What Context Justifies The Miami Grand Prix’s $200 Fruit Plate?

Lando Norris driving as fast as he can away from the bill for his food order. - Photo: Rudy Carezzevoli (Getty Images)
Lando Norris driving as fast as he can away from the bill for his food order. - Photo: Rudy Carezzevoli (Getty Images)

One of the biggest things that annoyed me about living in America was dining out. I struggled finding decent vegetarian options outside major cities, was often presented with way too much food for one person to consume and would always be left paying much more than I’d expected after tax and tip was added onto the bill. However, I’m not sure any amount of included tax or tip could possibly explain the pricing for a meal at this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

Formula 1 is an expensive sport to follow. You need to pay for a dedicated streaming service to watch it in most countries, could be asked to fork out $50 for a hat for your favorite driver and, if you want to go to a race in person, should expect to spend close to four figures on the experience.

So surely after forking out a couple of hundred dollars for a ticket and a few hundred more for accommodation and travel, sustaining yourself at the race venue won’t add that much to the final bill, right?


Wrong. Many attendees of this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix took to social media after the race to complain about the sky-high pricing of food in some areas of the venue. One/Twitter/ X, user @johnhydejr posted a picture of the offering, which included $280 lobster rolls and $180 nachos.

Over on Instagram, the Two Girls 1 Formula page took its fans inside the paddock club experience, where they were served up a $200 plate of fruit and $300 chicken tenders. Presumably those prices all include Florida’s six percent sales tax on food and drinks and a 20 percent tip — F1 fans aren’t animals after all!

That’s a ridiculous amount to spend on food, and instantly alienates many fans who may be on the fence about attending a race in the future over fears of going bankrupt while getting brunch. Now, the race promoter has come out to try and justify the pricing, arguing that such social media posts lack the “context” of the sky-high prices, reports Autosport. According to the site:

Hard Rock Stadium president and CEO Tom Garfinkel said that the concession prices reflected the highly varied levels of disposable income of racegoers, from regular fans through to wealthy business people and celebrity VIP guests across the site’s expansive hospitality areas.

“Somebody sent out a tweet the other day that showed a lobster roll was $280 and they sent it out without comment,” said Garfinkel. “And the context that wasn’t included is that it was for a suite.

“It was a lobster roll, for probably 10 people, for $280.”

Some quick Jalopnik math says that after tax and tip, those lobster rolls come out at around $350, which is about $35 per lobster roll if it really does serve 10 people. In contrast, a lobster roll in the middle of Miami’s waterfront will set you back closer to $29 after tax and tip. So does have a slight case to make here, as you’d expect to pay a premium on food like this at an F1 weekend.

But a $200 fruit plate comprising a few strawberries, dragon fruit and grapes? How many mouths does that need to feed for it to be remotely justifiable? 10, 20, 30 people?

For the latest news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.