Since 2011, premium caterer rhubarb has provided all food and drink at the Royal Albert Hall. Despite having numerous bars and ordering points available to guests, refreshment queues grow during performance intervals, creating bottlenecks for service. In 2018 rhubarb was looking to supplement its existing web order system with a mobile app ordering system that would also offer the flexibility to offer any new services it wanted to launch.
The caterer was looking for something more user-friendly, mobile-responsive and on brand. The rhubarb team was already aware of Preoday so when it was looking for a new service, it approached the digital ordering provider.
The service introduced at the beginning of October 2018 replaced the 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 (through the mobile app or online).
Audience members with seats in the auditorium can 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.
Guests can download the Royal Albert Hall app on the App Store or through Google Play. The offering is also available on the Royal Albert Hall website. The comprehensive menu on offer ranges from sharing boards and sandwiches, to champagne and soft drinks.
Using the Preoday platform streamlines the existing processes in place and enables rhubarb to provide special seasonal offers. For example, during the Christmas period, it was able to upload a ‘festive menu’ to Preoday which ran alongside the normal menu for guests booking food and drink for Christmas shows.
The takings have remained very positive since Preoday was implemented. In the first three months that the Preoday platform launched (October – December 2018) rhubarb observed an average order value increase of almost 60% compared to the previous three months using the old online ordering service. Staff have been positive about the new system as it is easy to use and quick to update. It needed a solution which enabled the staff to do their job quicker and more efficiently, and Preoday has provided that.
There are several different teams using Preoday at the Royal Albert Hall: from the event planning team who manage the setup of the menus and processing orders; to the chefs who pull the stock reports from the back-end of the platform; to the operations team who ensure all orders are delivered to the correct boxes, and all have responded very positively to the new solution. Audiences love the service. Day to day audience use sits at around 8% of all audience members, but depending on the right show, this can increase to up to 60%.
In their own words
Christopher Rettie, Director of Rhubarb at Royal Albert Hall said:
“Our main aim when searching for a new box catering solution was to find a platform which greatly enhanced the user experience for our guests. We felt confident that a newly designed platform would greatly increase the revenue potential for our box ticketholders, which is why we chose Preoday as a solution. Preoday has delivered a sleek, easy to use and on-brand platform through both a desktop and app solution, which has seen 33% of customers signing-up to Preoday through their phones, highlighting the need for a mobile-responsive solution. We also now have the added benefit of being able to track all bookings through the platform, enabling us to monitor customer behaviour and tweak the booking journey as a result of this.”
“The implementation of Preoday was incredibly easy and allowed us to seamlessly transition from our existing platform to this new solution. Preoday took the time to understand our business and the existing processes we had in place, to ensure that we were using Preoday in a way that worked best for us.”
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.