This briefing continues a series devoted to exploring challenges, opportunities and innovation in different foodservice payment environments. Sports and entertainment venues are a critical component of leisure foodservice purchases worldwide and have been a hotbed for foodservice innovation in recent years. Ongoing development of in-seat service, mobile ordering, and loyalty integration offer excellent examples of the ways that companies are expanding the role of payment in these venues.
Cash remains king in a large number of stadiums and entertainment venues, particularly for roving concessions workers. Significant opportunity exists for companies to bring innovative cashless solutions to parks and arenas. The Coronavirus pandemic in particular has made cash usage substantially less attractive to many consumers.
Perhaps the worst part of seeking out concessions at an event is the time it takes away from the purchased main attraction. Finding ways to mitigate the amount of time that consumers must spend out of their seats, particularly in a post-Coronavirus (COVID-19) world is an essential component in the evolution of stadium and entertainment venue payments.
New stadiums and arenas are arriving that operate under a completely cashless model. While there has been some initial pushback from municipalities and larger market legislation that looks to limit the potential for fully cashless environments, the arrival of COVID-19 has eroded some of the support that maintaining cash payments once enjoyed.
Loyalty programmes for stadiums and entertainment venues are frequently underacknowledged or even non-existent. There is tremendous potential for greater involvement of loyalty programmes and group purchasing to change the landscape of venue foodservice.
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