Is Mobile Ordering Right For Your Venue? FanFood Customer Success Team Shares What They’ve Learned
Last week we hosted our first ever “Ask Me Anything” live webcast on the topic of “Is mobile ordering right for your venue/facility?” We were thrilled to see many people sign up, ask tons of amazing questions and stay engaged throughout the discussion.
If there’s one thing the FanFood team is proud of, it’s how much we study and specialize in in-venue mobile ordering for facilities of ALL types and sizes. Our Customer Success Managers, Drake and Laura, have worked with all our venue partners (over 80 now!) in a very hands-on manner, and understand thoroughly what’s working and what are some common pitfalls.
If you missed the webcast, we’ve got you covered. Below are all the highlights recapped:
Q: How does FanFood make money? And how do venues make money?
A: Venues make money through FanFood mobile ordering in 3 ways:
1. Service fee charged on the platform. While venues are free to set their own service fee to their fans, typically venues charge 12.5% of the order value for express pickup orders, and 15% for delivery orders. FanFood and venues will equally split the service fee.
2. Sponsorship opportunities. FanFood’s mobile app and in-venue signage are invaluable assets for brands to get exposure to your fans. We have both digital sponsorship packages (in-app logo feature, push notifications, paid social media campaigns and email blasts etc.) as well as physical packages (co-branded in-venue signage, bags and napkins). Either FanFood or your venue can have the right to sell these sponsorship packages. For more details feel free to request some time to consult our representatives.
3. Larger mobile orders. We’ve consistently seen FanFood orders being bigger and more frequent than orders at concession stands. Using the words from our venue partner Amy Livingston at Owasso High School: “FanFood’s convenience makes it very easy to spend more money on the platform.” On top of that, without the pressure of a concession line behind them, fans can take the time to browse menu options and add whatever they want to the bag. As a result, the more fans your venue can get on the FanFood platform, the higher your revenue potential could be.
FanFood makes money in 3 ways (without touching your concessions revenue):
1. Licensing fee charged on the venues. We have 3 different plans: seasonal plan, annual plan and two-year plan. The longer your contract with FanFood is, the lower the licensing fee is on a monthly basis. You can find out all about our pricing here.
2. Service fee. As mentioned above, FanFood splits the service fee revenue with the venues. For more information, you can request some time to talk to our representatives.
3. Sponsorship opportunities. As mentioned above, FanFood splits the sponsorship revenue with our venue partners.
Q: How long does it take to get setup? Can we really do this that easy?
A: YES. Typically 10 business days is all you need. Our onboarding gets kicked off as soon as we receive your menu, venue photos for your app profile, and your preferred remittance option. As soon as we have those items, it will take our team up to 10 business days to get set up (including shipping you the Stand Manager tablets and in-venue basic marketing kit).
Of course though, we’ve had some venue partners that need to go live much faster and we are more than happy to do everything we can to make that happen. From having a middle school go live within 3 days, to a college in 4 days, our team is all hands on deck to get you live by your first event date.
As much as we wish we could be there to help you with the physical setup of things, sadly we aren’t always able to make it out in person for all our venue partners. Not to worry though - we equip you with everything you need to set up the in-venue marketing and tablets yourself (which is, by the way, easy breezy), and we are always on standby for any questions you may have.
Q: How can I make sure my fans will use and like FanFood?
A: Great question. We go about acquiring FanFood users at your venue in 3 stages:
Prior to Game Day
You will have a marketing strategy call with our customer success team to get tailored marketing suggestions for your venue and fan base. Then you’ll receive all the in-venue marketing materials you’ll need to let your fans know about FanFood once they enter the venue (such as bags, banners, posters, seat stickers, promo flyers, A-frames, video board signage, PA reads, napkins, tents...)
We also provide email and social media post templates, as well as graphics and videos for you to inform your community (such as season ticket holders, visiting teams, people who purchased tickets etc). For our larger venue partners, we can also implement paid social media ad campaigns and distribute press releases to generate awareness.
On Game Day
We can work with venue partners to kick off on-site brand ambassador programs (mostly applicable to schools) and tap into the student body to help with promotions. Other game time marketing methods include PA announcements, video board segments and social media announcements. We also have an in-app loyalty program that’s launching soon this year.
Post Game Day
After your first event, we will have another strategy call to re-assess the marketing plan at your venue and see if there are areas for improvements.
Q: Our attendance isn’t good, what benefits would mobile ordering bring us?
A: While we can’t promise that the convenience of mobile ordering will directly improve your attendance, historically we’ve seen fans absolutely loving the better fan experience that mobile ordering brings. In addition, the number of repeat users on the FanFood platform almost always increases over time - meaning once fans experience the convenience of mobile ordering, they would keep coming back and use it again. I mean, fan behavior data can’t lie right?
Q: We are short-staffed already. Do I have to hire another person to run FF?
A: The answer is no. Our intent is for you to eliminate the need for a cashier, since fans would be paying for their orders on their phones, and you won’t be needing a cashier taking everyone’s order and performing the transactions. You only need one person operating the FanFood tablet per concession stand, and that person only needs to look at the incoming orders, relay the order information to the kitchen, and mark it as “ready for pickup” when the order is fulfilled. That means you should only need one person at the front of the house to handle all incoming mobile orders.
Q: My concession stands have rotating volunteer staff — how can I make sure they know how to operate the FanFood platform?
A: Most of our venue partners have rotating staff at the concession stands. That’s why we designed our platform to be the easiest and most intuitive to use out there. Anyone can pick up the platform in under 2 minutes by watching this quick tutorial here, and the actual operation only requires 3 taps of a button! We also make sure to send you a printed out step-by-step graphic detailing how to fulfill orders that you can haveWe mean it when we say no tech-savviness is required to use FanFood.
Q: We are a small school, so does it make sense for us to have mobile ordering?
A: Fun fact: our 5th most profitable venue partner across all verticals is actually a high school with only 600+ student enrollment! This fully proves that when it comes to mobile ordering, venue size actually isn’t the most important factor. That’s because some principles run true for any venue: the better fan experience always wins. When your fans can order concessions right at their fingertips without having to leave their seats and miss the action, they naturally will order more and it’s a win-win situation for all.
Another fun fact: we also have a middle school venue partner that’s been doing really well this year! If a middle school can achieve success with mobile ordering, you should have full confidence that your venue can totally pull it off.
So let’s get back to the initial question: Is mobile ordering right for my venue?
At the end of the day, you have to be the one making the final call and we can only be here to help you to the best of our abilities. What we can say for sure — based on our past 5 years of experience in in-venue mobile ordering — is that fans would always love the convenience of it, venues can always achieve a higher efficiency in concessions operations, and that we are always here to align with your goals and help you succeed.
Data has shown that in-venue mobile ordering is the better, more efficient and more profitable way for concessions management, and we truly believe that 2020 is the year when we see a wave of venues getting on board. If you’re interested in just learning more about the potential benefits of mobile ordering for your venue, feel free to request some time and speak with our representatives. Hey, there’s nothing to lose in a quick chat!