The Masters – An Art in Food Costs
Quote for Today: “Never feel sorry for anyone who makes more money than you.” Many anonymous intellects
The big event has come and gone again, another sudden death and a new champion arose. A tiger was lurking in the background ready to pounce. But, a thorn in his foot took him off the trail. The handsome koala from Down-under escaped his grasp and won the first Masters title for his native Australia.
Watching the last three holes on Sunday, Mr. Scott seemed poised to win the $1.44 million dollar check and a green jacket to go with his Mercedes emblazoned polo shirt and his Titleist cap. Money will surely not be a problem for Mr. Scott any more as well as for most associated with this event. The thing that gets me are the praises everyone gives for the Masters being so kind to the patrons at the concession stands.
If you look at the Masters food and beverage prices you will be amazed that you may eat well for the price of a Happy Meal. The egg salad, pimento cheese, ham and cheese, tuna salad, and turkey sandwiches are a mere $1.50. A Coca-Cola is $1. as well as are chips, peanuts, or a cookie. Why do they do this act of goodwill for fans? Volume!
The one time I graced these hallowed grounds with my presence was the year after Tiger Woods won his first title. Arriving at 9 a.m. on the first practice day, my first view was of the free standing concession stand. Needless to say, there was a large line outside this stand upon entering golf’s sanctuary and I was in it. In the ten minutes it took me to get through the line, I noticed that most people were spending $5 per person and each one was purchasing for two to three others. I also noticed that there were sixteen cashiers serving two people per minute. I was impressed that everything was very efficient and cheap. As I made my way through the course that day, there were three other temporary concessions serving the same menu with sixteen cashiers per tent. Throughout the day every tent had a line and things went smoothly. This was from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and I never encountered a tent without a line. I was more impressed with the efficiency of these volunteers than I was by the golfers who dropped three to four balls every time they took a stroke during practice.
As far as I knew, these people were just happy to be a part of the biggest stage in golf. The sandwiches, which were great for the money, probably had a twenty-five percent food costs with a lot of free labor. A Coca-Cola in a plastic cup can’t cost more than twenty cents and an ice tea even less. Two dollars and twenty-five cents for a domestic draft beer in a cup the beer distributors gave away for free cost close to the same. All in all, this is a money making machine.
As I pondered what was going on and trying to do the math in my head, my vision was – 64 cashiers x 2 customers per minute x 60 minutes in a hour x 9 hrs that I was there. I got 69,120 customers. If the average person was buying for two people, that’s 138,240 customers. If each person averaged $5 per sale that is $691,200.
I am assuming Monday and Tuesday are their busiest days in terms of fans because it is kind of a free for all with people all over the place. Wednesday’s par three tournament is calmer and the four day main event is one of the hardest tickets to get in sports. If the food sales were cut in half on these five slower days, then added to the 1.352 million dollars in sales on the practice days you would get conservatively 3.11 million in food sales for the week.
Since they have been doing this for years, I have a sneaky suspicion that they (who ever they are) make the industry standard $310,100 per event that is called the Masters. So if you are lucky enough to get to go to this gala event, eat up and don’t feel guilt. If the cashier’s won’t accept tips, slip some money to the guys keeping trash off the course. They do a great job and it is usually thankless.
Chef TJ & CJ
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