Concessions Confessions: Working a Concession Stand at a Major Sporting Event

I have been “lucky” enough to have worked at a food concession stand at a major sporting event. I’m not talking high school football games, here. I’m talking 102,000+ people at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, home of the 12th Man and Texas A&M University. Recently there was quite a bit of grumbling on Twitter and Facebook about the “inefficiency” and long, slow-moving lines at the concession stands at Aggie Football games. I am not going to dispute that this occured. It probably did! And Texas A&M has already hired 200+ more workers to try and alleviate this problem. I just wanted to inform some of you who do not know about how the typical concession stand order goes and I am quite confident that you will see where some of the problem lies. None of the things I am about to type are an exaggeration, I assure you. All of these things happened, usually over and over again every 10min or so. me: Howdy! what can I do for you? patron: FINALLY! do you know how long I have waited in this line!!?? OK we want 6 cokes and uh… 2 dr peppers and a sprite JULIE!! JULIE!! did you want sprite? ok make that last one a tea. me: ok I’m sorry we do not have coke or sprite, we only carry pepsi products. patron: YA’LL ARE OUT OF COKE?? that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of!!! well WHEN do you think you’re going to be GETTING some MORE?? me: no sir we are not out of coke. we do not carry coke. we only serve pepsi products. so is pepsi and sierra mist ok? patron: are you SURE you don’t have any coke? NONE AT ALL?? not even in the BACK?? So it’s PEPSI AND THAT’S IT!!?? SIIIIIIGH I guess we’ll order all dr peppers then because I refuse to drink that pepsi crap. it’s NASTY!!! I don’t know WHO would drink pepsi. it’s GROSS!!!! me: ok so 7 dr peppers and a tea? patron: no, SPRITE. me: remember sir we don’t have sprite. sierra mist ok? patron: UGH! that’s right. no I guess sweet tea me: we only have unsweet. sorry! there are sugar and splenda packets right over there. patron: NO SWEET TEA!!?? YOU REALIZE YOU’RE IN THE SOUTH DON’T YOU!!?? HUHUHUHUHUHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! me: ok so 7 dr peppers and a tea. got it. anything else? patron: yes we need 4 hamburgers, 2 with lettuce and 2 without, 1 with mustard, 1 with ketchup, 1 with mayo and ketchup… me (interrupting): sir the burgers just come with a patty and a bun. you put the fixings on it yourself patron: ya’ll won’t put anything on them AT ALL? so it’s just DRY? me: yes sir. you can put lettuce, onions… patron interrupting: I DON’T LIKE ONIONS!!! me: haha ok but the point is you can put whatever you want on there, and you can leave the onions off if you want to patron: SIIIIGH OKAY. you getting all this so far? I’m going to miss the entire 1st quarter!!!! uhh I guess next I want 2 orders of…how much are nachos? me: regular nachos are $4, super nachos are $7 patron: what’s the difference? me: regular nachos are just chips and cheese, super nachos are made to order with cheese, chili, jalapenos, olives, etc patron: well just give me 2 orders of regular nachos but I want some jalapenos on the side. you know, in a little cup or something me: ok sorry unfortunately I cannot do that. if I give you jalapenos I have to charge you for super nachos. patron (incredulous) WHY?? me: that’s the policy sir. very sorry. patron: you can’t just put a few on a napkin or something? me: unfortunately, no. patron: THIS IS TAKING FORVER! I’M GOING TO MISS THE ENTIRE GAME AT THIS RATE!!! me: ok so just the 7 dr peppers, the 1 tea, the 4 burgers and the 2 nachos? patron: NO NACHOS! unless you’re gonna GIVE ME SOME JALAPENOS!!! because I’m not PAYIN’ $7 for a few JALAPENOS!!! me: ok sorry sir. that total comes to…$56 patron: FIFTY SIX DOLLARS!!!???? me: yes sir. 8 drinks at $3.50 each, and 4 burgers at $7 each. patron: I can eat at CHRISTOPHER’S (local 5-star restaurant) for that!!! (throws 3 $20 bills at me, I give him $4 change and go on to the next person in line while the people behind me fill the burgers and drinks order) NEXT PATRON: it’s about a 6 year old boy with a very elderly man accompanying him me: howdy! what can I do for you? patron 2: mumble mumle mumble me: I’m sorry I can’t hear you! could you please repeat that? patron 2: (very softly): what kind of candy do you have? PATRON 1 INTERRUPTS: THIS TEA IS WAY TOO STRONG!!!! HOW LONG’S IT BEEN UP HERE!!?? ALL MORNING!!?? DON’T YA’LL HAVE ANY FRESH TEA!!?? me to patron 1: ok sorry sir hold on 1 second me to patron 2: we have snickers, skittles and peanut m&m’s… patron 1: I WAS HERE FIRST!!!!! me ignoring patron 1 now, looking at patron 2 patron 2: mumble mumble mumble me: I’m sorry what was that? patron 2 (very softly): i want milk duds me: I’m sorry we don’t have any milk duds patron 1 interrupting YEAH THEY DON’T HAVE ANY COKE EITHER!!!! patron 2: ok then skittles me: ok skittles. got it. here ya go, that’ll be $2.50 patron 2: slowly hands me 1 crumpled, wet $1 bill and about 40 various coins. elderly man smiles and tells me how he’s doing this himself for the 1st time. I smile back while separating his sticky, wet change, thinking this might not be the absolute best time for this life lesson… patron 1: IS SOMEONE GOING TO GIVE ME ANOTHER TEA!!?? AND THIS TIME NOT SO MUCH ICE!!! YA’LL ARE RIPPING PEOPLE OFF FILLING UP THE CUP ALL THE WAY WITH ICE!!! me: sir, if we give you tea again, it’s going to be from the same pitcher as last time. do you want something else instead? patron 1: YA’LL HAVEN’T MADE ANY MORE YET!!?? me: since 3min ago? no sir. patron: ya’ll have water? me: yes sir. a bottle of water is $3? patron: well the TEA was $3.50!!! you going to give me back my $0.50 change!!?? me: uh, sure. (reaching in pocket and handing him my own 2 quarters rather than get the stand manager to go thru the incredibly tedious process of filling out the forms for a $0.50 refund. I estimate that I do this 15-16 times every game that I work concessions, costing me personally about $10 a game, so that’s awesome) patron 3: 1 dr pepper please (hands me exact change in cash) me: BLESS YOU KIND SIR!!! MAY THE LORD’S GRACE SHINE DOWN ON YOU AND MAY HE GRANT FAVOR TO YOU AND YOURS FOR ALL OF YOUR DAYS


  1. I went to A&M back in the 80's, and it seems some things do stay the same :)

  2. Haha! I find this honest tale really interesting.


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