THE KANE COUNTY COUGARS

With FanFood concessions pickup, here’s how the Cougars enhanced their fan experience to boost F&B revenue and reduce wait times through easier & more convenient ordering.

Bring Mobile Ordering to My Hotel

About the Kane County Cougars

Home to the Kane County Cougars, Northwestern Medicine Field in Geneva, IL is a destination for fantastic baseball, delicious food, and family fun. The Cougars offer a wide range of food and beverage options for fans, spanning four permanent concourse stands, several portable beer carts, ice cream stands, and an outdoor grill.

The Challenge: Improving Speed of Service and Cutting Down Wait Times

Large crowds means high demand for concessions, and the Cougars’ busiest nights aren’t limited to weekends. The Cougars’ “Thirsty Thursdays” — featuring $2 beers, sodas and hot dogs — see by far the most individual transactions:

“The challenge is ensuring we deliver an accurate and quality product from our concessions, while also making sure our fans aren’t missing a lot of the game,” said Douglas Czurylo, Senior Director of Finance and Administration at the Kane County Cougars.

To provide fans the opportunity to skip the concession lines, the Cougars partnered with FanFood to create a seamless mobile ordering experience at Northwestern Medicine Field.

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Watch Douglas' Interview

“With FanFood, we’ve noticed that the
order sizes are larger.

Douglas Czurylo, Sr. Director of Finance and Administration
@Kane County Cougars

SLS Brickell on FanFood menu

Fans can scan a QR code to instantly access the Cougars’ FanFood menu in their browser.

SLS Brickell on FanFood menu

They can select their desired items, pay & add an optional tip, and place their pickup order.

SLS Brickell on FanFood payment

Upon payment, guests can track their order in real time via push notifications with automated order ETAs.

Rolling out Venue-wide Concessions Pickup

For the 2021 season, the Cougars designated two pickup locations at separate concourse-level concession stands: one on the first base side, and one on the third base side. Fans simply scan a QR code to pull up the menu, customize and add concession items to their bag, and tip & pay instantly via secure checkout. Fans are notified through text when their order is ready for pickup.

As fans grew familiar with the new pickup service, the Cougars’ monthly average order value through FanFood grew exponentially. The Cougars achieved +12% growth in average order value from May to June, and +35% growth in average order value from June to July.

“With FanFood, we’ve noticed that the order sizes are larger,” Doug said. “Instead of ordering $10 per person, they’re ordering $12 per person. They’re adding one little extra thing on there, like snacks or drinks.”

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MAXIMIZE PROFITABILITY

Higher order values and spend per fan.

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HIGHER EFFICIENCY

Standing in line is virtually eliminated.

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TIPPING TO BOOST REVENUE

Average +8% boost to total F&B revenues

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STRONGER CUSTOMER LOYALTY

More repeat orders due to convenience.

Pickup is a Favorite for Cougars Fans

Cougars fans were quick to adopt the new FanFood pickup option. According to Doug, pickup has been particularly attractive to families and large groups.

“We’ve seen a lot of families placing larger orders with FanFood,” Doug said. “They can sit in their seats, look through our concession menu on FanFood, and place their order to pick it up.”

In July 2021, the Cougars saw that 32% of all fans who used FanFood ordered twice or more. This percentage of repeat customers rate is slightly higher than what similar-sized FanFood venues have achieved, speaking to the Cougar’s emphasis on promoting the service. Revenue growth wasn’t only contributed by fans purchasing items, either; customer tips also amounted to a healthy +8% boost to total monthly F&B revenue through FanFood for the Cougars.

“In the surveys we put out to fans, people were mentioning ‘hey, we’re glad to see this,’ and ‘please don’t get rid of this, we really like it.’ Everybody that ordered with FanFood enjoyed the experience,” Doug said.

The Right Platform for the Job

With FanFood, Doug was able to assign one of the Cougars’ game day interns to each stand in operating the pickup service.

“The system is so easy to use that even if it’s somebody’s first time using it, it was a less than a two minute training session,” Doug said. “I could rotate different people through and not be worried about risking the experience. It was so convenient.”

The Cougars’ summer interns also expressed a positive experience:

“It’s quick to learn,” said Kyle, one of the Cougars’ F&B interns (coincidently, on his first game ever operating FanFood!). “The orders pop up, and all I need to do is go and grab the fan’s order. After doing the first order, I knew exactly what I had to do.”

The Manager Portal also enabled Cougars management to make adjustments to their digital menu, including item availability and pricing, whenever needed. For instance, ahead of the Thirsty Thursday promotions:

“When I discovered I needed to make changes, it was so quick for me to make these updates myself,” Doug said.

Explore the FanFood Manager Portal >>

What’s Next for the Cougars?

Looking ahead to 2022, the Cougars have big plans to expand their FanFood offering. From an operations standpoint, Doug said that FanFood gives his team the flexibility to try new things:

“There are a lot of things we’re considering to make sure we get the absolute most out of our FanFood, and that our fans have the most use out of it as well,” said Doug. “It just makes sense to try to offer more options for the fans. I can’t imagine why somebody wouldn’t want to give this a shot at their venue.”

At the end of their 2021 season, Doug and his staff began experimenting with FanFood’s promo code features to incentivize first orders among fans. This is one of the many promotional tools that the Cougars hope to build upon for their 2022 season, and keep the momentum that they’ve established with their FanFood pickup service into next season, and beyond.

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

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

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

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“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

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

Eddie Mahoney, Manager of Rizzo’s B&I

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“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

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“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

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