The catering and events team at The Aviva Stadium is one that always looks to innovate and enhance its service. Its hosting of the American Football Emerald Isle Classic of Navy V Notre Dame in 2012 was a case in point. During the game, the team looked to emulate the in-stand food delivery service associated with US sports. Finding this a roaring success, it began to explore how a similar, ongoing service could be offered during the stadium’s rugby and football matches. At this time, it also became apparent that customers would prefer to collect the food and drink themselves, rather than having it passed through the crowd.
Aviva Stadium had two key goals in mind when looking to offer its new ordering service.
First, it wanted to enhance the customer service offer. Second, it wanted the service to start out as an exclusive incentive for venue’s 10,000 season ticket holders. As with any stadium or large venue, its greatest challenge was to serve patrons within the time that there is a break in play. For the Aviva Stadium, this break lasts 15 minutes and is when 60% of the day’s total food and drink sales are made.
When Aviva Stadium started to explore the market in 2013 there were no providers in Ireland that offered a platform with the functionality of Preoday. It was introduced to Preoday through Leinster Rugby and, from the outset, found that the company understood what it wanted to achieve and how to implement that. Furthermore, it went the extra mile, providing support remotely and on site during days they knew the Aviva Stadium team was launching the app or expanding its scope.
Aviva Stadium started cautiously, kicking off its use of Preoday with a one-day trial during the 2014 Six Nations, in just one area of the stadium. The direct and social feedback was immediately positive. Over the course of the year it widened the trial space to test it in other areas of the stadium. Once the team was happy it devised a permanent name and marketing campaign for the ordering app; that’s when it became RapidQ.
RapidQ has been downloaded almost 10,000 times and the team has seen, on average, 2.5 orders per customer. To date, one customer has placed an amazing 35 orders through it! Each season the stadium has seen order numbers, and order values steadily increase.
Using the data gathered through the Preoday platform, Aviva Stadium has noted that 45% of orders are placed up to 3 hours before the kick off of the match and 42% are made during the match – before half time. This data makes it is clear when to target patrons with their marketing efforts in order to win extra business.
Direct feedback has also been positive – customers have referred to the app as “a concierge style service” and in particular, comment how efficient it is as they are back in their seats well before the second half of the match starts. In fact, the team has found – particularly on the premium level – that guests who pre-order have their orders fully redeemed on average 5 minutes before the start of the second half.
Recently the team introduced new stand-alone collection points – rather than those that are placed at the end of a bar / food unit. One of these collection points is now taking more revenue than it did when it was a public bar.
In their words
“The cashless stadia is something that is closer to reality than ever before and there is no doubt that platforms, such as those provided by Preoday, will be huge contributors towards this. Customers want to be able to purchase, not only their food and drink, but merchandise, matchday programs and possibly tickets for upcoming matches digitally.
“I have personally worked with the Preoday team for 4 years. They are professional, experts in their fields, supportive – but what is more, they completely understand our business and have the ability to adapt the nature of the app from a sports stadium to a racecourse – which have very different flows of service and expectations. I look forward to many more years working with them in what is a true partnership, and am excited to see what is next for the RapidQ.”
It’s not as catchy as: ‘When is a door not a door?’ (answer, when it’s a jar) but it speaks to the idea that in-car collection, and the technologies that support it, are flexible enough to bend to the needs of a business and its guests.
Delivery can be daunting to the uninitiated, and it might be tempting to sign up with a third-party ordering aggregator that offers the service, such as UberEats, but other options could suit your business and brand better. Here we present three different ‘levels’ of delivery, starting with the most basic – and cheapest method: doing it yourself.