Food Network and Delaware North Restaurants

The Food Network and Delaware North Companies are joining together to create new menus for sports venues. Food Network- branded dishes will appear on Delaware North’s Sportservice venues in baseball stadiums.

What is a Food Network-branded dish? There certainly are very few chefs left on the Food Network to devise dishes for a menu, even one at a ballpark.

It seems rather backward that a network should go into restaurants, rather then lure chefs who work and own restaurants. It’s a bit like CBS or ABC going into politics or actually making the news (they occasionally do).

But it is obvious why the network would choose to, and why Delaware North would want to lure FN celebrity hosts to lend their recipes to the sports venues. Catering is big business, and there is plenty of competition from Restaurant Associates and other companies. Slapping on a brand can help boost sales. Chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Masaharu Morimoto, Allen Susser, and Joachim Splichal have long known that their branded restaurants at sports venues are lucrative.

FN is presumably lured for the same reasons: increasing its brand exposure and mining its recipe database. The press release quotes Sergei Kuharsky, general manager, new business enterprises at Scripps Networks, a division of Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), owner of Food Network:

This partnership with Delaware North Companies allows us to spread our table wider, and deepen Food Network’s relationship with viewers who have always wanted to taste what they see us serve up on TV, online and in the magazine.

But the question remains, why would Delaware North stop working with individual great chefs, and start working with a corporation?

Another Juliette (she spelled it “Juliet“), once asked “What’s in a name?”

Need the name be personal, or can a corporate person substitute?

She answers herself, “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

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