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Using Virtual Queues for Concessions at Sporting Events, Concerts, and Movies

by Qtrac

Picture this: You’ve just found your seats at a highly anticipated matchup that will decide the fate of your favorite team for the rest of the season.

You’re feeling good. Excitement is high. The crowd feels electric. Nothing is missing.

Except, of course, for the perfect snack to nibble on during the game.

This disappointing realization isn’t limited to sporting events. Whether customers are comfortably seated at a movie or concert or they’re having a great time strolling around an amusement park, waiting in line is a universally unexciting prospect during an otherwise enjoyable event.

Fans understand that snacks (and waiting in line to obtain them) are part of the in-person event experience. Stadiums have reported making as much as $2M just on concessions per game—and the majority of surveyed movie theater attendees say they’re likely to purchase a snack.

However, if there’s too big an obstacle standing between them and their sought-after soda and nachos—for example, if the line is too long, and standing in it will make them miss the play of the game—customers are faced with frustrating choices.

Do they forgo their food and drinks?

Do they wait in line and miss out on the exciting moments they paid to see?

Or do they decide to stay at home and watch the event from the comfort of their own living rooms, with snacks readily available nearby?

This forced decision leads to a poor user experience. It results in fewer concessions purchased and frustrated sporting event attendees—not to mention incredibly congested hallways and lobbies.

Fortunately, there’s a better way.

Streamlining Concessions at Sporting Events with Virtual Queueing

If you’re interested in improving the experience for sporting event attendees (and making life a lot easier for concessions staff, too), it’s time to consider a virtual queue system.

A virtual queue system helps you manage the flow of hungry people throughout your stadium, arena, or sporting event facility in a highly strategic, organized manner. Instead of standing in a tedious concessions line to get snacks, customers can check in to a virtual waiting system. When it’s their turn to order (and when their order is ready), they get a notification, and they can pick up their food and drinks before returning to their seats in just a few minutes.

It’s a simple idea—and implementing it can also be straightforward. Virtual queues for concessions at sporting events can be intuitive for staff and customers. These systems improve everyone’s experience, increase sales, and ensure fans are always ready to return for more.

And those aren’t the only benefits associated with virtual queueing systems.

The Key Benefits of Using Virtual Queues for Concessions at Sporting Events

Virtual queues can be a win-win-win for employees, event venues, and event-goers alike. No matter which side of the concessions counter you’re on, you stand to benefit! Here’s how.

Virtual queues enhance the customer experience.

Less standing in line equals more time spent enjoying the event itself. With virtual queues for concessions, sports enthusiasts and concert attendees can stop missing important moments and still sate their cravings. With just a few taps on their phones, they can get a spot in a queue, receive notifications about their order, and coordinate pickup.

Virtual queues increase sales of concessions.

With fewer obstacles standing between customers and concessions, sales numbers are poised to spike. This results in more profit for concert, sports, and movie venues. And because concession stands can monitor virtual queues and manage their operations to meet demand, this increase in orders doesn’t come at the expense of employee experience, either.

Virtual queues promote venue safety.

When customers spend more time in their designated seats instead of milling around waiting for their orders, this minimizes traffic and congestion around the concession stand. This makes it easier for people to navigate the venue, resulting in a safer and less stressful experience.

Virtual queues allow for cross-sells and upsells.

Because your customers save time waiting in line, they’ll have more opportunities to discover other products and services. Your virtual queue system can direct event-goers to other products and services they might enjoy, which can help you funnel customers from concessions to gift and merch shops without friction.

Virtual queues reduce both actual and perceived wait times.

When interacting with a virtual queue system, customers enjoy a hassle-free interaction. They also gain transparent information about their wait times, which instills trust in their venue experience. This creates an environment that customers want to return to because they know what to expect! (It doesn’t hurt that virtual queues typically are shorter than physical ones because of their streamlined nature, either.)

Virtual queues improve employee productivity.

When managing in-person customer queues, concessions teams often work in chaotic spurts of rushed activity with recovery lulls in between. This isn’t exactly sustainable or the most efficient use of employee time. Virtual queues help stagger customers for a more manageable workload to promote staff satisfaction and productivity.

That’s a great list of benefits—but we think we can push the envelope even further.

Where Virtual Queues for Concessions at Sporting Events Can Truly Change the Game

If you’re interested in perfecting the customer experience at your event, it’s time to dig into customer experience data.

Traditionally, getting large amounts of accurate, up-to-date customer behavior and preference data has been difficult.

Enter: Virtual queue systems for concessions. With skip-the-line tech solutions throughout your venue, you can learn exactly what customers want and when they want it.

You can then use that information to transform how you cater to your target customers. For example, with the data from virtual queues for concessions at sporting events, movies, and concerts, you can:

  • See at a glance which food and beverage items are most popular
  • Learn and predict what your business’s peak hours are
  • Identify any bottlenecks in your current concessions fulfillment process
  • Track order accuracy, order fulfillment time, and other metrics to help you identify areas for improvement
  • … and more!

Ultimately, your virtual queue can be your way of helping your event venue attain Swiss-watch levels of precision and accuracy in its concessions processes.

This is great for you but even better for your customers: It helps them maximize enjoyment without even realizing it—as simple and seamless as can be.

Transforming Customer Journeys: Virtual Queues for Concessions vs. In-Person Lines

Remember the scenario we discussed at the beginning of this piece? A sports fan sits down, realizes they need a snack, and experiences intense despair because the entire end-to-end concessions journey takes forever.

(We’re being a little dramatic, but if you’ve ever missed out on a historic play while waiting in line for a soda, “despair” might actually be an understatement.)

Compare that to the customer experience when engaging with queue software:

That same fan would realize they’re hungry, but instead of having to get up immediately to go do something about it (and writing off 20-30 minutes in the process), they’d get their phone out, check into queuing software, and take their place in line. After receiving real-time information about their actual wait time, the customer would then be able to continue enjoying their game, watching their movie, or dancing to the band on stage.

When the customer receives a notification announcing their snacks are ready, they can quickly head to the nearest concession stand, grab their food, and go.

Short, simple, sweet—and so easy that the customer might even feel like they can do it again the next time they’re in the mood for a tasty snack.

Check Out the New Way to ‘Check In’: Virtual Queues for Your Event Concessions

Ready to streamline concessions at your venue or level up efficiency for your employees? Qtrac’s virtual queuing systems are simple to onboard, and they offer profound benefits to you and your business. Get started with Qtrac by scheduling your demo today.

It’s never been easier for customers to connect and engage. Experience Qtrac for yourself:

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