What You Can Expect When COVID-19 Is Gone
And how your facility can prepare for it.
It’s been a week — or maybe longer for you. We’re starting to get restless. You’re moving from the couch, to the kitchen, then back to the couch for the 5th time today. Your dog has never been happier; your cooking has never been better; and you’ve never stocked up this much toilet paper.
Self quarantine. Yes, it’s a bummer.
But don’t lose sight of the fact that it will be over. Instead of focusing on the short term, let’s look at what’s going to happen after this is over and most importantly, how you can prepare for that now.
1. You’ll see some seriously big crowds.
We hope to see the virus die down before the summer but the truth is, nobody knows for sure. People are already starved for entertainment and social activities. Canceled events, postponed seasons, aborted travel plans, enforced self-quarantine...all these are adding on to the shared frustration we have. It’s not difficult to imagine the size of the crowds that will be showing up at your door when the outbreak is over.
It’s a good problem to have, but the real question is: is your venue ready to handle it?
Picture the lines, congestion and chaos at your biggest sold out events — and then picture that happening every night. That’s probably close to what you can expect. How do you then not only meet, but exceed, the heightened expectations of your fans for when they return?
One thing is certain: fans won’t want to miss a second of the game or show, and they certainly won’t be happy with waiting in long lines. The temporary suspension of your facility operations makes now the perfect opportunity for an amenity upgrade. Get on board with mobile / self-service ordering before your doors re-open and delight your fans with the convenience they deserve. Not only will it help speedup your service and reduce labor cost, but also provide larger order volumes and higher revenue.
Luckily, FanFood has the solution for venues of all types and sizes, from high schools and theaters all the way to pro stadiums and arenas. Our products are tailored to serve fans seated at any level, including general admission seats, club seating areas and premium suites. You can choose to try out FanFood with a defined segment of your attendees, or opt for a full-on rollout for an integrated cashless experience. We’ve also designed our pricing plan so your FanFood license works with your event schedule: try it out on a low-commitment seasonal plan, or sign a two-year contract to maximize cost savings.
Interested in learning more? Get in touch today and we’ll answer any questions you have.
2. There will be lingering fears and concerns.
Taking care of your fans will be more important than ever. People will still be wary about the remnant impacts of COVID-19. We can’t stress enough the importance of reassuring your fans that their health and wellbeing is your top priority.
That needs to be manifested in your actions, policies and public announcements. For example, install multiple hand sanitizer dispensers especially around the concession stands. Send out notices about how your foodservice teams are adhering to stringent food safety practices.
During this outbreak, we’ve seen restaurants being ever more careful with minimizing physical contact and serving customers in a responsible way. An increasing number of restaurants are rolling out mobile ordering for curbside pickup and no-contact delivery. We believe this trend will continue for a while even after the virus is contained — because of the lingering caution and stronger awareness around hygiene (or sometimes, newly formed consumer habits, which we will elaborate on in the next point).
That’s why we strongly encourage concession stands to offer express pickup, where fans can place an order on their phones and pick up their food from a window without interacting with a cashier. Close to 90 venues nationwide are already doing exactly that with FanFood’s mobile ordering platform, and here’s what the fans say:
Your fans will appreciate your effort to take care of their health. Really.
3. Consumer behaviors will shift to mobile and online.
Here’s an almost no-brainer question: where are people spending their time during self-quarantine?
Yes — online, and on their phones.
Despite being trapped indoors, our mobile devices seem to afford us everything we need: entertainment (Netflix more than doubled the number of new original series for international markets from 60 to 130), food (companies like FanFood help local restaurants stay open by offering curbside pickup), groceries (by the way, grocery delivery is very safe according to health experts) and more.
The reality is new consumer behaviors will form, and even those who are the least in tune with mobile trends will have been forced to conduct most daily activities online. This year, time spent on mobile will likely double compared to just five years ago.
What changes do you have to make to accommodate the consumer shift towards mobile devices then? Most restaurants today are relying heavily on mobile to keep them afloat, so take advantage of that! Make mobile ordering an option at your concession stands, and you’ll be surprised at how many additional orders you’ll be receiving from fans who simply don’t want to wait in lines.
4. You need to maximize your chances of making up for the lost revenue.
Your business is likely taking a hit from the closure. We understand — because we are not spared from the impact either. If your season or events are simply postponed and will resume after the outbreak is over, you will probably expect to maximize your chances to make up for the lost revenue.
The good news is, the larger and more excited crowds will contribute to higher order volume and concession sales. However, we believe that you can only capture that revenue through mobile ordering. Think about this — your cashiers and concession staff can only handle a certain number of people. Fans who turn away from the long lines or simply don’t want to get up and miss the game will not place any orders. It’s only with mobile ordering that you can expand the capacity of your concession stands, and fulfill orders in a faster, more streamlined manner.
In addition, mobile orders tend to be 30% larger than orders at concession stands. The secret sauce? It’s just effortlessly easy to place an order with a few taps, without the pressure of a line behind you. Using the words of Amy Livingston, one of our venue partners: “FanFood makes it very easy for fans to spend more money!”
5. The public will be closely monitoring your decisions and actions.
Since the outbreak, news seems to be evolving by the hour. Even those who are less attuned to current affairs are probably diligently following the latest feed. It’s understandable — this outbreak has made a direct impact on our life and livelihood.
As a result, people will be eyeing closely what measures and stances you take, especially during a time of sensitivity and uncertainty. We’ve seen that play out in the restaurant space: delivery apps are jumping on the “no-contact pickup” bandwagon one after another, and started offering free delivery while advocating the messaging of “supporting local businesses”.
It’s probably worth taking some time to strategize your communications with your customers and the public. How do you best show that you’re fully equipped and ready for what’s coming after the quarantine phase? What measures are you taking (going back to point #2) to show that you’re ready?
Here at FanFood, we know that the virus outbreak could be disastrous for many businesses, and we believe that support and solidarity is more needed than ever. For businesses that are trying to stay open during this time, we are offering our platform for free on a 60-day trial, and you can pay $99/mo afterwards (or $149/mo with our tablet) on a minimum one-year contract.
With our platform, businesses can take mobile orders and offer express pickup, curbside pickup and no-contact delivery to continue serving their customers. Get in touch today to learn more about the offer.