To set the stage, hawkers are vendors that sell merchandise, food, or/and beverage. In the sports and entertainment industries, these hawkers travel the walking paths at venues adding to the experience of the evening with the memorable “Get your popcorn here”, or “Cold beer here!”. The most charismatic of them leave you with a big smile as they banter with you during the cash exchange.
These traditional hawkers have a profound impact on a fan’s experience at the game, and when the game is busy, or if the hawker is having an off night, the fan experience also follows suit. The problem with traditional hawkers is that they are not set up to succeed at scale for the paying fans in the stands.
Historical Issues with Traditional Hawkers
- Buyer preference doesn’t always come first. Many times a fan may want to buy a product that the hawker doesn’t have in their bin so the fan ends up settling for what is available, oftentimes a less expensive product. We talk about what we’ve learned in our article: “Why the Upsale?”
- Ordering “on-demand” isn’t an option. With traditional hawkers, proximity, availability and other factors quickly diminish the illusion of “on-demand” purchasing. Anyone would think that as hawkers pace the aisles, this provides “on-demand” ordering, but in actuality, it’s not the case. If the hawker gets a lot of interest with a bin full of new ice cold beer and a fan is just out of reach either audibly or visually from the hawker, they get overlooked which means they don’t spend the money and they don’t get the enjoyment they had in mind while at the event. Additionally, no one likes a neighbor fan who stands up to make a scene just to get the hawker’s attention. This traditional process just isn’t set up for scale.
- Money gets left on the table. It happens all too often. You finally get the hawker’s attention and as he approaches you, you’re scanning his bin to find that your drink of choice is not there. So you settle for another product, usually something cheaper because if it’s more expensive, you’ll just wait for that restroom break or inning to end to get up and grab what you really wanted from the concession stand. The sEATz team has been made a witness to the purchasing behaviors of fans via mobile ordering and it tells a much different story than the sales made by traditional hawkers. sEATz COO Charles Willis talks about this specifically here.
While traditional hawkers bring a wholesomeness and camaraderie to the event, advancements in technology are now able to equip that hawker digitally and in some cases, supplement hawkers during busy times by routing true on-demand orders to the back-of-house kitchen for fulfillment while runners grab and go to run product to the fans in-seat. With the “digital” hawker, otherwise known as the sEATz mobile ordering app, venues and concessionaires can scale operations while also providing a highest-quality fan experience to get fans exactly what they want when they want it.
How “Digital Hawkers™” Optimize Revenue, Operations, and Fan Experience at Once
- Fans can purchase exactly what they want, when they want.
- Fans end up ordering more times and in more volume each order placement.
- Concessionaires can see in real-time where different types of product purchasing are surging or thinning around the stadium to reallocate resources and product.
- Fans enjoy more of the game by skipping the line, not the game.
- Concessionaires can expedite or slow the speed of ordering by way of the killswitch to keep up with the staffing needs that establish a great fan experience.
- Real-time decision making with real-time data. sEATz is the only platform to provide real-time data that helps concessionaires make decisions in the moment to maximize efficiencies, unclog bottlenecks, and keep smooth operations. This almost always provides a higher revenue line compared to past events.
With 5-7 minute delivery times from the point of purchase on the sEATz app, fans get to enjoy more of the game or concert, and spend less time grappling to get the traditional hawker’s attention. This also creates an uptick in the number of times a person orders, knowing that timing and flow is less important than before. To learn more about how sEATz can come to your venue, contact us here.