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3 Tips from Managing Director and Owner of Five Moments on getting ready for the future of sports and entertainment food service

Tim Brown
Vice President, Global Sales Consulting, Oracle Food and Beverage

Food service management company Five Moments operates Friends Arena, a multi-purpose stadium in Stockholm, Sweden. Located next to Lake Råstasjön in Solna, just north of the city centre, Friends Arena is the largest stadium in Scandinavia. Home of the Swedish national football/soccer team, Friends Arena, hosts a large array of events from the National Horse Show to Eurovision with seating for 50,000 people and a maximum capacity of 70,000 event attendees.

David Laturnus joined me on a recent webcast to discuss how his team turned stay-at-home-orders into an opportunity to embrace innovation and develop new ways to do business. David shared his top tips for preparing to reopen and the steps he and his team have taken to be ready for the future, whatever that may look like.

Know your customers and your space

Over the course of the last few months, Five Moments studied every inch of the arena. They evaluated their restaurant analytics and customer data to better understand their  buying habits. The team uncovered three significant factors for consideration:

  1. Customers arrive for soccer matches minutes before kick-off and won’t miss risking a minute of the action. With only a single 15-minute break, there is limited time to serve customers. If the distance required from seat to food service location is too far, or lines are too long, revenue is lost.
  2. The hawker model does not work. Like most European arenas, there is limited space between seats, and rows are tight at Friends Arena. Customers were unwilling to have their food passed to them from the hawker through multiple strangers even prior to COVID-19. Resistance to the model will undoubtably be even stronger when fans come back to the stands, so in-seat ordering, and delivery is not an attractive option for their customer base.
  3. A dedicated mobile app was also not attractive to their customers. Even loyal customers who attended an event once a week were resistant to mobile applications: they didn't want to register their payment details or share too much personal data to place an order.

Define the right customer engagement model

With a quantitative and qualitative assessment of customer preferences and behaviors, David and team got to work designing the Friends Arena stadium experience of the future. They worked through Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) and an extensive portfolio of POS integrations available to develop a click and collect solution, akin to curbside ordering within the arena.

The first step was defining optimal locations for contactless menus and mobile ordering. The team mapped out signage throughout the stadium featuring QR codes for menu access, satisfying a contactless experience without the need for a native app or excess customer data. The customer simply scans the order code which opens an online ordering restaurant systems page where they can peruse an online menu, place their order and pay using the payment solution of choice (e.g., Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc). The order goes directly to the optimal production area, and the customer is directed to a dedicated pick-up location. A runner brings the order to that pick-up point at an appointed time. The customer can define order status communication preferences by opting-in or out of SMS updates on order status.

The service allows customers to place their order anytime and select preferred collection times. This gives customers choice on when they order, reduces line abandonment and ensures social distancing is possible. This order orchestration and real-time data capture extends the service window for Five Moments allowing them to start production on orders earlier and ultimately serve more customers at every event.

In the future, the service could offer promotional real estate for merchandise, upcoming events, food and beverage sponsors and related partnerships. 

Make safety changes visible

As customers return to venues, visual cues to educate, inform, and make customers feel safer are key to success. Specific areas of focus identified by the Five Moments team include:

Food packaging: operators must deliver food to the customer securely wrapped, at optimal temperature and ideally with environmental considerations taken into account. 

Traffic flow signage: reduced capacity and running costs mean arenas are far off from opening all their concession stand terminals. Distance to the nearest concession, pick-up location, restrooms, and so on must be incredibly evident for customers. With a global audience, not unlike the experience on the concourse of an international airport, visual cues and will be important. 

Subtle visual cues to communicate compliance with safety measure: imagine a customer has never been to the venue before; they will not know how many tables were there before or what tables are removed. The Five Moments team is taking the approach of visual assurance by taking away 25% of the tables and then taping another 25%. This and other changes such as Plexiglass dividers, hand sanitizing stations, and ensuring the customer has the proper space and physical aides needed to encourage the use of safe social distancing practices, will help instill confidence.

Every market and venue will be slightly different but understanding your customers and your space can help identify practical solutions to keep fans and staff safer. To listen to the webcast in full, click here.

Defining your stadium experience of the future

Oracle Food and Beverage works with sports and entertainment customers around the world. Our solution engineers can define the right combination of cloud POS solutions, online ordering and curbside integration partners, mobile tablets and self-service kiosks to ensure your fans never miss a minute and you never miss a revenue opportunity. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation by phone: US: +1 866-287-4736; UK: +44 207 5626 827; AU: 1300 366 386; LAD: 52 559 178 3146)  | chat | or request a call back.

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