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Summer_House_exterior_MCO.png Delaware North
One of Delaware North’s more dramatic recent moves was the opening of the Summer House Santa Monica restaurant as part of its expanded operations at Orlando International Airport.

Delaware North sees record high revenue in 2022

After seeing its markets in travel, leisure and sports/recreation initially hit hard by COVID restrictions, Delaware North has now rebounded to the point where it realized a company record revenue total in 2022.

Delaware North was hit hard by COVID shutdowns in just about all of the company’s core markets, from sports/recreation concessions/catering and airport retail to casinos and public parks, etc., but that only lasted for about the first year of the pandemic, and the company began to crawl back in 2021, bumping revenues from 2020’s $1.45 billion to $2.8 billion—within reach of its all-time high of $3.4 billion set in 2018.

Well, that record has now fallen as Delaware North posted revenues of $3.8 billion for 2022 thanks to aggressive moves like going almost completely cashless and embracing the use of autonomous shopping experiences such as Amazon Just Walk Out and Mastercard Shop Anywhere, along with self-checkout scanners in its Sportservice sports concessions unit.

Delaware North first piloted Amazon Just Walk Out technology in 2021 at its company-owned-and-operated TD Garden in Boston, and that has since been followed by expanding it to Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, UBS Arena on Long Island, Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Nationwide Arena in Columbus and The KIA Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and it seems to be a winner. A case study of 66 events at TD Garden including a mix of both Boston Bruins NHL and Boston Celtics NBA games as well as comedy shows, Disney on Ice and concerts indicated that Just Walk Out zones drove higher throughput, per-cap spending and revenue than traditional grab-and-go options.

The company also expanded its airport operations at Orlando International Airport, opening five of its six food and beverage outlets within the new terminal, including a mix of proprietary concepts and national brand partnerships—Raw Jūce, Cucina, Harvest & Grounds, Greenbeat and DeSano Pizza Bakery. The sixth location, the 7,027-square-foot Summer House Santa Monica, was slated to open in February 2023.  

In other recent moves, Delaware North opened The Space Bar  rooftop bar atop the company’s new Courtyard by Marriott Titusville-Kennedy Space Center hotel while the company-owned-and-operated Southland Casino Hotel in West Memphis, Ark., completed a $320 million expansion that included a brand-new 300-room, 20-story hotel with 12 penthouse suites and a 113,000-sq.ft. gaming floor that features 2,400 slot machines, 50 live table games and a variety of bars and dining options.

Restaurants at Southland include the buffet concept The Kitchens, Ignite Steakhouse, The Fry House, The Grind, Seasons Cafe and the Sports Bar & Grill, while new bars include the Chairman’s Bar, Charred Oak Bourbon Bar and the Ignite Steakhouse Bar.

The company also completed the purchase of charitable gaming casino Boston Billiard Club & Casino in Nashua, N.H., which offers historical horse racing gaming machines, table games, poker tables and restaurant and bar amenities.

For its associates, Delaware North in March 2022 announced the launch of Culinary & Hospitality Excellence for Future Success (CHEFS), a new talent development incubator for the company’s culinarians. Created in partnership with the Culinary Institute of America, CHEFS establishes a formal approach to talent development and career progression for culinarians within Delaware North by pairing promising talent—identified as “emerging culinarians”—with one of the company’s accomplished executive chefs, who serve as a “chef mentor.”

Through a 12-month blend of online CIA curriculum, on-the-job learning and active mentoring, participants emerge with advanced certifications as well as an advanced depth of knowledge and skill.

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