A key to dispersing the crowd is minimizing people’s movements.That’s why we see live event venues trying to keep spectators in their seats, and restaurants focusing on sit-down dine-in services rather than having guests mingle at the bar.
As a result, being able to efficiently and accurately deliver services to each customer has become the challenge for many foodservice operations. How do you accurately locate a customer in their seat, table, suite or even at their car? How do you ensure order accuracy? How can the customers communicate to the concession stand, or the kitchen, their requests — without leaving their place?
This is when the Delivery App comes in handy.
What’s the Delivery App?
FanFood’s Delivery App is one piece of FanFoods mobile ordering platform, which consists of the FanFood App for consumers, the Manager Portal for foodservice staff, and the Delivery App for servers or runners. In this case, “delivery” simply means bringing an order from the kitchen to the customer in their seat or at their table — it doesn’t mean home delivery. Our platform is primarily designed for on-premise foodservice operations.
The three pieces of applications can be easily accessed on a mobile device, such as a smartphone, and automatically communicate with each other. For example, when an order is ready for delivery, the Manager Portal operator can assign the order to a runner, who will automatically receive an assigned order in the Delivery App. This action will also send a notification to the customer, who will be alerted that their order is on the way. This system design saves foodservice teams tons of time communicating order status to the customer, and customers won’t be left hanging, wondering whether their order has been prepared or not.
From the runner’s point of view, the Delivery App helps them know exactly the table number, seat number, suite number, or even the car plate number of the customer, so they can locate the customer without mistake. They can also see the customer’s order details to make sure that they’re indeed grabbing the right order.
(Bonus: when your customer scans a table-specific or suite-specific QR code and place an order in their phone browser, they don’t need to enter their table number or suite number. The QR code automatically sends that information to the Manager Portal and Delivery App.)
Customers can also chat with the runner or server in the app if they have additional requests, such as extra napkins. This way they don’t have to wait around to wave down a server, and helps you speed up the process, and prioritize customers most in need.
Servers can also receive tips directly in the app, which will be automatically deposited to their bank account. At the end of the day, they can see their personally summary of revenue, tips and other key metrics.
What can you use the Delivery App for?
Every venue is set up differently and want to offer different services. Therefore our team typically works with each partner to implement the best operational model for them. Four common scenarios are:
1. In-Seat Delivery
Who doesn’t like tapping a few buttons on the phone and having the food brought to them when watching a game? Not only do your customers get to enjoy the ultimate convenience, but you get to keep them in their seats and effectively manage the crowd.
Runners delivering orders to fans in seat using the FanFood Delivery App at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
However, even if you choose to offer in-seat delivery, we always recommend having a few express pickup windows available as well. It’s easy to be ambitious when estimating how many delivery orders your staff can fulfill per hour, but the truth is there are often many variables on the actual day of the event. Weather, order volume, backlog orders, congested concourse can all affect how fast the runner can bring an order to the seat. Having a few pickup windows open can effectively reduce the stress on the runners if the order volume gets too high.
We also have a blog breaking down the best practices when implementing mobile ordering at a live event venue, if you want to learn more.
2. Table Service
Be it at on-premise restaurants or VIP seating area, table service is another common use case for the Delivery App. In this case, “delivery” means having the server bring an order from the kitchen to the table.
Customers can scan a QR code to order on FanFood in their phone browser from their table. (Location: Rizzo’s Bar & Inn)
You can set up the QR code so that each QR code is tied to the specific table number. This way when the customer scans the QR code to start an order, the system will automatically record the table number and send it to the kitchen.
Customers can even keep an open tab and only close it after they’re done with the meal. For each menu item, they can also customize the toppings and add special instructions in the notes, just like how they would when speaking with a server.
3. In-Suite Ordering
It’s never a good scenario when it’s only the 4th inning but your suite has already run out of beer.
Suite guests can scan a suite-specific QR code and order additional food and drinks on their phone.
Instead of waving down a server, guests can now scan a site-specific QR code to request more food and drinks on their phone. The order will be automatically routed to the correct pantry based on how you currently segment orders at your venue, and servers will be using the Delivery App to bring the food to the correct suite.
Many ballparks and stadiums are already implementing this in-suite mobile ordering service this season, and has seen their operational efficiency increase notably.
4. Delivery to Car
As the mobile ordering provider at over 30% of all U.S. drive-in theaters, of course we’d allow for delivery to car! Customers can enter their parking spot number when placing an order to indicate their location. However, some of our partners also use FanFood for curbside delivery, which means customers can also enter their car make, model and car plate when placing an order as well!
Customers using FanFood for concessions ordering and delivery to car at Tower Drive-in Theater.
As you can see, both our platform and our team are extremely flexible when it comes to configuring mobile ordering operations for your venue. At the end of the day, a piece of technology is only as good as how you make of it. Being able to correctly use the tool sometimes is more important than the tool itself.
If you’re wondering about whether FanFood could be the right platform for your operations, let’s find out over a quick chat!