People are chowing down like never before at this U.S. Open.
Caterers reported Friday that sales of food and beverages are running 10 to 20 percent higher than at previous Opens. In some cases, the caterers are looking for alternative suppliers to keep up with demand.
“It is definitely higher than what we had estimated,” said Mike Nagel, head of quality control and operations at the Prom Management Group, the Minnesota-based caterer handling all of the food and drinks for outlets available to general-grounds ticket holders.
“We’ve been doing Opens almost consecutively for 12 years,” Nagel said, “and we’ve broken every single record in sales by a minimum of 10 percent and on some days 20 percent.”
On his cell phone, Nagel called up a few of his sales totals for Thursday: 45,000 beers, 26,000 bottles of water, 10,900 hot dogs.
Why so much?
“The weather has just been perfect,” he said. “It’s nice and cool in the mornings, the sun comes out in the afternoon. It couldn’t be nicer, and people are enjoying themselves.”
Susan Lacz, head of the catering company Ridgewells, which is handling the higher end food, has a slightly different take on it.
“It’s hot and kind of difficult to get around,” Lacz said, “so people are staying inside eating.”
Lacz has catered every U.S. Open since 1993. Her company is feeding all the corporate sponsors, the players, the rules officials, the USGA and the media.