Tasty New Offerings at Philadelphia Zoo This Season

New dining locations, renovations and enhanced menu options are elevating the Zoo guest experience

PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 12, 2014) – As part of its ongoing transformation, Philadelphia Zoo is focusing on the tastiest part of the overall guest experience for the 2014 season with dining improvements, including new and renovated food and beverage locations and healthy, responsibly-raised menu items.
 
The Zoo and its food service partner, Aramark, are working to better align the food and beverage program with the Zoo’s mission of connecting people with wildlife to create joyful discovery and inspire action for animals and habitats. A major step in this direction, top-selling items, including chicken tenders, chicken breast, burgers and pork shoulder, have been sourced to meet the standards of humanely-raised meat – they are antibiotic-free and vegetarian-fed.
 
“It is truly a transformational time at America’s first Zoo,” says Amy Shearer, the Zoo’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Dining is a key element of the guest experience, and as we continue to improve and innovate in other areas of the Zoo, including the revolutionary Zoo360 animal exploration trails, we felt it was important to elevate our food and beverage offerings. With these and other developments across the Zoo’s campus, we are taking strides to make each Zoo visit better than the last for more than 1.2 million guests we welcome annually.”
 
Zoo guests will now have more variety than ever with two new dining locations – Chef Jose Garces’ Distrito Taco Truck and 34th Street Market. Through this new partnership with award-winning chef, Jose Garces, the Distrito Taco Truck will be on-site at the Zoo from Friday-Sunday all summer long. The menu includes such popular items as tacos, nachos, burritos and churros, as well as a kid’s meal featuring a chicken finger quesadilla, churro bites and bottled water – a sampling of family-friendly foods from Garces' nearby Distrito, which boasts a lively atmosphere and a menu representative of the diverse street foods served in Mexico City.

Another new location, 34th Street Market, features a delicious selection of local, seasonal and fresh menu items. Chef Rich Freedman, Aramark’s Executive Chef at the Zoo, has created a new menu that includes locally-sourced, seasonally inspired salads, French baguette sandwiches and an action station, where a member of Chef’s culinary team will assemble rotating ‘sandwich specials,’ like grilled chicken breast with arugula, roasted pepper, shaved parmesan and citrus mayo.
 
“We’re excited about the new food offerings available at the Zoo, including the addition of humanely-raised meats, the Garces Taco Truck, and locally-sourced, seasonal menu items,” said Carlo Luciano, Aramark General Manager at Philadelphia Zoo. “The new menu enhancements will make a great day at the Zoo even better, further enriching the experience for all of our guests.”

Several other dining locations have also been improved during the offseason.
  • The humanely-raised menu items will be available at Tiger Terrace, 34th Street Market and Smokehouse BBQ.
  • The Impala Café has been redesigned in the fashion of a coffee house, and now serves a selection of homemade pastries, salads and more, including Starbucks favorites.
  • Digital menu boards have been installed at Tiger Terrace, featuring entertainment animations as guests place and receive their orders. Tiger Terrace’s new Kid’s Meal Deal allows guests to build their own kid’s meal, by choosing a sandwich, a side and a drink, giving flexibility to choose healthier options, like whole fruit and milk.
  • The Ice Cream Barn has added four Signature Sundae options-- Birthday Cake, Peanut Butter Cup, Mint Cookie and Chocolate Lovers -- each served in a waffle bowl and topped with whipped cream.
 
For the first time at Philadelphia Zoo, all members will receive a 10%  discount at all food and beverage locations. This discount extends into catering operations for members, if they would like to book a ZooFiesta or party. To preview featured food items, see a complete list of dining locations at the Zoo and purchase tickets visit www.PhiladelphiaZoo.org.
 
ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA ZOO:
America's first zoo and one of the region's foremost conservation organizations, the Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. By connecting people with wildlife, the Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats.  The Philadelphia region’s leading family destination, the Zoo welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors last year.  The Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  To donate to the Zoo’s education and conservation programs, become a member or to purchase tickets please visit www.philadelphiazoo.org or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.  Philadelphia Zoo is a non-smoking facility.
 
ABOUT ARAMARK:
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) is in the customer service business across food, facilities and uniforms, wherever people work, learn, recover, and play. United by a passion to serve, our more than 270,000 employees deliver experiences that enrich and nourish the lives of millions of people in 22 countries around the world every day. Aramark is recognized among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
 
ABOUT GARCES GROUP:
James Beard Award-winner and Iron Chef Jose Garces founded Garces Group, which operates over a dozen restaurants in Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; Scottsdale, AZ; Palm Springs, CA and Atlantic City, NJ. The Garces Group’s award-winning con­cepts range from the authentic Andalusian tapas and modern Mexican street food to European bistro fare and artisanal American food and drink, Amada, Distrito, Rosa Blanca, Garces Trading Company, JG Domestic, Tinto, Village Whiskey, Distrito Taco Truck, Yuboka, El Jefe, Volvér and in partnership with Sage Hospitality, Mercat a la Planxa as well as a full service event planning division, Garces Events. For more information about Chef Jose Garces or his restaurants, please visit www.garces­group.com and follow them on Twitter: @garcesgroup and @chefjosegarces.