Though 2012 has been dubbed the ‘year without winter,’ it hasn’t stopped us from getting spring fever. We are all ready to take in an experience that comes with the turn of the season, perhaps a visit to an aquarium or zoo.
A great visit to a museum or a zoo, especially a day in which everything falls into place is probably one you take for granted, right? You probably don’t think about the time and effort spent to get the exhibit just right — not only the look and feel, but also the authentic educational experience. You may not think about the measures the venue has taken to minimize impact on the environment. And, you certainly don’t consider the thought that went into the placement of food venues, the menus or even the service delivery. And, that’s ok — that’s our job.
Take the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., with approximately 2 million annual local, national and international visitors. Their mission includes demonstrating leadership in animal care, conservation science, education, and sustainability and providing an excellent visitor experience. The National Zoo teaches and inspires people to protect wildlife, natural resources and habitats.
As Sodexo gears up to provide café, concessions, catering services and new dining options in 22 locations throughout the Zoo, we look to its mission to make sure our offers include education about the health of humans and the planet. Our hope is to assist visitors in making informed decisions, ultimately improving their quality of daily life. The initiatives at the National Zoo include targeted commitments to source local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, as well as provide varied and balanced food options, and support the local community, which also align with Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan, the company’s global road map to sustainability.
It doesn’t matter if it is a zoo, aquarium or museum. Great experiences and happy visitors don’t just happen. Lots of planning and hard work goes into creating those memorable experiences. So get out there and check out one of your local attractions this weekend. When you do – consider what the venue has to offer, not just for the fun experience, but also for the culture, lessons learned and of course a great meal.
Steve DiPrima is the president of Sodexo Leisure