How mobile ordering is being adopted in the UK theatre sector

How mobile ordering is being adopted in the UK theatre sector

Mobile ordering is commonplace in many businesses providing food and beverage and so it is no surprise that the theatre sector is the latest to embrace the innovative and experience-enhancing solution. Consumers of all ages, many of whom have only recently used mobile ordering for the first time, will continue to take advantage of a simple and more convenient way of placing their orders, whether that be ordering ahead for pre-show drinks and dining experience or ordering interval drinks. 

How does mobile ordering work in a theatre? 

Mobile ordering platforms allow for audiences to pre-order dining and drinks, pre-show or for the interval, beating queues and improving their experience. By implementing these solutions, guests can browse at their leisure from the comfort of their seats and order any food or drink that they require. Whilst the main focus is on food and drink sales, the option to buy programmes and merchandise can also be included with mobile ordering, maximising revenue.  

What are the advantages of order and pay mobile solutions in theatres? 

There are many advantages to mobile ordering in the theatre industry, including: 

Increased transaction values 

The element of convenience, mixed with the opportunity for up-selling and cross-selling, encourages the customer to spend more. 

Order ahead 

The opportunity for the audience to order ahead as well as on the day can improve sales of merchandise and programmes significantly. 

Improved ratings 

With reduced wait times and the convenience of collection and pe-paying, customer satisfaction will rise and, in turn, so will ratings. 

No more interval rush 

Staff can see a live update of orders that need fulfilling and can prepare them during the show, customers can then collect their pre-paid order from a designated collection point during the interval. 

Venues that have adopted a mobile-based solution have found that sales increased by approximately 20 per cent and there is also a great potential to reduce costs by streamlining the process and managing the staffing resources. 

With Vine, Haven Systems self-ordering platform, there is no need for users to download and save an app adding to an ever-growing number of icons on their device. Vine is a web app accessed by a simple URL. Ideally, a link to the URL is sent out with the guest booking confirmation, allowing them to immediately view and order straight away from the digital menus and therefore growing advance sales of merchandise. 

Food and beverage orders, either for pre-show drinks and dining are more typically placed on the day or even hours before the start or ‘doors opening’. A growing % of orders placed prior, even an hour or two before doors opening, can help the staff significantly in their preparation for the service and improve the guest experience. 

Guests who have chosen not to order in advance may decide to scan a QR code, choose their show and even their seating area, ‘upper circle’ etc to be presented with the drink’s menu laid out in a simple format with high-resolution images. The payment process is quick and easy. 

Mobile ordering not only solves current, and short-term goals like avoiding queuing and keeping elements of social distancing where possible, but, on a longer-term basis, theatres will benefit from increased operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and increased revenues, especially when streamlined as a part of an integrated EPOS system. 

With EPOS System integration, mobile ordering really does become ‘omnichannel,’ meaning that the customer can choose the order and payment process that best suits them, either online or face to face payments at an EPOS till. As a fully integrated and end to end system, there is a central management information system (MIS) and a central database. Therefore, all the management information including product, price, and stock levels are consistent throughout.  

There is no need to have an on-premise EPOS system and then a separate mobile ordering platform when the two channels are available as a single solution. The MIS also provides central, consolidated reports for the different sales channels. Using standard reports, or user-created reports in Analytics, the management team can identify trends and potentially spot opportunities to enhance service during the season or specific run of shows.  

A single EPOS and mobile ordering solution, with the added benefit of using a single merchant service provider for both online and both face to face payments, can help to secure a better card transaction rate based on the higher volume of sales as well as the convenience of auditing one merchant account.