Fiserv Forum looking for nonprofits to work concessions for Eastern Conference Finals

Ricardo Torres
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
People wait in line for cold drinks before the first round playoff game between  the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat Saturday, May 22, 2021 in the Deer District outside  Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis.

Fiserv Forum is looking for nonprofit organizations willing to work at concession stands Wednesday night as the Milwaukee Bucks play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Milwaukee Bucks are asking for the help staffing the stands in exchange for a percentage of the sales. The labor shortage has affected the service industry particularly hard.

Michael Belot, senior vice president of Bucks ventures and development, said the organization made a similar call during the series against the Brooklyn Nets.

“We’re just in need of staff and in need of good, hardworking people,” Belot said. “And a great way to do that is to engage not-for-profits and give back to a good cause and also get the labor that we need to operate at a high level.”  

Belot said the Bucks and food concessionaire Levy have been hiring workers throughout the playoffs. 

“Staffing has been a challenge across the hospitality industry as a whole,” Belot said. “We’re trying to do whatever we can to get the appropriate number so we can deliver a high experience or quality experience.”  

During the series against the Nets, fans at Fiserv Forum could order food from their seats and pick it up at a designated location, or they could opt for a more traditional concession stand experience. 

Belot said the hybrid model is the "best of both worlds." 

“It is a quick turnaround, there’s some minimal training involved, but you also have managers and people overseeing the operations so you’re not left to truly run the stand,” Belot said. “It’s something that’s pretty easy and quick to pick up.”

It's unclear if the hybrid model will continue once the season is over, but Belot said the organization is going to evaluate its options.  

Nonprofits interested in volunteering should contact Doug Carstens (dcarstens@levyrestaurants.com, 414-918-3917) and Cecil McGrew (cmcgrew@levyrestaurants.com, 414-918-3949).