FanFood vs. Stadium POS Systems: A Side-by-Side Comparison
Here’s an interesting stat for you: In an average week, roughly 3 in 10 adults said they make zero purchases using cash. And those who do, carry less than $50 in their wallets.
The logic is clear. If a concession stand is mostly reliant on cash, it’s likely to be leaving a lot of revenue on the table. Not only does it miss out on potential buyers who happen to not carry cash, but also limit those who do cary paper money to smaller orders — since they probably don’t carry enough.
It goes without saying that if you want to maximize your concessions revenue, having at least one point-of-sale (POS) system to accept card payment is a must. There seems to be endless options out there — and there indeed are. You may have heard of names such as Appetize, Bypass, Clover, Square...And you may already be using one of those.
So what's the difference between FanFood and other POS systems? And does that mean you won’t be needing a mobile ordering platform (which technically is also a mobile POS system since users can pay in-app)?
We’ll let you decide for yourself after reading this blog 😉
FanFood is, first and foremost, a concessions mobile ordering app (although we do wayyyy more than just that). That means we have the capability that most other concessions POS systems don’t have — the ability to allow fans to order whenever and wherever they want from their phones. That means your customers don’t have to make their way to the stands to make the actual purchase, and you won’t see a crowd of 30 people congested around your stand during halftime. Because guess what? Every single one of your customers has a mobile POS right in their pocket — their phone. And they can complete the transaction with their card information right on their phones.
Some other stadium POS companies also offer the mobile ordering piece. Bypass and Appetize actually started off with a concessions mobile ordering app when in-seat delivery first gained some traction about a decade ago. However, these companies have since shifted their focus to producing the actual hardware of the POS systems at the counter rather than developing their apps. As a result, instead of having their standalone mobile ordering apps, they offer API integration to existing stadium apps, which may offer a myriad of other services such as e-ticketing, schedules, news feed etc. While this could be a great service for larger stadiums and pro teams with their own apps, it inevitably excludes smaller venues that don’t necessarily have the resources to build their own apps first. Still, even for teams that have their own apps, it would take much longer to launch the mobile ordering piece after the integration is done. While with FanFood, a venue can go live in as little as 12 days since the app is ready-to-use.
In-stadium mobile ordering requires a whole suite of solutions beyond just a functional app. Since the beginning we’ve set out to differentiate ourselves with a myriad of other services around concessions operations on gameday, including in-venue marketing, digital marketing, staff training, menu recommendations, data analytics, sponsorship offering...whatever we can do to set you up for success and fulfill the most amount of orders.
Before we officially launch at any venue (we’re at 70 now!), we would ship and even customize our in-venue marketing assets to convert as many fans at your venue as possible into app users. For larger venues, we will always do an in-person on-site walkthrough to understand the layout and structure of the venue, as well as traffic flow and concession stand locations. This helps us strategize your in-venue marketing plan for the best results. For our smaller venue partners such as high schools and sports complexes, we also offer sponsorship packages that these venues can sell to acquire sponsors and raise more dollars. Concessions should be a key revenue generator for stadiums and live event venues, and we want to help each venue explore its maximum potential.
Also, of course we offer 24/7 support whenever you need us.
EASE OF USE
Typically all stadium POS systems have been designed with ease of use in mind. The vast majority of them have simple, intuitive user journey, and comprehensive help centers. However, you should still request a demo to have someone from the company walk you through the operation of the system, so that you can make the most informed buying decision.If you aren’t yet ready to talk to someone yet, look for video tutorials on the website for a recorded demonstration of the system. For example, at FanFood, our Stand Manager tablet is so easy to use that you can learn everything within just 2 minutes (our video tutorial also has interactive quizzes! Let’s see how much you can score 😉). Especially since we serve a wide range of venues that are so different — from high schools all the way up to arenas and college stadiums — we know that many of the end users of our tablets are not necessarily concessions staff. Sometimes they could be volunteers, parents, students, or even someone who's just filling in for the shift. That's why our products are built with simplicity in mind. We want anyone hopping on the tablet to be able to start taking orders in no time.
REVENUE PER CAPITA
It’s proven that digital transactions are 50% faster than cash transactions. That means with a POS system, the efficiency of the concessions staff will inevitably improve. More orders can be processed within the same timeframe, with the same number of staff.
That means more revenue for you.
That’s an advantage that all stadium POS systems possess. What further distinguishes mobile ordering is that fans will place larger orders and order more frequently on their phones than at concession stands. Out data has shown that FanFood orders are on average 38% larger than orders at concession stands (or in the case of Durham Bulls, 300% larger), and that fans order up to 5 times during a single game (because it’s just so easy on the phone!)
Furthermore, since these orders come through mobile ordering, you don’t see these customers swarming around the concession stand. As a result, passers-by at the stand who initially have no intention of purchasing concessions, will stop by to make a purchase since they don’t need to wait in line (see testimonial by students at the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill).
That, once again, means more revenue for you.
If the number one goal of concessionaires is to maximize profits, the number two goal would probably be to offer a satisfactory fan experience, as put by our venue partner at the University of Carolina, Adrian Beros.
While swiping a card at a physical POS stand is frictionless enough, probably nothing could beat the convenience of mobile ordering. Picture this: as a fan, you don’t need to meticulously calculate when the best time is to leave your seat for a beer with the lowest risk of missing the big play. You don’t have to walk around the entire stadium to see what’s being offered, since you can browse all of the menus right on your phone. You don’t have to spend 30 minutes waiting restlessly in lines, since you’ll be notified when your order is ready, or even have your food brought to your seat. Got a big family? You only need to place one large order on your phone.
Trust me, your fans will be so thankful. If you don’t believe us, hear the fans speak for themselves about their experience using FanFood.
Here’s a question for all the concessionaires out there: do you know exactly how much inventory to stock up before a game?
Gameday attendance can be hard to predict, especially as it's subjected to many variables: the teams’ performance, the weather, the time of year...or sometimes, you can scratch your head all you want without being able to point out exactly why. The good thing about all stadium POS is that it stores valuable user data to help you predict what the attendance would be and what items you should stock up.
For example, our data can tell you exactly what the top sellers are and what time their sales are the highest throughout the evening. It can also tell you the seasonality of your venue attendance so you can observe the larger trends and prepare accordingly.
While almost all POS systems can display such useful sales data for you, an added advantage of mobile ordering is that fans can pre-order even before the game begins, and before they are physically at the venue. As long as you have your concession stand turned on in the backend, fans can place orders way ahead of the game, so that you can fulfill those orders and set them ready for pickup way ahead of time. This gives you a much better idea of how much sales volume to expect.
If you have more questions about POS for concession stands, stadiums and live event venues in general, feel free to schedule some time with one of our Fan Experience Specialists to get all your questions answered!