Foodservice Goes for the Gold

August 2016

The 2016 Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, September 7 through 19. During this time, 10,500 athletes from more than 200 countries will play 28 different sports, and more than 6 million ticket holders will pass through the gates. Add in 25,000 press and broadcast professionals and more than 45,000 volunteers to ensure the games run smoothly, and you have a staggering amount of mouths to feed.

Meeting the food and beverage needs of millions of people from all over the world—including the most amazing athletes in the universe—is no easy task. It requires a kitchen the size of an American football field, a dining hall the size of 2 American football fields, and 5 all-you-can-eat buffets including Brazilian, Asian, international, pasta and pizza, and Halal and Kosher options.

The foodservice professionals who create menus and run dining halls at the Olympic Village and other Olympic sporting venues have established 8 principles to ensure excellence:

  • Keep food safety a top concern
  • Offer food options that are healthy, nutritious and balanced
  • Provide beverage options that satisfy thirst, preventing dehydration
  • Keep food restrictions of specific populations in mind
  • Be sure Brazilian products and recipes are prominent on menus to create an authentic dining experience
  • Invent or reinterpret food items that can be prepared quickly, are easy to eat, and use Brazilian ingredients in new, innovative ways
  • Observe sustainability commitments
  • Deliver a food and beverage experience that conveys the warmth and courtesy of the people of Rio de Janeiro

When it seems like you’re in the weeds, just remember that chefs in Rio will be tasked with adhering to these strict principles as they serve approximately 60,000 meals a day during the 2016 Olympic Games.

Browse our Resource Center for more fun and interesting foodservice facts. Be sure to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages to stay up to date with the latest from Butterball.


“Rio 2016 Taste of the Games.” Rio 2016 Olympics.

Wade, Stephen. “Rio Olympic Spread: Anything from Halal to Kosher to Kimchi.” Associated Press. May 10, 2016.

Find Your Broker

Find Your Broker