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What To Look For When Hiring Stadium Staff For Events

May 9, 2022 by Joel Davidge

What event staff do you need at stadium events? What are the types of stadium staff? How many staff do you need at stadium events?

As well as our work at luxury event venues, we’ve been lucky enough to work at some of the UK’s most prestigious stadiums.

Trust us when we say that hiring for stadium events is very different to hiring for other parts of the hospitality sector like a bar or wedding venue.

Below, we break down the staff you need to run a stadium event successfully, and what to look for when hiring.

What types of stadium event are there?

When we say stadium events, you’ll likely think of a sporting event like a football or rugby match.

However, though these are the primary events at stadiums in the UK, there are a wide variety of other live events which take place at stadiums.

Trade shows, concerts, corporate hospitality for live events, and charity fundraisers are all examples of stadium events.

Whilst some stadium staffing job roles will be required at all, each event type will require different stadium agency staff to ensure the day is a success.

What event staff do you need at a stadium?

How many event staff you need at a stadium event will depend on the number of visitors and how many areas of the stadium are open.

The average capacity for the UK’s 50 largest stadiums is 40,000 guests but many of the major stadiums like Wembley, Twickenham, and Old Trafford hold over 70,000 people.

With hospitality operations, parking staff, retail and merchandise, and security this amounts to well over a thousand staff, with larger events requiring several thousand employees to make sure things run smoothly.

Of course, if you’re running a corporate event on a day without a match or live event then you will probably require less staff, as only the corporate hospitality areas will be open.

What types of Stadium Staff are there?

Once you’ve identified the number of staff required in each area, you’ll need to select your staff.

Stadium event jobs come in a wide variety of forms, which makes them a great place for hospitality workers to learn their trade.

However, if you’re looking at a hiring event, you’ll need to identify some key character traits to ensure you’re putting employees into the right role.

Stadium Bar Staff

Most stadium kiosks will have multiple bars situated around the arena space. The corporate hospitality lounges will also often have their own bars, which need talented staff to make drinks.

Stadium bar service is often unfairly characterised as fast-paced, with a preference for speed over everything else.

Whilst speed of service is important, quality is also vital.

You need your bar staff for stadium events to have at least a basic understanding of the tenets of bartending.

This is even more the case when you have a branded bar sponsored by a drinks brand. The brand representatives will want reassurance that your bar team can present their product in perfect serve style and be knowledgeable about the drink.

What do stadium bar staff do?

Stadium bar staff will serve a mix of drinks including beers, wine, spirits, and soft drinks.

In some circumstances they may also serve cocktails and hot beverages like teas and coffees.

A basic knowledge of drinks is key when looking for bar staff for stadiums.

What to look for when hiring stadium bar staff:

Can they pour a pint?

Do they know the difference between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Grigio?

Do they hold a personal licence?

A stadium bar staff member pours a pint

Brand Ambassadors

A key tool in the event marketers playbook, brand ambassadors communicate and personify key brand values from corporate sponsors.

This is a vitally important role for stadium events as how well the brand representatives perceive the event has gone will impact future sponsorship and funding opportunities.

What do stadium brand ambassadors do?

Represent the stadium or sponsor brand to the public, building rapport and trust

Promote key product or brand USPs to visitors to the stadium

What to look for when hiring brand ambassadors for stadium events?

Do they have a winning and friendly personality?

Can they keep a good energy level even on a long shift?

Can they communicate brand messages in a fun and engaging way?

A drinks sampling team for Greenalls Gin at Epsom Racecourse
The Cocktail Service supplied a drinks sampling team for Greenalls Gin at Epsom Racecourse

Ticket Staff for Stadium Events

As the first face seen by customers, stadium ticketing staff need to be friendly, organised, with the ability to work quickly and deescalate any issues (you’d be surprised just how many times people forget their tickets).

Getting the right staff for this role is vital.

More focus is rightly being put on security at stadiums, so the stadium staff responsible for ticketing are often also briefed to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.

What do stadium ticket staff do?

Check that all visitors have a valid ticket

Provide a warm welcome to the stadium event

Escalate any issues to a supervisor to ensure the swift flow of guests into the stadium

Report any security concerns to the security staff

What to look for when hiring stadium ticket staff:

Do they have experience in similar fast paced environments?

Can they keep calm under pressure?

Brand merchandise
Brand merchandise from an event with Mount Gay Rum

Stadium Retail and Merchandise Staff

Stadiums often negotiate a percentage of revenue from merchandise sales, so this is a key income stream.

Retail staff for stadiums need to be excellent salespeople who can spot opportunities to upsell and convert sales.

Experience in using a Point-of-Sale (POS) machine is useful, as is experience in totalling up tills at the end of shift.

What do stadium retail staff do?

Use Point-of-Sale (POS) machines to manage transactions of merchandise

Ensure kiosk merchandise is organised neatly, with key items clearly visible

Identify opportunities to upsell additional merchandise

What to look for when hiring stadium retail staff:

Can they identify and communicate key product USPs?

Are they able to build rapport with customers, with the aim of pushing them towards a sale?

Stadium Kiosk Staff

If you’ve ever been at a football match at half time, you’ll know how busy the queues can be at the food and drink stalls.

The best stadium kiosk staff are laser focused on their assigned task, be it flipping burgers, pouring drinks, or taking orders and payment.

There is no time for big egos working in a kitchen brigade.

Everyone works as part of a machine to get the job done efficiently.

What to look for when hiring stadium kiosk staff:

Do they have experience in food environments like a fast-food chain?

Are they able to deal with quick requests and operate in a loud, busy environment?

Stadium Kiosk staff from The Cocktail Service

Stadium Wait Staff

Waiting tables and other catering roles are great options for those looking for entry level positions.

If they’re friendly and keen to learn, you can teach them the rest.

Waiting staff at stadiums can either work in VIP lounges for corporate events or live event days.

There may also be several restaurants situated either inside the stadium itself or nearby.

Restaurant service is different to working on a kiosk or food stand.

It requires the ability to note down complicated orders clearly, remember specials of the day and be up to date with allergen information.

What to look for when hiring stadium waiters:

Can they remember and highlight specials of the day to customers?

Are they able to remember key allergen information?

Runners

Another great entry level job for those who want to learn the ropes.

The runners primary task is to deliver food from the kitchen to the table.

They need the ability to remember key information such as dietary requirements and which table they are delivering to.

Runners need to be calm under pressure, able to clearly communicate any issues back to the kitchen team.

What to look for when hiring stadium runners:

Can they deliver dishes to tables in a swift fashion, but without spilling anything?

Can they remember and follow instructions relating to dietary requirements?

Kitchen Porter

The backbone of the kitchen operation. Without the kitchen porter, the stadium food outlets simply won’t function.

What to look for when hiring stadium porters:

Can they work in fast paced environments?

Are they ready to get stuck in and get their hands dirty?

Are they autonomous, able to work under their own steam to complete assigned tasks?

Kitchen Assistant

Stadium kitchen assistants usually work in the stand kiosks heating a variety of food like burgers and pies.

As much of the food used at stadiums will be cooked from frozen, kitchen assistants need to be able to use tools like thermometers to ensure that the food served is fit for consumption.

What to look for when hiring stadium kitchen assistants:

Can they follow instructions and replicate basic food tasks to a good standard?

Once shown, can they operate kitchen equipment in a safe manner?

Chef

Chefs at stadium events generally work in the larger kitchens assigned to the hospitality areas, though on some occasions will also be assigned to kiosks.

Even when they’re up in the corporate boxes, stadium event catering is a numbers game.

Stadium chefs need to be able to combine a passion for great food, with a pragmatism to replicate the same dish hundreds and hundreds of times during one service.

What to look for when hiring stadium chefs:

Can they produce basic sauces like bearnaise and hollandaise from scratch?

Are they detailed when plating up (does their 100th plate look like their 1st?)

Do they hold food hygiene certificates?

A cleaner wipes the floor at a stadium event

Facilities Management and Stadium Cleaning Staff

The unsung heroes of stadium events, stadium cleaning staff need to have a good attention to detail ensuring that every area is clean and sparkling ready for the next event.

They spot the things that most people would walk past (like a toilet roll which is nearly out).

Facilities management is a great way to learn how a stadium operation runs behind the scenes.

What to look for when hiring stadium cleaning staff:

Do they have previous cleaning experience?

Are they able to spot even the smallest items which need replaced or cleaned?

Stadium Porters

What to look for when hiring stadium porters:

Do they have experience in moving heavy objects safely? (Think, kegs of beer)

A keg of beer at Aintree Races Grand National
A key question when hiring stadium staff: can your event porters move these safely?

Stadium Stewards

As well as showing people where to go during the event, stadium stewards act as energisers, getting the crowd ready for the event.

What to look for when hiring event stadium stewards:

Are they able to retain critical venue information such as the location of emergency exits?

Stadium Security Staff

Security staff ensure that we can enjoy the live event or sports match without having to worry about our safety.

The first question to ask when looking to hire security staff is whether they have official accreditation.

If not, then they have not received the training necessary to keep you, your team, and your guests safe.

What do stadium security do?

Control the flow of guests in and out of the stadium

Check for weapons or other illegal items

Assess guests for drunkenness or signs of other illegal substances

Identify any hazards or risks

What to look for when hiring stadium staff:

Do they hold a SIA badge?

Are they up to speed with current security legislation, including proposals such as Martyn’s Law?

Can they communicate with guests, deescalating any conflict?

A steward shows a guest the nearest exit, one of the key attributes when hiring stadium staff

Event Manager

AKA the ones who walk around really fast.

Stadium managers need to have a key attention to detail but be able to delegate so that they can keep an eye on the bigger picture. They will be all over

If you’re reading this far, this is probably you, or you might be looking to hire your next event manager.

What does an event manager do?

Plan and manage live events such as sports matches, corporate hospitality, business meetings or more.

Liaise with department supervisors to ensure each area of the event is running as it should.

Manage event budgets and create post-event reports.

What to look for in a stadium event manager:

Do they have previous event management experience?

Though it helps if they’ve worked at a stadium before, any hospitality management experience is a good sign.

This can also be in a junior management positions, for example, if they’ve been a team leader on a bar.

Hiring staff for stadium events can be easy

We hope you found this guide to staffing for stadium events useful. Is there anything you would add to our list? Let us know

With over 10 years of experience providing bar staff and other hospitality professionals to the UK’s most exclusive events, we know a thing or two about staffing. Chat to us now

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