“To me FanFood is a no-brainer.” Interview with Skyline Drive-in owner
There’s only so many orders a physical concession stand can take in — be it due to staff limitations or insufficient space for lines — most stands are missing out on revenue as a result.
“We reached a plateau on growing our food business as to how much demand our facility can handle,” said Joey G., owner of Skyline Drive-in Theater (IN) on why he started looking into mobile ordering options. “But just like most drive-ins, all our profit pretty much comes from food.”
The need to take in more orders grew so strong that Joey was even looking into building a second facility just for food services. That is, until he came across FanFood. Joey did his fair share of research into other ordering apps out there such as Grubhub and UberEats, but those delivery-based apps didn’t seem to work well in the context of a drive-in theater.
“In my opinion, FanFood is the only choice that really molded itself for drive-ins,” Joey said. With FanFood’s mobile and web app, customers can order from their cars for express pickup at the stand, or have them delivered to their cars (if the parking spots are numbered). That means customers can order anytime throughout the show in “a virtual concession line”, without missing a second of the movie.
The results were impressive. Typically, Skyline Drive-in sees an average of 50 to 60 cents spent on concessions for every dollar spent on tickets. However, within the first few weeks of launching FanFood, that ratio jumped to a whopping 1.25:1 — meaning for every dollar people spent on movie tickets, they spent $1.25 on food and drinks!
“That’s a number we would rarely, rarely hit.” Joey said. “That means we got many people who placed a second or third order from the concession stand throughout the night, because of how easy it is to order from their phones.”
For any drive-in theater, repeat orders are the key to higher profitability. People may be inclined to wait for food before the show begins, sometimes upwards of 30 minutes, but very few would go through that ordeal again for a second or third time once the show starts. That’s where FanFood comes in. When you can place an order any time and skip the wait, those hunger urges an hour into the movie wouldn’t be a bother anymore.
“We’d lose that business on busy nights because customers don’t want to wait again, two or three times. That’s what I see as new business,” Joey said. “In addition, we potentially saved thousands of dollars because we didn’t have to expand the facility to accommodate more people standing in line. ”
Joey says he’s confident that there’s an “insanely high percentage” of drive-ins that could benefit from FanFood to streamline their business and increase movie night sales.
“If they [drive-ins] could increase food sales by 25%, which I have achieved so far, that makes FanFood a no-brainer.”
Especially given the current social distancing guidelines, Joey thinks drive-in theaters are by design the most perfect social distancing activities. Even though he was fully on board with FanFood even without the pandemic, FanFood is now making operations much safer for drive-ins that continue to delight audiences during these troubled times.
“When I first unveiled on social media that we’re offering FanFood, some customers told me they right away downloaded the app and said ‘I’m ready to go.’” Joey told us. “The idea of FanFood in itself is the best marketing ever.”
Here are 4 biggest reasons why Joey loves FanFood:
1. A venue doesn't need WiFi to operate FanFood.
Because of its location, Skyline Drive-in doesn’t have any good service providers nearby and they had to install their own satellite for their POS system. FanFood’s Stand Manager tablet comes fully equipped with universal data plan, which means the venue doesn’t need WiFi to operate FanFood.
2. The hardware is simply a light, portable tablet.
According to Joey, the staff at Skyline Drive-in often shift things around or adjust their workflow. The tablet, together with an included wall mount or desk mount, makes it super easy to fit the hardware anywhere for any type of operation.
3. You can reach your customers via push notifications.
This feature allows Skyline to message customers even when they’re at home, reminding them to visit the drive-in that night. Say goodbye to old-fashioned email newsletter that may or may not even get opened in the inbox.
4. FanFood is super user-friendly.
As Joey said, “there’s not really a learning curve.” Order tracking and fulfilling takes just a few taps and anyone can learn how to use it within minutes.
To date, one in three Skyline customers have ordered concessions with FanFood. . Half of all their attendees are regulars, meaning they visit the theater at least twice a month. FanFood also has a seasonal pricing plan tailored for venues that see higher seasonal fluctuations in business. There’s zero revenue share on the platform and no setup fee — which means even small venues can get started without stressing over financing the cost, and make up for the licensing fee with way fewer orders than on a traditional delivery app.
If you're interested to learn how FanFood works at a drive-in theater, or any type of venue for that matter, you can request a live demo here: www.fanfoodapp.com/request-demo