Restaurant Report: Coliseum aces inspections while feeding thousands

Restaurant Report: Coliseum aces inspections while feeding thousands
The Richmond Coliseum was built in 1971.

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This week's Restaurant Report Hall of Fame award goes to a place that feeds literally thousands of people every night, while earning perfect scores on its inspections: the Richmond Coliseum.

How do they do it? To find out, we went behind closed doors and into the kitchens.

SMG Food and Beverage Director Mark Worsley took us through a typical day, which he says is never actually typical. On this night, they're preparing for the Raiders' playoff game.

"You know, some of these events we do are 8,000 people, and they're all hitting the concession stands at once," he said, showing how concessions are set up to serve food fast.

But if you think that all the Coliseum serves is popcorn, hotdogs and nachos, think again. It actually caters hundreds of different events a year, including weddings, all with different menus.

"We have Idina Menzel on the 7th, we have Jehovah Witnesses coming, we have Bill Maher," said Worsley, showing some of the events on the calendar on his office wall.

And he says many performers have special requests.

"It can be anything from a red curry Thai peanut sauce for two people that they want in their dressing room after their act," he said, "or it's a special cod that one of our guests wanted and we had it flown in."

Worsley says cooking for thousands of circus fans can be like running a three-ring circus, making sure everything stays clean and foods stay the right temperatures.

"We have temperature logs for the walk-in coolers, temperature logs for the items in there. We have labels and dates, all the basics that are handled," he said.

It's hard work that has paid off. The Coliseum has earned perfect health inspection scores for three straight years.

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