Decades past, the General Manager of a ballpark would take a lap around the concourse ecstatic to see bright-eyed fans in concession lines. Profitability would breeze through the air as products were purchased and memories made. The advent of technology has certainly contributed to a shift in fan expectation, garnering immediate satisfaction, impulse buys, and most importantly, convenience now with health precautions as of late. Ticket prices advanced and the team’s administration and concessionaires found themselves looking to strike the balance between fan experience and sales.
CTO and Co-Founder, Craig Ceccanti, a serial entrepreneur, recalled a first-hand memory pointing out that “People pay good money for tickets to watch their team play and they don’t want to miss a minute of that action in the stadium, especially not for a hotdog. On the other hand, the minute there is a break in the game, you find yourself wanting to go grab a drink or snack. It’s part of the experience, you just don’t want to wait so long for it.” As technology makes its mark on most things at breakneck speeds, why shouldn’t we be able to provide those things for the fan?
As sEATz set out to make this vision a reality, the team learned many things, fast.
- They learned that the concessionaires work extremely hard to provide high-quality fan experiences and at a certain capacity, it is a beautiful sight to see.
- sEATz also saw how quickly it can get outside the concessionaire’s control when demand exceeds supply, all due to time constraints. At last call, or around halftime, for example, fans flood the concessions and those counters are only able to supply a certain amount of people at a time.
- sEATz realized just how much of a bottleneck this was creating in the opportunity for revenue.
sEATz engaged with more concessionaires and stadiums, and often saw an opportunity to not only enhance fan experience but also provide logistical and technical support to the kitchen, those back-of-house playmakers who were grinding so hard. After all, between 2016 and 2017, Americans spent $56 billion on sporting events (including tickets, travel, food, drinks), and in the NBA alone, there are an estimated 400 million fans in the United States.
All signs point to a supporting cast for the back-of-house miracle workers when supply skyrockets. Through these experiences, we wanted to outline a few basics as stadiums gear up to get their fans back in the stands.
How to Work with sEATz
- The Moment of Truth Meeting. Discussions are had to talk through logistics, specific use-cases and needs at a given stadium with a concessionaire or/and team or entertainment group.
- Assessment. The sEATz team analyzes the best ways to alleviate pressure points for the kitchen, provide a higher-quality experience for fans and considers logistics needed for each use-case. Will the concessionaire need runners or do they have their own staff? Do they want real-time intel on the types of purchases being made or do they just want to receive and fulfill orders? How does it need to integrate with the organizations existing systems? Does this organization want to utilize in-game marketing at special times during the event? All these things are possible with the sEATz team and technology.
- Path Forward. The organizations and sEATz commit a plan to pilot the program in a specific area of the stadium, or they take over the entire stadium for a certain game or event.
- Reporting. Once the event has concluded, the sEATz team is able to analyze the data for purchases to help the back-of-house understand popular menu items, retention, average spend of customers with this now convenience factor (which we have proven often increases with our service present).
Check Out Our Past Case Studies and Examples