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13 October 2023



13 October 2023

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Rotherham United and Elior UK would like to thank the supporters who have dedicated time to responding to our request for feedback regarding the matchday catering operation at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The club received over 400 responses to the online form with supporters highlighting areas in which they believe the service can be improved and, having met with all the parties involved in our matchday catering provision, we are pleased to provide the following information and answers to the points raised.

Replies submitted covered topics from the range and quality of items available from the kiosks to speed of service, whilst other discussion points included questions around staffing and training levels.

As we are sure you will be able to appreciate, many of you flagged similar points to our attention and, as a result, the following write-up has been condensed into a format which accounts for that overlap.

Undoubtedly, having canvassed opinion from you the supporters - and having sat down with senior representation from Elior UK and other partners involved in the catering operation - our focus is on improving in the areas in which concerns have been raised.

Whilst we will endeavour to work together to enforce positive change across the board, we are under no illusions that they cannot all be implemented overnight and ask that you are patient with us as we look to put systems and equipment in place that help us to progress the matchday catering experience.

Both the club and Elior UK will continue to welcome constructive feedback as we strive to improve our kiosk offerings and thank everyone who was in touch as part of our survey for their comments.


Click the + below to see the responses...

On average, every season we sell approximately 70,000 Pukka Pie products at AESSEAL New York Stadium, and we are aware – via social media – that on an extremely limited number of occasions those have fallen short on expectations.

Our retail teams are continually trained in the correct cooking process, in line with various Food Safety Legislation and supplier recommendations, and we are tremendously grateful for the further support provided by Eric Twigg Foods. We have enlisted the help of Managing Director Matt Twigg, which has allowed us to collectively identify areas in which improvements can be made in the preparation process.

We would also like to add that the Management Catering Team would encourage any supporter that is unhappy with a product that they have purchased from our kiosks on a matchday brings this to the attention of our Retail Team, who will alert a manager to resolve this immediately.

We take great care when it comes to ordering stock for home matchdays with plenty of factors accounted for including what has been popular amongst supporters at AESSEAL New York Stadium in the past, the anticipated crowd figure and even the weather.

We understand that there will have been occasions whereby supporters have reached a kiosk that has sold out of a particular food item, but - more often than not – we do still have a stock of those products on-sale inside the stadium.

To try to better distribute our stock around the stadium kiosks – and particularly during half-time – we have employed ‘retail runners’ who will be responsible for maintaining adequate stock levels at each kiosk on matchdays.

Whilst this will never be an exact science, it should reduce the number of instances where a supporter in the North Stand is told that there are no sausage rolls left, whilst a kiosk in the West Stand has three shelves full of them.

We are always looking at ways in which we can improve the range and quality of items available to supporters and are aware that this is a question that has been asked frequently by Rotherham United fans.

There are certain limitations within some of the kiosks around the stadium due to their footprint and size, but we will strive to maximise our range with the continued exploration of products that we can make available within these parameters.

Elior Catering Hot Dog Nachos (2).jpeg

The start of the 2023/24 campaign saw us introduce a host of new items to our menus with a Traditional Hot Dog and Loaded Chilli Cheese Dog being served.

By request of supporters following positive feedback in the UEFA Women’s EUROs we also brought back our Loaded Nachos to our regular matchday menu. These are available topped with chilli (either beef or vegetable) and toppings or the more traditional salsa, sour cream and jalapenos.

We are exploring the possibility of introducing even more diverse items to our menus and are set to trial a couple of new offerings over the coming weeks.


Elior Catering Hot Dog Nachos (1).jpeg

The decision was made ahead of the start of the current season to remove burgers from the retail offering entirely this year for a number of operational reasons.

Those same images appear to have resurfaced again as we are still getting feedback on the inconsistency of the quality of that product – which is no longer available to buy anywhere inside AESSEAL New York Stadium.

As previously mentioned, and as some supporters may have noted, none of the stadium kiosks are fitted with griddles or fryers with extraction units. Unfortunately, this impacts on the food offer that we are able to facilitate on the concourses.

Due to the layout of the stadium and the different sized kiosks in each stand, not all hot food products can be made available in every area.

Limited service and counter space in certain kiosks impact our ability to install the equipment required to cook particular items and the decision was made to maximise the offer in every stand – even if that meant us being unable to do it for every single kiosk.

Below is a table highlighting the hot food offer available at each kiosk.

West Stand

North Stand

East Stand

South Stand

Kiosk 1

Kiosk 3

Kiosk 6

Kiosk 8

Full Hot Food Menu

Pukka Pies, Mash, Peas and Gravy

Pukka Pies, Mash, Peas and Gravy

Pukka Pies,

Hot Dogs and Nachos

Kiosk 2

Kiosk 4

Kiosk 6a

Kiosk 9

Full Hot Food Menu

Pukka Pies,

Hot Dogs and Nachos

Pukka Pies,

Hot Dogs and Nachos

Pukka Pies, Mash, Peas and Gravy


Kiosk 5

Kiosk 6b

Kiosk 10

Pukka Pies, Mash, Peas and Gravy

Pukka Pies, Mash, Peas and Gravy

Pukka Pies

Hot Dogs and Nachos


Kiosk 7


Pukka Pies

Hot Dogs and Nachos

We understand that supporters enjoy a drink before the game and have – in the past – delayed their arrival to the stadium because of the heavy footfall at our kiosks before kick-off.

With that in mind, we are trialling a new pop-up bar which will be located on the stadium footprint by the Community Hub – effective immediately.

From here, fans will be able to purchase drinks and snacks whilst also soaking up the matchday atmosphere and enjoying the entertainment provided by the Rotherham United Community Trust in the Community Hub area.

We not only see this is a positive addition to the matchday catering experience, but a way to alleviate queuing when supporters first enter the stadium through the turnstiles.

If the above pop-up bar proves to be successful with supporters over the coming weeks, there are also plans in place to add hot food to the provision later this month.

Our advice will always be, to ensure that you have the best possible matchday experience we suggest you arrive at the ground early

Having seen this point raised by several supporters, the club has taken the time to consult with our stadium safety personnel about the possibility of returning to serving bottles with lids.

The club has been concentrating – and will continue to – effort on ensuring supporter safety at AESSEAL New York Stadium as part of the Love Football. Protect the Game. campaign.

As our supporters will be aware, the club can and will be sanctioned by the game’s governing bodies for instances of anti-social behaviour – which includes the throwing of missiles onto the field of play. Furthermore, throwing articles onto the playing area is a criminal offence and alongside the sanctions that the club will face, we will work closely with South Yorkshire Police to identify offenders and punish them appropriately.

Following careful consideration and after supporter feedback, the club has taken the decision to re-instate the serving of soft drinks with bottle tops in all home areas of the ground.

Whilst we hope that this will remain the case indefinitely, the club will reserve the right to revoke this rule in the first instance that a bottle is thrown onto or in the direction of the field of play, or indeed, any player, staff member or supporter inside AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Prior to every new season, we benchmark our prices against other comparable stadiums as we recognise the fine balance between managing rising costs and the expectations of our supporters.

Due to unforeseen circumstances around the world and the unexpected level of increase in the National Living Wage the last three years have seen an unprecedented level of inflation driving supplier increases. With the exception of fuel and utilities, no area has been more greatly impacted than food – as we all experience within our weekly food bill.

This season we have tried to mitigate the price increases by delisting some ‘Grab and Go’ items to allow us to introduce more cost-effective alternatives. We have also changed some of our drink products from draught to bottled/canned – and vice-versa – to provide supporters with the most competitive prices we can.

Regretfully, without the sales volumes we do not have the buying power of our well-known supermarkets but do understand that we will continue to be benchmarked against certain ‘off-the-shelf’ prices.

In addition to material costs, our staffing outgoings are significantly higher which is one of the driving factors of any stadium’s price points. A high level of retail staff is required for what is in-effect a relatively short window of high-volume service – approximately 45 minutes.

Elior UK are proud to confirm that we have now NOT used agency staff to support the retail service at the stadium since April 2022 and instead have in place a consistent team of retail staff.

This has been a significant improvement since the commencement of the catering contract at which time 70% of the retail team were provided via agencies with ever-changing personnel.

At the end of every season, we implement a recruitment plan over the course of the summer supporting Rotherham University, college students and local residents.

One of the many positives we can draw from this process is that we are now able to put broadly the same service team in each kiosk match after match. This is a benefit to our supporters as the team are familiar with their working environment and the match day offer.

Due to the nature of the football season being what it is – with on-average 23 home games – this limited number of shifts can be a challenge for some team members, who will often have multiple jobs. Therefore, our recruitment process remains open throughout the season, should we need to add further team members. We also provide our existing team with the option of additional hours at other Elior UK venues to support their income and thank them for their loyalty.

Due to the consistence of staffing this season we have already seen a real improvement in the speed of service throughout the stadium and are continuing to look at initiatives that can help to expedite the service time.

We are currently exploring the introduction of an EPOS system throughout the stadium as a long-term solution. We expect that this would have a hugely positive impact on our current speed of service by considerably improving transaction times for our customers as products and sales would no longer need to be manually entered into the tills.

With the support of the club, we have already taken great strides towards moving supporters in the direction of cashless transactions. Whilst this may only seem like a small change, cashless transactions are – on average – four times quicker than those made with cash, meaning that with your help, we will be able to tackle the queues quicker when more people are paying by cashless methods.

Whilst we are confident that our workforce is well-equipped and capable of performing their duties, we are aware that there are sometimes situations which may be challenging for some of our younger or more inexperienced staff on matchdays.

With that in mind, we are currently in the process of recruiting a dedicated, full-time Retail and Bars Manager, who will not only focus on the continued development of our product offer, but also staff training and service standards.

Reducing queuing times at peak periods is the biggest challenge that any operator faces but – as above – we have already highlighted areas in which we feel that staff training coupled with other processes can help us to speed up service.

In addition to those, listed below are further measures that we have put in place to support the reduction in time that supporters spend in queues:

  • We have doubled the number of pump heads behind the kiosks, therefore doubling the number of pints that can be poured each minute and subsequently providing a quicker service.


  • The new external pop-up bar beside the Community Hub will be in operation from our next home game with Ipswich Town on Friday 20th October 2023.



  • Pre-poured pints have been implemented for half time service only. We would like to clarify that these drinks are NOT poured at kick off time. The pouring of pints begins 10 minutes before the half time whistle and cups are only filled up to three quarters full. Once service begins at half time, these same pints are topped up upon order with the process ensuring that customers are served quicker and our pints are still fresh and chilled.


  • Club Partners Carlsberg UK have agreed to provide two portable dispense units that we will be able to operate around the stadium, as ‘pop up bars’. This should also help to reduce wait times in our busiest areas.


  • The ‘Pie Stops’ located around the concourses at AESSEAL New York Stadium will now be open every game, due to increased staffing levels. Each ‘Pie Stop’ will serve soft drinks, confectionary and Pukka Pies.

Our club Pouring Partners are Carlsberg UK, who have not only made a significant investment as part of that commercial deal, but are also a household name in their industry with a fantastic range of products.

To ensure that we honour our commitment to them as part of that deal, it is only right that we select products from their range to serve in the stadium kiosks.

Thanks to the extensive selection of alcoholic beverages that we have available to us through Carlsberg UK, we are proud to say that we offer six different products on draught.

The drinks available on tap throughout the concourses include beers, lagers and ciders as follows:

Tetley’s, Guinness, Carlsberg, San Miguel, Somersby and Somersby Fruit Cider.

We are regularly offered the opportunity to change one or more of these products and always consult Elior UK on whether demand suggests that we should replace any of the above listed drinks with a product that could potentially be more popular amongst our supporters.

We understand that many of our supporters have varying dietary requirements and always endeavour to cater for everyone to the best of our ability.

Whilst we do appreciate that some of those ranges are limited, we do ensure that there are products that everyone is able to enjoy from our concourse offering.



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