move at all. Turned out the card reader to pay for things with the ATM card was broken, and apparently no one could figure out what to do, and I guess paying cash was out of the question. Quite infuriating.
This may be the bigger problem; fans not willing to bring enough cash to the game.
(Granted, the prices are getting out of hand, but still whenever I go to a game (like tonight :) I always bring at least 60-80 dollars to cover myself plus one.
2006-04-19 12:12:25
34.   Bob Timmermann
1:59 for the Mets-Braves game, just like the first Dodgers-Cubs game.

The Cardinals_Bucs dawdled at 2:12.

2006-04-19 12:17:21
35.   beLITTLED and maligNED
After all this discussion, I'm eating at home before I leave for the game tonight. So far my best Dodger dining experience of the season came on the Friday preseason game with the Angels. We ate at Philipe's before the game. I'm sure there are several things that can be done to increase efficiency, I'm just not convinced that anything will change.

I'm excited about this Penny/Marshall matchup. Isn't this kid supposed to be pretty good?

2006-04-19 12:19:32
36.   Bob Timmermann
I only want to see a Penny/Marshall matchup if it is accompanied by a Cindy/Williams matchup.
2006-04-19 12:21:03
37.   Jon Weisman
I can't believe Bob beat me to that one.
2006-04-19 12:21:59
38.   bigcpa
Sportsline game note-
"Reggie Abercrombie of the Marlins recorded the first home run of his major league career in the top of the 6th inning. The 493 foot upper deck solo shot was the 3rd longest home run to be hit in the Great American Ballpark."
2006-04-19 12:26:01
39.   Xeifrank
I haven't been to a game at Dodger stadium for 3 or 4 years. Do they allow you to bring any of your own food into the park? Sandwiches, cookies, chips, candy bars etc... What we always did was stop by somewhere nearby the stadium for dinner before the game. This usually meant a quick stopover in Chinatown. If we didn't have time for that, we'd pack sandwiches and eat them in the parking lot or while walking to the entrance gate. I always felt that loading up on food/beer/drinks at the game was for suckers. I'd usually fork out a few bucks for one of the malts during the middle innings, but only from one of the vendors in the stands. I'd never wait in a long line and miss part of the game. I still prefer the coziness of my own couch and refrigerator to the friendly confines of D.S., and the long drive and parking lot waiting. I'd still list parking lot exiting as a larger grevience than food follies.
vr, Xei
2006-04-19 12:27:09
40.   Bob Timmermann
You can bring food into Dodger Stadium as long as you don't bring in any glass bottles or aluminum cans.

You can bring in water bottles as long as they aren't too big.

2006-04-19 12:27:54
41.   MollyKnight
Warm beer is the worst thing in the world. I absolutely would not drink one that's been sitting there for 5-10 minutes.

At Shea and Yankee stadiums they have multiple beer carts out near the concession stands. It cuts the hot dog line in half, and I've found that if you're at the ball game with a friend, you can divide and conquer (one in the beer line, one in the food line) and be back to your seats in 5-10 minutes.

The Dodgers should do this.

2006-04-19 12:28:49
42.   Jon Weisman
I think one could argue that paying for any food at Dodger Stadium isn't cost-efficient. Stipulating that, I think it's reasonable to discuss what happens if you don't want to pack a picuhnic basket.
2006-04-19 12:30:48
43.   Bob Timmermann
42

Jon is obviously worried about a bear wearing a hat stealing his picuhnic basket. That bear is smarter than average I hear.

2006-04-19 12:31:52
44.   Jon Weisman
5-10 minutes ... that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying 1-5 minutes.

The Dodgers do already have separate lines that are mostly devoted to beer.

But if you're getting beer and food, what's the point of splitting up and getting in two lines? Are you saying they have a line that serves food but no beer?

2006-04-19 12:33:55
45.   Brendan
Here's the problem as I see it:

You order a hot dog, beer and peanuts.

as soon as you say hot dog the worker starts to walk way away from the register to get the hot dog, then they come back and ask what else? then you say beer and peanuts. they then have to walk some distance from the register and come back and then ask about the beer. Then after pouring the beer they study the items that are in front of them and start to ring them up.

This doesn't happen in places outside the stadium. Outside they would ring up all three items, barely have to turn around for most items or have someone helping out getting the items. Just having to repeat all three items three times slows everything down not to mention the roaming they have to to do to get a hot dog which should be right next to them.

1) Take the order and immediately input into cash register and have display showing what was ordered.

2) The staples(hot dog, peanuts etc) should be at the fingertips of the cashier.

3) should be a roamer handling the nacho cheese type items.
Or just operate it like every other fast food restaurant operates outside the stadium. ridiculous. i've been to dodger stadium, The Pond and Ange stadium this year and they are all the same. No system at all.

2006-04-19 12:34:47
46.   Sam DC
And Abercrombie's up now in Cincy -- game tied 8-8 in the top of the ninth after the Marlins' pen gave up a 4-run lead in the 7th and 8th innings.
2006-04-19 12:37:11
47.   Uncle Miltie
Jon, I was at Monday's game and there was a vendor selling food in my section at least every other inning. The only hot food being sold though were the pizzas from California Pizza Kitchen.

A couple solutions:
1. Eat before the game. Most of the food at Dodger Stadium isn't very good anyways. Who wants to pay $6-7 for a soggy Carl's Jr. hamburger? Eat at Philippes. You can get a nice French Dip sandwich for only $5.
2. Before the game, stop by Subway or Quizno's and pickup a sandwich for the game. You can bring these into the stadium.
3. If you really want to eat something at Dodger Stadium while you're there, buy some peanuts from the vendors.

The benefits of doing what I suggested above are:
1. You won't miss any of the game standing in a line
2. You won't pay exuberant prices for low quality food
3. You won't feel sick from eating the vermin infested food at Dodger Stadium

Congratulations to Abercrombie. He has unbelievably bad plate discipline, but he's a great defender and has some power. He probably won't be much worse than Lofton this year.

2006-04-19 12:37:11
48.   Xeifrank
Fans complaining about food?? My gawd, let them eat cake! :)
vr, Xei
2006-04-19 12:37:42
49.   das411
Soooo...let me get this straight. You guys don't have seat vendors, no bottled beers, AND you all say "pop" or "coke"?? What kind of crowd have I been hanging with????

It sounds like LA needs a new baseball stadium more than you know...Sam, any input on how much better the system at CBP is? As much as I liked the old food court at the Vet, the cafeteria-style stands are just sooo much more efficient, and the table + viewing areas where you can stand and watch the game clear up all of the congestion. The only traffic at Phillies games is trying to make your way past Harry the K's to Ashburn Alley, where you can throw...er, deliver stuff to the other team's bullpen.

2006-04-19 12:40:00
50.   Curtis Lowe
Japanese stadiums have beer vendors walking around with kegs of beer on their back or tubs of ice with cold beer around their mid-sections. They would come right up to your seat and fill it up for you. Very convnient. Different beer companies sponsor different vendors so you constantly have a flow of abuot 4 different types of beer walking by you.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-19 12:40:14
51.   ToyCannon
After 35 years of experience standing in line at DS or any food line, I've always thought the biggest problem is the idiot who is in line for 5 minutes and then has no clue what to order when their turn is up.

I can't understand how anyone eats the gross yellow "cheese" found in ballparks and Disneyland like places. If you love Nacho's I would think these things would be offensive to your pallet.

Abercrombie's home run was an absolute bomb. It made Miggy's 450 shot look pedestrian.

2006-04-19 12:41:02
52.   Bob Timmermann
We don't say "pop" or "coke" and you better not go down that road any further...
2006-04-19 12:41:14
53.   Brendan
49

if you are buying beer only it is real easy. they sell plastic bottles all over the place in little portable mini stands but don't go to one that is located near a bathroom. those lines are always longer. walk a little bit and there will be a much shorter line.

2006-04-19 12:42:29
54.   Brendan
51

to which field was it hit?

2006-04-19 12:44:41
55.   Xeifrank
Tracy had Mike Edwards playing 3B and batting 6th in today's 2-hit loss to Carpenter and the Cards. No word on what Edwards ate before the game. vr, Xei
2006-04-19 12:44:57
56.   Jon Weisman
Okay, nothing personal, but I'm banning people in this thread from offering "eat before the game" as a solution. I feel it should go without saying that this is completely beside the point.

Concerned that the Dodgers are losing? Don't watch them. Concerned about your children's education? Don't educate them. Concerned about pollution? Don't breathe.

I apologize for sounding annoyed, but there's a certain patronizing quality to these suggestions. (And by the way, I love Philippes, but the lines before a game there are murder, too, not to mention the extra time it takes to drive there. Another reason that's not really germane to this topic.)

2006-04-19 12:52:54
57.   Bob Timmermann
50

Japanese stadiums have so many beer vendors because:
1) nearly everybody at the park wants beer
2) about 1% of the crowd at any game is driving home

Beer vendors in the seats at sporting events in California are not used because it is against the law to pass a beer down the aisle. The person serving the beer must put in the hand of the purchaser. This is supposed to prevent the beer from falling into the hands of a minor.

Hey, I didn't say it was a great reason, but that's the reason.

2006-04-19 12:54:02
58.   Jon Weisman
Jose Valentin's OPS after 14 plate appearances: .000
2006-04-19 12:55:39
59.   overkill94
I think the biggest solution would be not to hire 80-year-old ladies and other comparably slow servers. I swear there's not one iota of urgency in any of the vendors at Dodger games, they just saunter around like they're doing you a favor. I think I missed 2 full innings on Sunday night waiting to use my family four-pack voucher.
2006-04-19 12:57:26
60.   Uncle Miltie
Jon, Philippes is on the way to Dodger Stadium. It took me 10 minutes to get my food before the game. If the Dodgers decide to sell higher quality food, then maybe it would be worth waiting in line 20 minutes for. Otherwise, I'll continue to do what I said above.

This is not a problem at Angel Stadium, Phone Booth Park, Camden Yards, or Coors Field. All of these places have superior food and much shorter lines. I've never waited in line for food for more than 15 minutes, other than at a Dodgers game.

2006-04-19 13:01:28
61.   MollyKnight
44- Yeah. At Shea stadium the food lines serve food, and the beer lines serve beer. You can't buy beer in the food line.

Last Saturday--during a sellout game--In the top of the second inning I got nachos and a hot dog in the food line. It took me two minutes. Then I bought a beer in the beer line. It took me maybe 4 minutes. I was back to my seat after missing two batters.

I think the solution is to add more concession carts. The more vendors, the shorter the lines.

2006-04-19 13:04:28
62.   Jon Weisman
Obviously, I'm not telling you not to go to Phillipes (it may be on your way, but obviously it's not on everyone's way.) I'm not telling anyone not to go to Philippes even if it is out of their way. I'm just saying, that's not the point of this discussion.
2006-04-19 13:06:47
63.   Jacob L
50 That's awesome.

If yet another tangent will be permitted . . .

the best food experience I've had at any ballpark was the much celebrated Smoked Meat in Montreal. My god that was a good sandwich. I went to the most famous smoked meat deli in downtown Montreal, and while good, the sandwich at the Big O was better.

Not germane to this discussion, because getting smoked meat was a logistical nightmare. I went during a rare, late resurgence in interest in the Expos, so it was quite crowded and the one smoked meat stand was impossible to find. That stadium was a serious labrynth.

If I were the Washington Nationals, the one thing I'd do to acknowledge the organization's history would be to sell smoked meat. Maybe have Rusty Staub seve it up.

2006-04-19 13:09:37
64.   BarkinJ
Some possible solutions:

1. Put food items closer to the cashiers, so that they don't have to wander around looking for your food. I sat in the field level last night, and noticed that there was a nacho "cheese" dispenser between every pair of cashiers. This is a step in the right direction. They could also do what movie theatres do: offer cheese in pre-packaged cups that stay warm under a heat lamp. I guess this denigrates the quality of the nachos a bit, but how much can you denigrate something that's already so disgusting?

2. The old buffet lines are still there on the Reserve level. It's just that they've been converted to Carls Jr and Panda Express. I say get rid of the Carls. Who actually eats there during games?

3. overkill94 has already touched on this: It seems that the people staffing the concession stands move very very slow. People who can't cut it should be fired. Workers need to be motivated to move faster. Period. In college I worked at a sandwich shop where we were expected to make a sandwich in less than a minute. If we consistently failed at this, we were demoted or let go. Pouring two beers shouldn't take five minutes. Period.

4. Crank style onions and relish dispense quicker and cleaner. Bring 'em back. They have them at Petco. We should have 'em, too.

5. In movie theatres, Starbucks, and fast food drive thru windows, they now have credit card machines that don't require a signature. They're remarkably quick and save quite a few steps. Dodger Stadium should have this same sort of system.

6. If someone pays with cash, they should save a bit of money. Offer a $.50 discount on Dodger Dogs for anyone paying with cash.

2006-04-19 13:12:21
65.   Jacob L
People have touched on the idea of separate lines for beer, food, etc.

How about an express line that only sells things that are ready to do (dogs, and items in packages). No nachos, pretzels, soft serve, or, yes, drinks. I often buy food at the stadium, but I never buy drinks.

2006-04-19 13:12:27
66.   Sam DC
Javier Vasquez with the one-hitter through 8 (Doug Mantkdisaevicz broke up the no-hitter in the seventh). It is against KC, but still . . .
2006-04-19 13:12:52
67.   adamclyde
59 my thoughts exactly. my experience (albeit at yankee stadium, but no diff, I imagine to any other one) I described in post # 14
2006-04-19 13:19:58
68.   Jacob L
Its all well and good to say that the employees are the problem, should be fired, etc. When I'm in line I get frustrated as the next guy.

However, being a DS concessionaire has got to be pretty grinding work even at half speed, and as others have pointed out, they don't have the best system set up in which to work. They can't be paid all that well, either.

Its like baseball. A little hustle is never a bad thing, and makes the right impression, but it may be less important to the outcome than you think.

2006-04-19 13:21:38
69.   Bob Timmermann
There is also a trend in some parks, San Diego and Denver, that I've noticed that the stadium hires people with some sort of disability (hearing or mobility usually) to work the concession stands.

It gets the stadium good PR for hiring the disabled, although it sometimes smacks of exploitation since people are far less likely to get angry at someone in a wheelchair for not getting them their nachos in a timely way.

2006-04-19 13:25:36
70.   beLITTLED and maligNED
Another point that hasn't been touched on (and probably doesn't have a solution) is the couple standing in front of me in line on Sunday who invited six friends (count em) to cut in with them. For personal safety reasons, I felt compelled to not confront them. I let the people behind me yell at them.
2006-04-19 13:28:27
71.   scareduck
45 - as soon as you say hot dog the worker starts to walk way away from the register to get the hot dog, then they come back and ask what else? then you say beer and peanuts. they then have to walk some distance from the register and come back and then ask about the beer. Then after pouring the beer they study the items that are in front of them and start to ring them up.

This doesn't happen in places outside the stadium.

Places outside the stadium don't have unionized employees. Outside the stadium, you are free to go elsewhere if the cave dweller behind the counter takes 43 minutes to complete a single order.

Naugles' used to have a policy of hiring the mentally handicapped and allowing them to run the drive-thru window. (The fact that I can remember a time when there was such a chain probably dates me.) They had the consistently worst window service of any chain, with the possible exception of In-N-Out Burger, but you can at least excuse In-N-Out because they cook every order after it's ordered. At Naugles', they were just bad. And it's like that at nearly every food concession window at every stadium I've been to. It's a rarity to get even mediocre service at a ballpark, which explains the popularity of Carl's, Jr. and Panda Express-style grab-and-go windows. Biggest secret in the park: you can snag a Dodger Dog at Panda Express. And the only waiting is to get to the cashier. Considering the environment, both these franchises are to be congratulated for isolating the problem to its core, and relieving their clearly not-ready-for-fast-food-prime-time workers of having to think too hard about anything besides how much change to give from a $20 on an $18.52 bill.

2006-04-19 13:29:57
72.   scareduck
69 - yes. It is annoying.
2006-04-19 13:31:03
73.   Jon Weisman
71 - A grilled dog at Panda or a boiled one? At the pizza place on the first base side of the Loge Level, you can get a hot dog, but it's boiled.
2006-04-19 13:32:37
74.   scareduck
64 - I say get rid of the Carls. Who actually eats there during games?

In order: Over my dead body, and I do. Of course, consistently eating at Carl's may assist in the onset of the former, so there you go.

2006-04-19 13:33:13
75.   scareduck
73 - I assume it's boiled, but I don't really know.
2006-04-19 13:34:48
76.   Eric L
When I worked at a concession stand for a minor league team, it seemed like the quickest way to speed things up was having one person assigned to a certain area when we were busy. One person made the hotdogs, another person did nachos, other people did the registers, etc. The drinks were close enough to the registers that the cashiers were able to do it themselves. I'm sure that if it was super crazy, we did the pre-fill soda thing too (I can't remember).
2006-04-19 13:34:52
77.   Rob M
Bring back the Spicy Dog!!!

I was thinking about the concessions problems last season every time I went to the Stadium. My idea was to have the cashiers stay at the register and have separate food runners filling the orders. I think they would make up for the added cost in more sales. Really, the lines are a huge deterrent to ordering food.

2006-04-19 13:37:13
78.   mob
So what's with the quality of food comments? It's a ballpark! not wolfgang puck's! It is nice to see a variety of foods & yes some places do offer great stuff like the Brats at Miller Park & the BBQ beef at Camden but hey we got Dodger dogs & grilled dogs at that. Eating Sushi at a ballgame just sounds wierd...unless you're watching the Yamuri Giants. (are those Giants hated in Japan as well???)

Seems like a lot of good suggestions but more stands, more food only, drink only options and more concessionaires would help. I also agree get rid of Carl's go back to Dodger burgers & fries in the old buffet line system perhaps one on each level.

2006-04-19 13:39:22
79.   Nick Iyengar
76 Adam Smith would approve.
2006-04-19 13:40:18
80.   Eric L
I should add that food lines have all been crappy at one time or another at all the major league stadiums. When Petco first opened, I spent a pretty fair amount of time in line for crappy food. Anaheim is good most of the time, but I've also had a few times that were pretty bad.

I should also add that I've noticed that it depends on the area you are sitting in at DS. The pavilion is quick most of the time, but that's because of the lack of beer. The field level closer to home plate moves quickly.

I really think everything got slower when they started adding the credit card readers. What about a cash only line at each stand?

2006-04-19 13:46:56
81.   Brendan
the mention of Naugles made this whole thread worth reading. I haven't thought of that place in years.
2006-04-19 13:52:54
82.   das411
It sounds like Dodger Stadium could use a few Dollar Dog Days. There was nothing cooler at the old Vet than the dudes out in the 700 level who would bring a huge piece of posterboard into the game and just tape, staple, glue, or otherwise stick dozens of hot dog wrappers onto it. By the end of the game the thing would be covered. Awesome.
2006-04-19 13:55:53
83.   Jon Weisman
Hey - St. Louis fans are misbehavin'

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/stl_today_burwell1/

2006-04-19 13:59:44
84.   fanerman
82 - Oakland has Dollar Dog days (on $2 ticket Wednesdays). I've been quite a few times. I should do that with some of my friends.
2006-04-19 14:01:03
85.   Marty
Juan Encarnacion brings that out in even the "world's best baseball fans".
2006-04-19 14:02:25
86.   Marty
We need Dollar Beer Night in conjunction with Ninja Throwing-Star Night.
2006-04-19 14:04:11
87.   StevieK
One thing about Dodger Stadium's food service I never could figure out is how those frozen malts are hard as a rock and their beer is always luke warm.

In Milwaukee we solve the long line problem by sneaking beer into Miller Park in our coat pockets - or getting blitzed tailgating in the parking lot before the game, which is not an option at Dodger Stadium I suppose.

2006-04-19 14:09:26
88.   Xeifrank
I guess I am banned from the food discussion as I mentioned eating food outside the stadium. I will patiently await the opening of the movie/tv show chat thread. It usually opens around 3pm. :)
vr, Xei
2006-04-19 14:10:07
89.   Xeifrank
86. Only when the Giants are in town.
vr, Xei
2006-04-19 14:15:10
90.   das411
87 - It IS an option in Tampa Bay now though!!

88 - So when will we spoil tonight's "Lost" for everybody Xeifrank?

2006-04-19 14:16:53
91.   Kayaker7
Sigh...I miss the pre 9/11 days when you could sneak in beer in your jacket. We all lost our innocence on that fateful day.
2006-04-19 14:19:40
92.   Steamer
nah. the beer is warm enough as it is.
2006-04-19 14:20:40
93.   Underbruin
91 - You know what does work? Those little liquor bottles from airplanes. :)
2006-04-19 14:20:48
94.   Steamer
then again, maybe they could have a "cold beer" and "warm beer" line. Wonder which would be longer?
2006-04-19 14:21:21
95.   Steamer
Underbruin: Now you're talking.
2006-04-19 14:22:47
96.   Underbruin
83 - Is anybody else loving the alliteration in the headline?
2006-04-19 14:26:28
97.   Penarol1916
I haven't been to Dodger Stadium since 1989 I believe, so I'm speaking just from the comments and complaints. Most places I've been to have the cashier doing everything and bringing it back to you, yet there is little wait. I think the solution most likely lies in more concension stands.
The most shocking thing I'm reading though is about the onions coming in dispensers, you mean they don't carmelize them for you at the grill like at the Cell?

90. Unfortunately there is no Lost tonight.

2006-04-19 14:33:56
98.   Bob Timmermann
83
I want to know where in the fine print on your ticket, you get the right to get drunk and annoy everyone around you and chant profanities at people.

It must be toward the end.

2006-04-19 14:38:21
99.   Jacob L
71, 73, 75 -- Shhhh. I'll regret this. Grilled dog stand disguised as Wetzel's Pretzels on the Reserved Level behind home plate. Shhhh.
2006-04-19 14:42:20
100.   Marty
Lost is a clip show tonight.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-04-19 14:43:33
101.   fanerman
99 - Wow hot deal! I'll have to remember that next time I go...
2006-04-19 14:50:54
102.   Linkmeister
90 For "Lost" you can just go here:

http://islostarepeat.com/

2006-04-19 14:52:39
103.   Bob Timmermann
102

Sort of a variation on the Abe Vigoda status page?

2006-04-19 14:53:42
104.   Bob Timmermann
http://www.abevigoda.com/ffb.php
2006-04-19 14:56:39
105.   Linkmeister
103 Looks like it. A friend of mine found it. It's a pretty cheap joke (assuming $9.95 domain registration).
2006-04-19 14:57:47
106.   tjshere
71 Mmmmmmmmm, Naugles!

My fond memories are now tempered only by my overwhelming craving for a Naugleburger.

2006-04-19 14:59:09
107.   KAYVMON
Re: 24
I had a friend at school last year who worked in one of the school libraries and slept in another. When seeing him walk around campus, it was a fair question to ask if he was commuting or going to class. Despite this, or maybe because of it, the guy hated to read.

Beer vendors in the seats at sporting events in California are not used because it is against the law to pass a beer down the aisle
No matter how civilized and progressive a society seemingly is, fascism is always around the corner.

2006-04-19 15:03:12
108.   Franklin Stubbs
(First time / long time)
I think this is a great question!

However...I'm not willing to wait in line for food at ALL any more. I went to a game last year and waited in line for 45 minutes. I felt like I missed the entire game. Now I just bring food to the game. I like a dog and a beer at a baseball game -- I mean it IS baseball. But I also like having money to spend in my real life. And it is soooooo expensive to eat Dodger food. $8 for a beer is not just robbery is it insulting. I can get a six pack for that. Worse than that...do I need to have the effects of 2 beers in my system when watching these Dodgers?? I get mad enough as it is... Maybe a little blurry vision would prevent me from the frustration of not recognizing virtually any of the players in my favorite team's uniforms. So sadly to say, I'd rather pound a few beers in the parking lot than wait for a minute for an $8 beer. I wouldn't really consider it, save for the one game a year my office goes to a game and I can expense a $64 meal...

2006-04-19 15:12:08
109.   Bob Timmermann
I have now received my first ever official email warning me of the bubonic plague and how to avoid it.

Go I guess I'm not going squirrel trapping tonight.

2006-04-19 15:17:28
110.   overkill94
93 Not bad, but I prefer the good old-fashioned flask full of whiskey to pour into my free soda for family four-pack nights. It gets you that nice warm buzz and if you buy it around the 3rd or 4th inning it lasts until the end of the game.

My fake binoculars that held alcohol were even cooler, but alas I left them at the stadium the first time I brought them.

2006-04-19 15:22:51
111.   Jacob L
That,in a nutshell, is the problem with fake binoculars filled with booze.
2006-04-19 15:26:31
112.   bhsportsguy
106 - I can take it back farther, I recall fondly the Taco Bell Burger.

Frank McCourt has said that the concessions and the bathrooms are the next projects at the stadium, I'm sure most of these comments are not new to them, I am perturbed that they still don't have the media guides for sale even after their PR guy was hawking them on the "official" blog over a month ago.

2006-04-19 15:47:40
113.   Gilgamesh
108 - To address the issue of $8 beers, I always get the NA beer instead. It's not like I'm going to have enough beers at $8 a pop for the alcohol content to make much difference, so I just have a couple NA beers which is even cheaper than Coke.

111 - that really made me laugh

2006-04-19 15:52:27
114.   Marty
112 Would that be the Bell Beefer?

I admire the style of using fake binoculars to sneak liquor in. In high school, we re-routed the windshield washer feed in a friend's car to the glove compartment. We would then fill the resevoir with cheap wine. Then we'd just hold a cup up to the glove compartment, hit the switch and fill er up.

2006-04-19 16:06:44
115.   underdog
Did anyone see that the Dodgers are now officially picking 7th in the amateur draft this year?

http://tinyurl.com/pmz9o

Who needs Hochevar?

2006-04-19 16:06:45
116.   Brendan
114

although that sounds cool I'm sure my friends and I would somehow end up drinking the wiper fluid instead. we weren't the brightest guys.

2006-04-19 16:08:40
117.   underdog
Btw, back to the topic at hand - I went to an A's game in Oakland recently and had some similar complaints to the ones issued here: long lines, slow service, poorly organized, etc. The lines were so long that it took me awhile to get back to my seat because of how crowded and/or blocked the walking paths were.

PhoneCo.Park in SF is a bit better (especially if you're fortunate enough to have club level seats and can partake in some of the more gourmet options there), whatever that's saying.

2006-04-19 16:10:27
118.   ToyCannon
110
And that is why I still read Dodger Thoughts. I'm still laughing.

Even with security DS is still very easy to bring anything you want into the stadium. I use those see through bags they gave away in 2004 and I've never had a security guard take the time to actually open it up. The false security if someone really wanted to cause a problem is beyond scary.

2006-04-19 16:12:19
119.   Jon Weisman
115 - The Griddle saw it.

111 - I need to remember that for the next book.

Game thread open up top.

2006-04-19 16:14:26
120.   underdog
Mmmm.... wiper fluid... oooooooohhhh... {{drool}}
2006-04-19 16:26:47
121.   tjshere
110, 114 - Both the tricks are cleverly hilarious! Man, am I ever glad I didn't know you guys back in my drinking days. I managed to get into enough trouble as it was.
2006-04-19 18:17:47
122.   Vishal
[5] So you're saying your nachos are ruined by the time you get back to your seat, or a couple of minutes after you get back to your seat?

no, they're not ruined quite that fast, but the clock is ticking. not only does the cheese get cold, but the chips get soggy. 5 extra minutes of it sitting out at the food stand is 5 fewer minutes of my enjoyment of them. usually the nachos are done being awesome before i've completely finished eating them, so i feel like the extra time is pretty crucial.

2007-01-05 13:53:50
123.   Frip
Franklin Stubbs: "$8 for a beer is not just robbery is it insulting."

Well said.

Things would be different in a society where interaction was face-to-face, instead of through intermediaries.

TV characters would be embarrassed to be so vulgar to you right in your own living room.

Imagine if Mr. McCourt himself had to serve you that beer, and say the words, "that'll be eight bucks".

But then there's Adam Smith and his division of labour. Long ago we all made a pact to sacrifice civility for not having to grow our own hot dogs.

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