The 10,000-seat minor league ballpark takes on innovation in concession management by partnering with FanFood in 2017.

Bring Mobile Ordering to My Hotel

About Durham Bulls Athletic Park

Officially opened in 1995, Durham Bulls Athletic Park was expanded to a 10,000-seat capacity in 1998, the same year the Durham Bulls began playing in the Triple-A International League. The Durham Bulls are a Minor League Baseball team of the Triple-A East and the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Challenge: Cutting Down Wait Times & Upgrading the Fan Experience

Durham Bulls Athletic Park officially opened in 1995, but expanded to 10,000 seats in 1998. The crowds got bigger, and the stadium started rolling out concession promotions for a better fan experience: every Thursday the fans are offered “$1 concession nights”, where a variety of items are available for only a dollar. The downside? Concession lines started to build up.

When FanFood was first adopted at Durham Bulls, the main goal was allowing people to skip the lines with the express pick-up option. That was a huge relief for the concessionaires overwhelmed by the amount of orders. As expected, the popular Thursday one-dollar concession nights became less hectic, as FanFood takes the pressure off the lines and allows fans to wait less for their food.

“I wanted to be able to offer an alternative to place your order at your seat for pickup: You can get out of the long line, go off to grab your beer or go to the restroom. Then you’ll get a notice and come grab your food,” said Dave Levey, Director of F&B at Durham Bulls.

Dave Levey Durham Bulls
Watch Dave's Interview

“I view the future of placing orders as this: Fans can place them whenever they want, not have to wait in line, and get it delivered if they want to.”

Dave Levey, Director of Food and Beverage @Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Durham Bulls FanFood menu screen

Fans can scan a QR code to instantly access the concession stands at the ballpark.

Durham Bulls menu screen on FanFood

Explore each stand’s menu and have it for pickup or delivery.

UNC chapel hill FanFood secure checkout screen

Payment is securely processed digital via credit card or mobile wallet.

SLS Brickell on FanFood payment

Upon payment, guests can track their order in real time and receive order status text alerts.

Increasing Order Size and Frequency

Now that concession ordering is made more convenient, Durham Bulls fans are placing bigger and more frequent orders — and they know that it won’t take more than a few clicks of a button.

In fact, concession revenue per cap on average triples if fans order with FanFood. Encouraged by potentially a huge increase in revenue, Dave and his team then went on to offer in-seat delivery. This initiative has really helped mobile ordering take off within the stadium. Especially when bad weathers hit, delivery becomes a very popular option as fans just don’t feel like leaving their seats.

Durham Bulls fans on average watch only three games per season, which means at any one game, over 60% of the fans would be first-timers of that season. That means at any given game, the vast majority of orders would be by new customers who are using FanFood for the first time. However, by looking at the order data after each game, Dave found that since the implementation of FanFood, the percentage of returning fans has increased.

“That’s telling me that we have found the right system and conveyed it to the fans, and now they are returning to use it again and again,” Dave said.

increase profitability icon


Higher order values and spend per fan.

schedule order icon


Standing in line is virtually eliminated.

delivery staff icon


Fans order up to 5 times per game on FanFood

customer satisfaction


Higher satisfaction and more time to enjoy the game.

Effectively Driving Fan Adoption

Dave found that the most effective way to get fans to download the app has been seat stickers. Every other seat in the ballpark has a QR code for downloading FanFood, which made it easy for fans scan and get the app. Once fans open the app, they’d realize that using the app is pretty much a no-brainer.

“If you look at the trend…everyone has an app and everyone is ordering [from restaurants],” Dave said. “And the customers have already been trained to use an ordering app [like FanFood] at a ballpark.”

Mobile ordering has become such a prevalent trend within the food & beverage industry that whether it’s a customer’s first or 20th time using the app, they know the drill: place the order, grab the bag with your name on it and go.

“Because that’s how it works at other places, there’s no reason it doesn’t work at a ballpark the exact same way,” Dave says. “I want to take a step forward; I definitely want to [use FanFood] and make [concession sales] better. It’s something I keep wanting to push, and I tell people it’s worth giving it a try.”

Want to Bring FanFood to Your Venue?


“Everybody who has a concession stand, even if you are vaguely interested, you need to get hold of FanFood.”

Jeff Harrington, Boster Club President, Owasso Highschool

Read Success Story

“I can't imagine any venue where there are people gathering, not to have FanFood.”

Jon Pickel, Owner + Operator of Tower Drive-In Theater

Read Success Story

“The fans thought this is the greatest thing in the world — that they don't have to get out of their seats and wait in the concession lines.”

Dave Levey, Director of Food & Beverage, Durham Bulls Athletic Park

Read Success Story

“If you don't want big lines or people congregating, mobile ordering is like gold.”

Eddie Mahoney, Manager of Rizzo’s B&I

Read Success Story

“Concession stands are our biggest fundraiser of the year...and FanFood has made it very easy for fans to spend money throughout the game.”

Booster Club Co-Chairs, Vandergrift High School

Read Success Story

“We have a lot of repeat customers...when a fan sees how easy it is to order food on the FanFood app, they will come back and repeat the process.”

Mary Laci Motley, FanFood Runner/Student Entrepreneur UNC Chapel Hill

Read Success Story