Booking meal packages in advance has always been central to Smokies’ premium suites experience. However, between spreadsheet forms and lengthy email correspondence with suite holders, the traditional process for pre-event F&B ordering was short of its fullest potential.
“The old way of pre-ordering had so many problems for us,” said Morgan Messick, Hospitality Manager at the Tennessee Smokies. “Customers would leave missing information in the Excel form, and we couldn’t enforce any deadlines on our pre-orders.”
To create an easier, more efficient experience for their suite holders in pre-ordering meal packages, the Smokies partnered with FanFood to offer their customers a hassle-free, self-service solution.
For 2021, the Smokies have implemented FanFood online pre-ordering as the primary way for suite holders to book food and beverage packages. Through a single URL link in an email, suite holders can conveniently browse Smokies meal packages on a visually-driven interface, learn about the specific package offerings, and complete their pre-order purchases right from their browser via secure checkout.
“FanFood has actually boosted our pre-orders, and it’s so much easier for our customers now. The portal makes it just like online shopping: you go through, pick the packages you want, and check out. We can put in the event dates and the suite number that one customer has access to, so it’s the only thing they see on their end,” Morgan said.
Of all the Tennessee Smokies’ suites pre-orders through FanFood to date, about 46% have been placed by suite holders who’ve booked for two games or more. One loyal Smokies suite holder has pre-ordered ahead of 5 home games within just three homestands, speaking to the user-friendliness of the tool for suite holders.
Now that suite holders can tip online upon pre-order checkout, suite hostesses have seen their average tip size increase week over week. The average tip value per check increased by 10% throughout the first 3 weeks, consistently exceeding 16% of the order value.
“FanFood has increased the tips for our suite hostesses,” Morgan said. “We originally didn’t have a space for it [in the pre-order process], and half the time pre-orders are placed by people that won’t be in the suite. Now, FanFood’s tipping feature has been very beneficial for our suite hostesses.”