Hospitality Management major does all-star work for Legends Hospitality
In the thick of a playoff run this September and with the team down a few players, Legends Hospitality turned to one of its crafty veterans to work out of a jam during a ballgame at PeoplesBank Park in Downtown York.
That’s probably an overly dramatic way to retell a recent night at work for Kirstie Linn, a York College senior who’s spent the past two summers as a suite supervisor for the concessions provider of the York Revolution Atlantic League baseball team.
But, it’s true. With the Revolution battling for a spot in the championship series and her team of servers in short supply, Kirstie had to step up to the plate to make sure fans in the suites and box seats had an excellent experience.
“I had to put on my server apron – and I give these servers so much credit – it’s hard,” Kirstie said.
That can-do attitude and a willingness to go above and beyond has made Kirstie a leader already, all while positioning her for an exciting career in the hospitality industry.
Kirstie wasn’t always on track to work in the hospitality industry. In fact, she came to York College intending to study Spanish. There was just one little problem. After a year of studying the foreign language, it wasn’t quite clicking.
Yet there was something that had always been a natural talent for Kirstie: customer service. She had already worked as a server at Nittany Pizza, a Penn State-themed joint just outside York.
“I loved my managers and my co-workers and especially my customers,” Kirstie said. “I was really drawn to the industry because of the amazing experience that I had there.”
She changed her major to Hospitality Management and tacked on a stint as a server at Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches. Then, last year, she spotted a job listing for Legends Hospitality in a York College career path program. The idea of working at PeoplesBank Park intrigued her.
Legends Hospitality, a stadium management company that’s controlled by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, brought her on as a server at the Revs’ stadium. She worked in the premium services area, catering to the customers who could enjoy anything from cheeseburgers to London broil in the box seats and suites.
Kirstie grew to love her customers. She learned that little gestures went a long way and tried to create special moments for the fans – a little trick she learned during a semester working at Disney World.
“Whether it’s giving a little kid popcorn or saying, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s on the team,’ it makes their whole experience with Legends and the stadium so much more memorable,” Kirstie said.
Her manager noticed. After just a month, Kirstie was promoted to supervisor, putting her in charge of five to eight servers on game days.
From rookie to ace
Kirstie’s second season working at the ballpark ended in the championship series, a fitting farewell to an experience that will make her an ideal candidate when she hits the free agent market following graduation this December.
It’s rare to find a college graduate with a resume like Kirstie’s.
“I’m coming out of college with amazing experience as opposed to a lot of people,” she said. “Having two years of management experience under my belt will be beneficial, along with the amazing classes and things I’ve learned at York College.”
As the season winds down, Kirstie recalled some of her favorite experiences, like the time she worked a special farm-to-table dinner at the All-Star Game in Lancaster last year.
Chefs from the New York Yankees came to town and made their mark on traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dishes like scrapple and whoopie pies.
And Kirstie chuckles a bit when she admits she still jumps every time the York Revolution fire off their trademark cannon when a player smacks a home run. That’s just what comes with working at a stadium.
Kirstie’s not sure exactly what awaits her next, but it’ll be in the hospitality industry, and likely the premium services area.
She’d enjoy sticking in the sports industry, meaning she might have another chance to play the hero at the stadium – albeit behind the scenes.
“I’m not an athlete, and that was not an avenue I thought of myself taking. Now I can’t imagine not taking it,” she said. “I just completely stepped out of my comfort zone, and it worked for the best.”