June 19, 2021
Baseball returned in a big way this year. At the Minor League levels, venues capacities and crowd sizes increased throughout the year. Doors opened for ballparks to prove out new processes and amenities, originally ushered in to accommodate their fans amid COVID protocols.
Next season’s expectations from fans will be higher than ever, and it can be a double-edged sword for ballpark operators and concessionaires. On the one hand, the season could be the best ever yet with all the pent up demand and excitement. On the other hand, operational challenges like labor shortages and supply chain issues may continue to burden F&B managers … and now with higher expectations to meet, inevitably the pressure is on.
To maximize revenue potential, minor league teams have been adopting technology to improve the customer experience and streamline their operations — starting with the highest value customers. At premium suites and luxury level, teams are offering online pre-ordering portal for suite holders to book meal packages, and in-suite QR code “scan and order” to capture additional game day revenue.
This week, we’ll take a look at a few of FanFood’s partners — Tennessee Smokies, Great Lake Loons, Somerset Patriots and the Rocket City Trash Pandas — to see how they’ve been using FanFood’s mobile ordering platform at the suite level.
*All numbers are based on FanFood platform data.
Instead of having back-and-forth phone calls or emails with sales representatives, what if your guests and suite holders can simply click a few buttons to book meal packages for the group like this:
They can select the game, add items to the cart, and check out with a card all within a web browser. The whole process takes just a few minutes, versus a few days if done traditionally over email or phone correspondence.
The easy pre-ordering process has not only helped teams increase the number of pre-orders, but also the size of each order. At the Great Lake Loons, there has been really strong adoption of FanFood’s online pre-ordering portal, and weekly pre-orders increased by 86% between the first and third homestand. The Loons have also seen the average pre-order size increase by 35% two homestands into the season.
Another FanFood partner team, the Rocket City Trash Pandas, have seen their pre-order volume increase by 13.64% week over week, and average order size increase by 8.51%.
The easy pre-ordering process is so seamless, and it benefits not only first-time suite holders, but especially those with multiple booking during the season.
In fact, of all the Tennessee Smokies’ suites pre-orders to date, about half of the (46%) have been placed by suite renters who’ve booked for two games or more. One loyal Smokies suite holder even pre-ordered ahead of 5 home games within just three homestands!
Not only can suite holders pre-order before a game, but also suite guests can request more food and drinks while in suite without having to wait on a server. All they need to do is scan a suite-specific table top QR code using their phone, and place an order (with the option to pay with card, charge to an open tab, or bypass the payment process — depending on each venue’s preference) right then and there.
The order will be automatically routed to the corresponding pantry or kitchen, and the server will bring the food once it’s ready. Guests can even track the order progress on their phone while it’s being prepared.
At Somerset Patriots, the average in-suite order size doubled (+98.57%) just after the first Homestand, which further shows how the ease of use of mobile ordering encourages people to add more items and spend more per order. Within the first homestand, in-suite F&B sales consistently increased game after game, with the week ending on a number quadrupling that of the first game. Between the second and third homestand,
Tipping is made easy within the FanFood online ordering portal. You can configure a few preset tip amounts, and also give customers the option to customize their own tips.
At Tennessee Smokies, the average tip size has been growing since day one of people using FanFood. The average tip value per check increased by 10% throughout the first 3 weeks, consistently exceeding 16% of the order value.
Revenue aside, for venue hospitality managers, nothing is more fulfilling than seeing customers be delighted by new service offerings that afford greater convenience. Not only does a self-service platform like FanFood help venues mitigate the staffing shortage problem, but also it frees guests from having to rely on a server to place orders or close a check. That’s not even mentioning the peace of mind that mobile ordering gives to customers to order contactlessly and reduce physical interactions with others.
The FanFood platform works at both suites and general concessions level, and we’ve seen similar growth in revenue and customer satisfaction across all use cases. If you’re interested to see if FanFood could be the solution for your foodservice operations, fill out the form below so our team can reach out!