Aramark Sports + Entertainment launches ‘Aura’

Aramark Sports + Entertainment (Aramark, NYSE: ARMK), the award-winning food and beverage partner at premier stadiums, arenas, convention centres, cultural attractions and unique entertainment destinations across North America, has announced the launch of Aura, an elevated approach to premium service that will deliver an unmatched hospitality experience paired with exceptional culinary talent.

Alison Birdwell, President and CEO of Aramark Sports + Entertainment, said:

Aura is a first-of-its-kind approach to premium hospitality programming that addresses every aspect of the guest experience, from exquisite culinary offerings to extraordinary service. An ‘aura’ can be defined as a distinctive atmosphere, and this is precisely what we have set out to achieve with this approach to premium hospitality.

The Aura experience is made up of four pillars, all of which work together to create a memorable hospitality experience. These integral elements include:

1. The Food: Food has the power to create memorable moments and evoke emotions, and Aura’s menu programming is designed to transport guests to a world where flavors, textures, and aromas combine to leave a lasting impression. Aura leverages Aramark’s strategic partner Stephen Starr, a James Beard Award-winning visionary and the creative force behind STARR Restaurants, one of the largest multi-concept and independent restaurant groups in the United States, to inform menu development and service standards. Aramark and Starr will meet quarterly to collaborate on new menu and concept development, evolving service standards, and market trends to ensure an innovative approach to Aura’s programming. Additionally, Aura chefs will participate in trend research and culinary immersions to ensure menus are always evolving and adapting to every desired experience.

2. The Beverage: The beverage program integrates the council of industry experts including Aramark’s in-house beverage director, mixology partners, and sommelier collaborators to advise on brand partnerships and menu offerings, ensuring programs align with trends and preferences. Menus will feature a rotating and seasonal selection of specialty cocktails, robust beer and wine lists, and zero-proof beverage and coffee options.

3. The Service: Exceptional technique is at the heart of Aura’s philosophy, and investing in talent is crucial to maintaining the highest standards. As part of a longstanding collaboration with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the world’s premier culinary college, Aramark has designed a bespoke training program that all Aura front-of-house staff must partake in to ensure they are abreast of the latest techniques and food and beverage trends. This program goes beyond basic service training and aims to empower staff to deliver exceptional guest experiences in high-end settings and cultivate a culture of hospitality. All Aura culinarians must also receive CIA ProChef® certification, which provides hands-on skill validation and measures a chef’s core culinary, managerial, and financial acumen.

4. The Design: Every element in a space curated by Aura, from the layout to the food and beverage areas to the finishes, is meticulously crafted to evoke a sense of sophistication and exclusivity. The guest journey is of the utmost importance when designing a space. We are not delivering a transaction; we are delivering a memorable experience.

A delegation from Aramark was among the 400+ C-suite attendees at the 2023 ALSD International Conference hosted at The Etihad Stadium, where hospitality and the premium experience take centrestage.

Aura concept: Dessert Room

To allow for customisation and flexibility, Aura offers a robust hierarchy of premium experiences from approachable to top-tier luxury. Whether a partner is looking for an upscale, social environment for the younger generation or an intimate, opulent atmosphere for corporate clientele, Aura can deliver.

Launch of the Agave Club at Frost Bank Center

As the first curated space in the Aura portfolio, Aramark and its partners at Frost Bank Center, home of the San Antonio Spurs, are celebrating the grand opening of the Agave Club presented by SWBC. The recently transformed premium club incorporates all four pillars of Aura to provide an elevated food and beverage experience for guests.

Managed in collaboration with culinary and hospitality experts from Aura, the Agave Club features a captivating atmosphere with an ever-changing array of culinary options. The club can seat up to 310 patrons and features upper- and lower-ledge seating, bar-style seating, dining tables, a private lounge area, multiple chef action stations, grazing and specialty item counters, and an outdoor patio.

Agave Club Patio

To create an elevated and modern aesthetic, a range of materials and design features were used. Sleek yet comfortable furniture was thoughtfully chosen to invite guests to relax and socialise in the captivating entertainment space. Hexagon terrazzo pieces and peacock green stacked tile were selected to complement the colour palette and spirit of the San Antonio Spurs. Warm lighting was incorporated throughout the club to capture the essence of exclusivity, while also maintaining a feeling of accessibility.

Joe Loomis, SVP Finance, Technology and Culinary Operations at Spurs Sports & Entertainment, said:

We are honoured for Frost Bank Center to be the first venue delivering the Aura experience to guests. Aramark’s expertise in delivering the best in culinary and hospitality experiences shines through the Agave Club. We look forward to having guests visit this renovated spot and get a taste of the premium experience.

Main image (top): The Aura, top tier, premium concept

Source & imagery, courtesy: Aramark Sports + Entertainment

Sports Venue Business organises and delivers ALSD International – the leading event and 365 community for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector – on behalf of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).

ALSD International 2023 featured 400+ attendees, who benefitted from a very special tour of The Etihad Stadium, complimented by a high-level conference, exhibition and networking events. This year’s edition also featured the inaugural Tech Symposium and a Fan Experience breakout delivered by IIFX.

#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector

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