Skip Navigation

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Selects New Food and Retail Partner

For Immediate Release: May 9, 2013

Largest Zoo in South Carolina Boosts Guest Experience with Addition of SSA

[Columbia, SC] — Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, South Carolina’s largest gated tourist attraction, recently selected Denver-based Service Systems Associates (SSA) to manage the park’s culinary and retail operations following a competitive bid process. SSA was granted the multi-year contract by Riverbanks Park Commission, the governing authority of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

"I’ve been incredibly impressed by the number of ideas and concepts that SSA brings to the table,” said Satch Krantz, president and CEO of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "They specialize in understanding the unique nature of the zoo profession, and we’re excited about what SSA will bring to the Riverbanks experience.”

Guests will notice immediate changes among the Zoo’s dining and retail locations—including new food choices and merchandise showcased in innovative physical layouts. In addition, SSA will soon begin renovations of the park’s restaurants, kiosks and retail shops to increase the size of the facilities and implement new and exciting concepts.

"Zoo food will now be more than just pizza and hot dogs,” Krantz said. "SSA’s high-end professional chefs will create menus and daily specials to provide our guests with an inexpensive gourmet experience.”

The award-winning Zoo and Garden attracts more than one million visitors each year. The 170-acre park exhibits more than 2,000 animals from around the world and features 4,300 varieties of native and exotic plants in its nationally-recognized Botanical Garden.

"SSA plans to deliver a unique and progressive approach to guest services at Riverbanks,” said Tim Brantley, president and CEO of SSA. "We have a 25-year plus history of supporting our partners by positively interacting with families to extend their overall experience. It has proved to be a winning philosophy for both SSA and our partners.”