While the Round Rock Express season is delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, RS3 Strategic Hospitality is cooking up an innovative use of its supply lines and kitchen space at Dell Diamond.
Thanks to weekly meal packages that also include hard-to-find household staples, Round Rock families can skip the grocery store and meal planning altogether.
“There’s a real appetite locally to use the supply chain to minimize exposure [to COVID-19],” said J.J. Gottsch, chief operating officer of Ryan Sanders Sports & Entertainment. “We’re giving people the option for hands-free shopping without having to go out and run the risk at the grocery store.”
Family meal kits are available for purchase online and a contactless curbside pickup at Dell Diamond. Customers pull up alongside the venue and pop their trunks, and RS3 employees will load the groceries into the vehicles.
Kits include five meals with four to five servings each. The menu changes weekly and includes offerings such as tacos, hamburgers, barbecue, fajitas and more. Most of the meals are already prepared, Gottsch said, so families simply heat and serve the food.
Pantry staples included in the kits vary by week but generally include a few rolls of toilet paper, paper towels, a dozen eggs, rice, a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and butter.
Launched two weeks ago, the meal package program was initially intended for Ryan Sanders employees, Gottsch said.
“We saw this as a chance for them to get the supplies that they needed that were in short supply at the stores in a safer manner, using the inventory we had in the stadium,” he said.
After receiving an enormous response from employees, Jay Kudla, president of RS3 Strategic Hospitality, said the company decided to sell meal kits to the general public beginning last week.
RS3 initially capped the inventory to 50 meal kits and sold out within two hours, Gottsch said. They then increased capacity to 150 kits and promptly sold out the following day. This week, RS3 offered 250 packages and sold out in just over an hour, he said.
“It’s been wildly popular, not only for our employees, but for the general public as well,” Gottsch said. “We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback about taking the pressure and the hassle off folks to have to get the supplies, come up with new menu items.”
Three hundred meal kits will be made available to order for next week's pickup on April 17, Gottsch said. Pickup will be available in the East Lot of Dell Diamond just outside the Bullpen Bar and Home Run Dugout from 1-5 p.m.
The contents of the family meal kits are not customizable, Kudla said, due to supply chain logistics. However, Round Rock residents looking for their favorite ballpark food can order directly from the Bullpen Bar. A daily menu is available for curbside pickup, featuring fan favorites such as chicken wings, quesadillas, salads and alcohol.