Buying drinks between acts is something every music fan does at a concert. However, like any venue with a finite time available to go to the bar, music venues struggle with queues at the interval. They lose business from fans who are put off by the queues and staff are stressed by the crush of customers. Music fan Ralph Bretzer gives his perspective on the situation and how venues could improve it.
From the stage the sound rolls over me. Darkly pounding rhythms penetrate the room along with piercing guitar riffs and vocals foretelling impending doom. Legendary post punk band Killing Joke is playing one of Sweden’s most classic live venues.
I move myself away from the stage towards the bar to get myself a drink. I get there without too much hassle just to be informed, as I produce my card, that “sorry, we don’t accept credit cards”.
I know this, really. I have been to this establishment many times, yet I always seem to forget. I mean, who uses cash these days?
Okay I get it. Handling cards is time consuming for the bartenders on busy nights when everybody in a packed room rushes the bar in between bands. So I go to the nearest ATM and get myself the cash needed, go back and pay.
I guess it’s a lose/lose situation. If they take cards there will be a whole lot more waiting while the people manning the bars process the payments and if they don’t, people like me will get annoyed because they only have plastic in their wallets.
So, I get and pay for my drink. It’s a nice evening. The music is great. The band is an old favourite of mine who I have not had the opportunity to see before. It’s with quite a satisfied feeling – and a pocketful of small change – that I walk out into the night. The coins in my pockets are jangling away and the thought is gnawing away – cash or card? There must be a better way, both from a consumer perspective and for the establishment. And yes there is.
The solution is, of course, an app. Every single one of the people in that room, I would think, had a smartphone in their pocket. And almost every one is used to paying with it on the bus or the train and to paying their bills with some kind of bank app.
What if, when I stood there in the crowd and felt I wanted a drink, I could have preordered and prepaid it, before I went up to the bar and collected it? Now, that would have really made my evening. And the bartenders could have used their time to pour drinks instead of spending most of it processing payments. The result would have been happier customers buying more, when they weren’t afraid to miss parts of the show hanging in the bar.
If you’d like to find out how our music venue clients are making their customers happier, see the Preoday blog for their stories.