Digital Ordering Could Nearly Double Average Check for Event Concessions

event concessions

As live event venues look to meet their increasingly digitally connected customers’ demand for speed and convenience, they also have the opportunity to nearly double the amount that attendees are spending, in-seat ordering company Ordr has observed.

Jade Chiles, CEO and co-founder of the platform, which has been deployed at baseball, hockey and basketball stadiums, among others, explained in an interview with PYMNTS how order-to-seat and mobile payment solutions drive up consumers’ spending.

“One thing that you know I was quite surprised about is we’re seeing on average 96% more spent on the Ordr app than the traditional belly-up [traditional concessions counter] per capita,” Chiles said. “We really attribute that to the convenience and the stress and the pressure of having to stand in line.”

Chiles noted that, rather than consumers feeling rushed at concessions stand with long lines, needing to get what they need, get out of the way, and get back to their seats, they can be more relaxed, at liberty to purchase more.

Additionally, technology creates upselling capabilities, with Ordr able to surface personalized recommendations and to provide vendors insight into how their items perform.

Across live event venues, demand for more convenient concessions options is on the rise as tech upgrades are rolled out. MLB teams are adding more frictionless checkout options with Amazon’s Just Walk Out, with Uber Eats’ ordering, payment and in-seat delivery capabilities and with Instacart’s computer vision self-checkout capabilities.

Indeed, consumers seem to spend more overall when they are making purchases digitally across industries, whether that is because the lack of friction in the process makes the amount they are spending appear less visible to them or because they simply know that they will not have to carry their items home (or to their stadium seats, in the case of event concessions).

For instance, data from PYMNTS’ study “Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover: Catching the Coming eCommerce Wave,” created in collaboration with Amazon Web Services, which draws from an April survey of a census-balanced panel of nearly 2,700 U.S. consumers, found that consumers spend $88 on in-store grocery purchases on average, and $116 on digital grocery purchases. Similarly, they spend $87 on in-store retail purchases on average, and $129 on online retail purchases.

With live event venues specifically, maximizing time in seats appears to be a key driver. Across its deployments, Ordr has seen 77% higher adoption of in-seat delivery than mobile order-ahead pickup.

“That’s because the pain of missing a moment in sports is universal across all sorts of different venues,” Ordr COO and Co-founder Evan Wain said.

Certainly, consumers are growing increasingly accustomed to the convenience of on-demand delivery. According to data from “Connected Dining: Third-Party Restaurant Aggregators Keep the Young and Affluent Engaged,” an exclusive PYMNTS report based on a March survey of more than 2,200 U.S. consumers, 40% had used aggregators in the previous six months, up from 37% in April 2022.

Still, for in-stadium delivery, there is a long way to go when it comes to driving adoption.

“[With] in-stadium delivery, we’re really back in 2013, in terms of adoption across the nation,” Wain said. “There’s a ton of growth in in this space for people to take advantage of.”