An Interview with Sophia Zulli, Hersheypark Director of Food & Beverage
Working at Hersheypark, one of the things that surprised me about the number of part-time employees hired every season at Hersheypark is that the F&B Department has approximately 200 more seasonal employees than the Ride Operations Department.
Does that mean that guests eat more than they ride? I don’t know, but that fact took me to Sophia Zulli, Director of Food & Beverage at the Park, and a very interesting interview about food sold at the 120-acre amusement park.
Q: What is the most popular food item sold at Hersheypark:
Sophia: Ice Cream, by far, and the most popular flavor is vanilla. (As an ice cream lover, this news does not surprise me!)
Q: How much of each of the following foods was sold during 2014?
French Fries Over 640,000 orders
Ice Cream Over 690,000 servings
Hamburgers Over 175,000
Hot Dogs Over 180,000
Pizza Over 185,000 slices
Chicken Over 330,000 pieces, including tenders, wings, sandwiches
Funnel Cakes Over 52,000
Q: What food trend has surprised you most in recent years?
Sophia: Self Serve areas have really increased the past few years, from ICEE Mix-It-Up concepts to toppings bars for almost every food item. Also, Allergen free/nutritional items continue to substantially increase every year.
Q: Do people still request non carb items (like hamburger without the bun)?
Sophia: Some guests still do, but not as many as in the past. I feel that was more of a fad that has declined. Right now, more people request no bread products because of allergies.
Q: Which is more popular: Pizza or French Fries?
Sophia: French Fries are more popular, because guests often order fries with their Combo Meal or Meal Ticket.
Q: Which S'Mores is the most popular?
Sophia: Traditional S'mores (with the graham cracker) beat out the Chocolate Chip cookie S'more, by only a small margin. We sold more than 12,400 traditional S’Mores and more than 11,300 cookie S’Mores.
Please visit Hersheypark.com and check out all the options available for guests, not only in F&B but throughout the Park. And, be sure to share your #HersheyparkHappy photos with us!