(L-R) Jerry O'Connor, Vice President of Growth, Sports and Entertainment, Aramark Sport and Entertainment; Maria Grasso, Senior Vice President, Convention Division, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau; Ed Grose, Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, Yeismarie Rivera-Olivio, Student CEO (Spring 2023), Saxbys; Nick Bayer, Founder and CEO, Saxbys; David A. Nasatir, Esq., Chair of the Board, PCCA; Frank Buzydlowski, Esq. Board Member, PCCA; John J. McNichol, President and CEO, PCCA; Gene Donato, General Manager, Aramark; and Tony Hodgins, General Manager, ASM Global.

New cafe marks first step in a series of comprehensive renovations by Aramark to the Pennsylvania Convention Center food and beverage offerings


Philadelphia, PA  – The Pennsylvania Convention Center, Saxbys, and Aramark Sports + Entertainment (Aramark) marked the grand opening of a new cafe, centrally located on the facility’s exhibit hall level. The addition of Saxbys, a Certified B Corporation headquartered in Philadelphia, takes a beloved local brand and brings it to conference-goers who travel to the Pennsylvania Convention Center from around the country and the world. The location marks the first Saxbys location to open in a convention center. In addition to the cafe, Saxbys’ operations at the Center will also include a portable concession cart and a traveling bike to prioritize guest accessibility. 

Saxbys, which operates 25 cafes in seven states, is an education company disguised as a coffee company. From its cafes to its headquarters, Saxbys’ core values are imperative to the business and guest experience, especially as it launched and grew The Saxbys Experiential Learning Platform (The Saxbys E.L.P.). Its cafes offer a unique platform for developing the next generation of hospitality industry leaders: The Saxbys E.L.P. cafes are student-run businesses in which the Student CEO earns academic credit, a salary, and bonuses with full responsibility for the operations of the business.

“We are excited to host the newest Saxbys cafe in the heart of our facility,” said John J. McNichol, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. “The Saxbys model aligns closely with our facility’s priorities, by sourcing their coffee beans in a sustainable, ethical manner, investing in the development of the next generation of hospitality industry leaders, and using recyclable products in their cafes. At the same time, we are providing visitors to our facility with the opportunity to experience a Philadelphia-based brand that continues to expand its footprint beyond the city and state.”

Hundreds of thousands of visitors from near and far experience our hometown of Philadelphia through the Pennsylvania Convention Center. As such, opening a Saxbys—especially an Experiential Learning Saxbys—in the heart of the Pennsylvania Convention Center is a tremendous opportunity for us. This bustling cafe will not only feature our award-winning coffees and memorable hospitality but will also be run by students from across the Philadelphia higher education ecosystem, providing real business experience for the city’s next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Nick Bayer, Saxbys Founder & CEO.

“The new Saxbys cafe is part of a major investment by Aramark to reinvigorate and elevate our food and beverage selection at the Pennsylvania Convention Center,” said Liz Noe, Vice President of Operations at Aramark Sports + Entertainment. “In partnership with the convention center, we are committed to continuing to enhance the overall experience for both meeting planners and their attendees.” 

In Fall 2023, Aramark plans to open six new exhibit hall concession stands throughout the Center. These stands will be equipped with digital signage and digital menu boards, providing limitless opportunity to customize menus based on the show. From iconic cheesesteaks to quick grab and go options, the right menu will be programmed based on what group is visiting the Center. In addition, Aramark will launch four new portable concession kiosks that will provide meeting planners with the flexibility to personalize the culinary options.


About Saxbys

Saxbys is an education company disguised as a coffee company: a one-of-a-kind hospitality platform delivering coveted, career-launching outcomes for students and higher education partners. In 2015, Saxbys pioneered The Saxbys E.L.P., a network of cafes entirely designed for and run by college students. The Saxbys E.L.P. emboldens the next generation of changemakers by providing undergraduates with entrepreneurial opportunities, complementing classroom learning with tangible real-world experience. Founded in 2005 by Nick Bayer and headquartered in Philadelphia, Saxbys operates 25 cafes across seven states; 20 of which are part of The Saxbys E.L.P. network, and include Penn State University, The University of Pittsburgh, Drexel University, Bowie State University, and an array of other incredible partners. Find the Saxbys location nearest you at hellosaxbys.com or follow @saxbys on Instagram.


About the Pennsylvania Convention Center

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is located in Center City Philadelphia at the heart of the city's many cultural offerings and world-class dining and entertainment scene. Managed by ASM Global, the Center is the 14th largest facility in the nation and features one of the largest exhibit spaces and ballrooms in the Northeastern U.S. The meetings, conventions, trade shows, and other events hosted by the Center attract attendees from across the country and around the world to Philadelphia, making the facility the largest economic driver of the region’s hospitality industry. For more information, visit www.paconvention.com.


About Aramark Sports + Entertainment

Aramark Sports + Entertainment serves more than 150 award-winning food and beverage, retail, and facility service programs in premier stadiums, arenas, convention centers, cultural attractions, performance venues, and unique entertainment destinations across North America. The company has received accolades for industry innovations including autonomous markets, dining concepts powered by artificial intelligence, and high-profile events like NBA All-Star and MLB at Field of Dreams. In 2021, Aramark entered into a strategic collaboration with the Philadelphia-based Starr Restaurant Organization, led by entrepreneur and James Beard Award-winning restaurateur, Stephen Starr, which will bring the renowned culinary visionary’s highly sought-after concepts to clients throughout Aramark Sports + Entertainment’s portfolio. Aramark has been recognized on FORTUNE’s list of “World’s Most Admired Companies,” DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” and “Top Companies for Employee Resource Groups,” Newsweek’s list of “America’s Most Responsible Companies 2023,” the HRC’s “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality,” and scored 100% on the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn




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