Ovations Recognized for International Growth

| November 6, 2013


(Tampa, FL) – A Tampa-based company is providing food and beverage services to more than 9-million customers in more than 130 public assembly facilities throughout the world. Ovations Food Services is an internationally-recognized leader in providing catering and retail concessions. Based in Lutz, FL, the company, which is part of the Comcast-Spectacor family of companies, has been listed on the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2013 list of Top 100 Businesses. The company employs nearly 8,000 people worldwide.

Founded in 1997, Ovations’ President Ken Young and Founder Todd Wickner, introduced a more efficient process to bring guests amazing food and beverage experiences at public assembly facilities. Ovations partnered with Comcast-Spectacor in 2000, growing from a $10 million dollar company with five clients and 15 full-time employees to a $33 million dollar company with 24 clients in the first two years.

“I’ve always been very hands-on in the food service industry. My career began earlier than most, as a teenager I sold hot dogs at Eagles games and carried that passion with me to Penn State where I graduated with a degree in Food Service and Housing Administration,” said Ken Young, Ovations’ President. “Working with Todd over the years, we knew there was a better way to bring guests to the forefront and offer them a one-of-a-kind experience. Our team has grown with industry experts, upping the ante around the globe. I still believe a hands-on approach is what it takes to bring freshness into our venues and that’s exactly how Ovations operates.”

Starting the trend of freshness in the public assembly industry in 2006, Ovations rolled-out a program called Everything’s Fresh™ increasing revenues by 204% from 2006 to 2013. To Ovations, FRESH is more than their mantra, it’s their way of life at arenas, stadiums, fairgrounds, convention centers, racetracks, zoos and casinos throughout the United States and Canada. Clients include EverBank Field in Jacksonville, FL, home of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars; Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, OH; the new Chicago Cubs Spring Training Ballpark in Mesa, AZ; Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, FL; Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto, ON; all three Gila River Casinos in Arizona just to name a few. Locally in the Tampa Bay Area, Ovations manages the food and beverage services at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, Ruth Eckerd Hall and Capitol Theatre, the Lakeland Center and consults at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. When guests visit one of Ovations’ client facilities, they will never find pre-wrapped food sitting in a heating drawer, food is made-to-order, FRESH!

“I interviewed 11 years ago for the position of Staff Accountant, right out of college,” said Rachael Cagle, Ovations’ Controller. At that time the finance department was quite small – less than a 10th of the size it is now. The company has grown, the department has grown and so have I. Looking at the department now and how much talent we have – it is awesome. We work hard and we are a team!”

Over 9 million customers are served by Ovations, resulting in annual sales of over $250 million. With yearly client growth averaging at 14% and total employee growth at 74% since 2006, it’s no wonder that Ovations has won employee growth, innovation and industry awards.

Source: Ovations Food Services

Category: Member News

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