Guests can download the Royal Albert Hall app on the App Store or through Google Play. The offering will also be available on the Royal Albert Hall website and through MyOrder London, a web portal and app that lets users access refreshment pre-ordering at any one of seven participating theatres across the capital city.
Since 2011, premium caterers, rhubarb, have provided all food and drink at the London venue. The new service replaces an existing system and allows box ticket holders the opportunity to order food and drink to their box up to 48 hours before a performance via the digital service (mobile app or online). The comprehensive menu ranges from sharing boards and sandwiches, to Champagne and soft drinks, with the opportunity to purchase from a reduced menu during the performance. In-performance orders can be placed via one of rhubarb’s hostessing team who take the order through Preoday’s system on the guest’s behalf. All orders are then personally delivered to the customer in their box.
In 2017, the Royal Albert Hall welcomed 1.7m people to events at the iconic venue. Despite having numerous bars and ordering points available to guests, refreshment queues inevitably grow during performance intervals. Audience members with seats in the auditorium can therefore use the app or online portal to place and pay for drink and snack orders in advance and up to 10 minutes before an interval. They then collect their prepared refreshments, from a preferred bar, at any point during the break without the need to queue. This interval click & collect service will launch later in the year.
Davina Sasha, Head of Catering and Hospitality at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “We’re always striving to create brilliant experiences for visitors, and embracing the latest technology within our historic venue helps us to do that. From this month, whether you have a box seat to see The Nutcracker, Cirque du Soleil or one of our acclaimed Films in Concert, digital ordering will provide another level of customer service, allowing you to indulge in food and drink while savouring the moment in your box overlooking our iconic auditorium.”
Christopher Rettie, Director of rhubarb at Royal Albert Hall said: “We hope to heighten the experience enjoyed by all box ticket holders through our new digital system, whilst shortening bar queues for auditorium seat holders. Our aim is to ensure all guests have more time to socialise and relax before the show and during intervals with quality food and drink. We are also excited by the user data Preoday will gather, helping us to track sales trends and offer our audiences exactly what they want it, when they want it.”
Nick Hucker, CEO of Preoday, added: “Preoday delivers pre-ordering and payment technology to more than thirty theatres around the UK and we are ecstatic to add the Royal Albert Hall to that number. For anyone visiting the Royal Albert Hall, it is so much more than a trip to the theatre or a concert, it’s an opportunity to enjoy an incredible night out at one of the most iconic and famous venues in Britain – we want to add to that enjoyment. rhubarb is a wonderful catering outfit. Audiences have been enjoying its food and box catering for a number of years; it’s a privilege to help rhubarb and the Royal Albert Hall enhance the customer experience through a faster, more personalised service.”
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.