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$5 Menu Plan – Boom or Bust?

Published: Monday, May 29th 2023, 2:05pm

At last week’s State of the Team address, Craig Reynolds let fans know that the stadium vendors would have a $5 menu item at every location. At the time, we were told more details would come out later ahead of the preseason game. I will be the first to admit, I wasn’t all that excited about the idea. Mostly because I’ve watched this team work hard to take advantage of its fans time and time again over the past couple decades. We spoke about this in the most recent episode of the Piffles Podcast, where Greg brought up the fact that an identical women’s sweater sells for $30 more at the Rider Store vs Winnipeg/Hamilton. So ahead of Saturday’s game versus BC, you could certainly put me down as pessimistic.

Saturday afternoon, the team sent out an email to fans explaining things to look for at the upcoming game, including a look at this week’s $5 menu items. (In fairness, I didn’t read the email until after the game, and went around and looked at all the main concourse vendors during the game).

First off, at the stadium, there was no indication anywhere of the $5 menu item to indicate it was a “special” for that particular game. The price was just updated on the main menu along with the rest of the mostly overpriced food items.

Some of them stood out to me as I walked around the concourse. For instance, the Dirty Dog had a $5 pierogy bowl, and Fresh Carnival had a $5 apple crisp. Add in a drink and you can have yourself a little meal for $20, which isn’t bad. Wok Box had a Butter Chicken Naanwich, while the Noodle Bowl had spring rolls and wontons. All seemingly decent deals for $5.

On the flip side, most of the items were exactly what you would have expected they might be. Several locations had French Fries, gelato, or Ice Cream as their $5 item. Things that realistically should only cost $5 to begin with. These are certainly not items that would have me racing around the stadium to grab the menu item deal, and exactly what I said they would be when we spoke on the podcast earlier in the week.

Additionally, I did notice that every vendor had a $35 family pack deal. Some were family oriented (4 hot dogs/4 drinks or 4 Souvlaki w/pita and 4 drinks, etc) while others leaned more towards an oversized date option (2 hot dogs, 2 popcorn and 2 drinks). It was a welcome change to see every vendor make an effort to include a family pack. Adding only $35 to the cost of tickets to put some food in my kids’ bellies is an affordable option.

Overall, my interest was slightly piqued based on some of the vendors’ willingness to participate in this new venture. I hope those vendors that went with the cheap/lazy option will have something more inviting when the home opener rolls around on June 16th. Most importantly, the Ukrainian in me certainly hopes the $5 pierogy bowl is a staple at the Dirty Dog for the rest of the season. That alone will certainly entice me to spend some cash at the stadium all season long.



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