Knoxville Beer Board fines Aramark for underage beer sales at UT games

The Knoxville Beer Board has fined Aramark after selling beer to underage fans at University of Tennessee football games, documents state.
The Knoxville Beer Board has fined Aramark after selling beer to underage fans at University of Tennessee football games, documents state.
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 1:16 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2022 at 3:19 PM CDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knoxville Beer Board has fined Aramark after selling beer to underage fans at University of Tennessee football games, documents obtained by WVLT News state.

Aramark is the third party vendor for concessions in Neyland Stadium.

According to the documents, Aramark was the subject of a sting by the Knoxville Police Department.

“During this operation, an employee of your business was issued a citation for... Sale to Underage Persons,” a letter from the Beer Board to Aramark said. “This is the second citation your business has received within a two-year period.”

As a result, Aramark was required to pay a $500 fine and attend an administrative hearing in front of the board, scheduled for Oct. 18, 2022. Aramark was also required to create a remedial plan outlining how they plan to address the issue.

Aramark’s remedial plan was also made available to WVLT News. In the plan, Aramark claimed that “safe and proper service of beer and prevention of underage sales remains Aramark’s top priority.” The company then outlined their standing precautions, which include ID scanning technology, independent sales consultants and staff training.

“Nevertheless,” the document states, “a server sold an alcoholic beverage to a minor during the Tennessee versus Florida game.” Just before kickoff that day, the document said, Aramark’s ID scanning system failed, meaning employees had to revert to manually checking ID’s. It was during this outage that a server sold alcohol to an underage cadet at the Knoxville Police Department.

A similar incident occurred on Sept. 17 at the Tennessee-Akron game, but during that day, the ID scanning system was active, the documents said.

Going forward, Aramark said they have implemented two more protocols to help prevent underage alcohol sales. They have taken their ID scanning system offline, meaning that “ID scanners are now able to scan, read, and verify IDs, even if there are interruptions to the signal.”

Additionally, Aramark said they have made a plan that emphasizes checking “Red Box IDs,” which are IDs that are usually given to underage people. One option posed by Aramark was to limit sales to “Red Box ID” owners to specific spots in the stadium. The other option was to refuse alcohol sales to “Red Box ID” owners outright during system outages.

The documents said that a supervisor will make the decision of which option to implement in the moment.