Centerplate Invests in Guest Experience: Entire Management Team Completes the Cornell University Service Excellence Program

Centerplate today announced the training of its entire leadership team through Cornell University’s Service Excellence On-Demand Training program. Centerplate’s management team successfully completed the eight Service Excellence lessons, and then a multi-day capstone session in Nashville, TN featuring hospitality industry veteran Jayne Griswold of Griswold Hospitality and Elizabeth Martyn from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration. Centerplate will be using this research-based approach to service as it sets new goals and objectives to enhance the quality of the guest experience.

In collaboration with eCornell, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration delivers innovative research and educational opportunities in a format appropriate for industry leaders and executives. By leveraging the Cornell partnership, Centerplate is committing to investing in its employees, its front-line service standards, and honing the core of its service experience. During the training process, Centerplate managers learned a critical thinking framework for service, including necessary tools that can be applied to both service delivery and service process design for any interactive situation with both internal and external customers.

Griswold Hospitality specializes in customer experience by establishing service and facility standards that prioritize the guest’s journey and provide a well-defined framework for employees to operate within. This provides a tool for service measurement and establishes the basis for a robust employee recognition program. Centerplate’s alignment with Griswold Hospitality positions the company to improve its guest experience through metrics and data analysis, tracking the impact of its investment, and taking strategic action through service training.

“Hospitality is not just what we do. It’s how we make people feel. This partnership with Cornell reinforces that for all of us, and gives us a tangible education that enriches our skills as hospitality providers,” said Centerplate CEO Chris Verros. “The Cornell program, from one of the most respected hospitality schools in the country, really helps us stay true to our mission of providing a superior level of human service in each and every one of our venues.”

The Service Excellence program distills leading industry research and data-backed approaches to service delivery into a format that is appropriate, relatable, and applicable to operators. The training was authored by Elizabeth Martyn, SHA ‘07 School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, and features eight online lessons, each 30 – 45 minutes in length, with content covering topics including as contextual sensitivity, verbal and non-verbal communication, listening, empathy and more.

Over 250 participants, all Centerplate employees at the managerial level and above, were tested and graded on their mastery of the content. Each Centerplate team member was recognized for successful completion of the Service Excellence training from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. On-going implementation of standards and data tracking continues at Centerplate’s 300+ venues.

About eCornell
As Cornell University’s online learning unit, eCornell delivers online professional certificate courses to individuals and organizations around the world. Courses are personally developed by Cornell faculty with expertise in a wide range of topics, including hospitality, management, marketing, human resources and leadership.  Students learn in an interactive, small cohort format to gain skills they can immediately apply in their organizations, ultimately earning a professional certificate from Cornell University. eCornell has offered online learning courses and certificate programs for 15 years to over 130,000 students at more than 2,000 companies.

About the School of Hotel Administration at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

The School of Hotel Administration at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research, and industry advancement. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world’s largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation’s first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field.

About Griswold Hospitality Partners

Griswold Hospitality is a customer experience firm that believes that differentiation is found through memorable service delivery. A foundation of service standards follows the customer journey and the employees’ path to delivering a product or service, ultimately bringing your brand promise to life. Add measurement, training and recognition programs to foster a culture of engaged employees who have clear deliverables and result in an improved customer experience. Leveraging over twenty years in the luxury hospitality industry, with leadership roles at both Forbes Travel Guide and United Airlines, Jayne Griswold brings an acute attention to detail, passion for excellence and an intuitive sense for what is critical to the customer experience.

About Centerplate

Centerplate is a global leader in live event hospitality, “Making It Better To Be There®” for more than 116 million guests each year at more than 300 prominent entertainment, sports and convention venues across North America, Europe and the United Kingdom. Centerplate has provided event hospitality services to more than 30 official U.S. Presidential Inaugural Balls, 14 Super Bowls and 22 World Series. Visit the company online at, connect via Twitter @centerplate, Instagram @Centerplate_ or