October 2, 2013 (Tampa, FL) – Now in his 8th season calling the food & beverage shots at EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ryan Prep’s interest in food service at public assembly facilities began long before being recruited by Ovations Food Services.
“I remember my dad assigning me to a stand at the age of twelve to help squeeze lemonade during a U2 concert,” explained Ryan Prep about his father Doug Drewes, Ovations’ Executive Vice President. “As I grew older, I moved up the ranks to pressure washing stands at Tampa Stadium (now Raymond James Stadium), washing dishes and bar tending. It was only natural, as I experienced every aspect of the industry, that I grew fond of it and could see this becoming my career.”
Ryan attended Florida State University and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Out of college he was hired as Club Manager at the Jacksonville Jaguars Stadium, then managed by Centerplate. After Ovations took over food and beverage operations in 2006, Ryan was promoted to Concessions Manager and was instrumental in helping the then General Manager, Thomas Anastasia, introduce the first fully FRESH program in an NFL stadium. This means, Ovations retired pre-wrapped food items to serve everything fresh off the grill, a program called Everything’s Fresh™.
In 2008, Ryan moved to Alpharetta, Georgia to oversee construction at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, ensuring Ovations’ Everything’s Fresh™ program could function properly, prior to opening the 12,000-seat state-of-the-art venue. During the spring months, Ryan moved to Arizona to run Ovations’ operations at Hohokam Stadium, the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs, and helped open Goodyear Ballpark, the spring training home of the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds. His success and achievements landed him back in Jacksonville in June of 2012 as General Manager at EverBank Field.
So, what is Ryan’s game plan for a successful food and beverage program? “Always keep it fresh, don’t let the menu go stale,” he said.
Ryan works closely with his “coach” Tom Anastasia, now Ovations’ Regional Vice President with oversight of EverBank Field, to introduce unique concepts and menu items each season. This year, Jacksonville Stix and Duval Taco Co. two new concepts were introduced and are already receiving positive fan feedback. Stix features three uniquely marinated meats including Jerk Chicken, Mojo Pork, and Korean Beef, over chilled sobo noodle salad and Duval Taco Co. features a Bang Bang Shrimp Taco, Pork Carnitas Taco and Salsa Verde Taco. Another fan favorite is freshly-made Golden Belgian waffle sliders topped with chicken, sweet and spicy red cabbage slaw then sprinkled with tangy Crystal Hot Sauce and honey.
Ryan and Tom are already in the test kitchen working on the game plan for fresh new menu items for the 2014-2015 season.
About Ovations Food Services, LP: A nationally ranked food service company, Ovations Food Services (www.ovationsfoodservices.com) delivers fresh menus, fresh management and fresh ideas to public assembly venues, hotels and casinos throughout the United States and Canada. Ovations specializes in food, beverage, merchandise and hospitality services for stadiums, arenas, convention centers, fairgrounds, expo-centers, racetracks, zoos, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, casinos and hotels. Considered by many as the best managed and most innovative company in the industry, Ovations’ results oriented senior management team has been involved in managing almost every major public assembly facility throughout the United States and Canada.
About Comcast Spectacor: Comcast-Spectacor® (comcast-spectacor.com) is the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), the home arena for both the Flyers and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, the Wells Fargo Center, and four Flyers Skate Zone community ice skating and hockey rinks. In addition, Comcast-Spectacor is also the principal owner of Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly management field with more than 115 facilities throughout the United States and Canada; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage service provider; New Era Tickets, a ticketing and marketing company for public assembly facilities; Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company; FanOne, a digital fan marketing company; and Paciolan, the leading provider of venue enablement, ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions.