Web App Design and Development (x3)
Dec 2017 – Jan 2019
SeatSuite was a business venture that developed from my school assignment. What started out as a concept for a full stadium app with multiple features turned into a web app that offered in-seat ordering at sporting events. SeatSuite allows fans to order food, drinks and merchandise directly to their seats to avoid waiting in long concession stand lines. It’s a 3-product platform that enhances the fan experience, improves operational efficiency and increases revenue for the venue. Below outlines the journey of the products and business I developed.
Long Concession Stand Lines. Every sports fan has waited in them and not only are they inconvenient for fans, but they also cause a significant amount of missed sales for the venue.
A 2016 study from Oracle Hospitalities found the average fan in North America spends 18 minutes in concession stand lines per game. The same study also found that 45% of fans have abandoned a concession line at least once within the last year.
Intermissions, poor infrastructure and indecisiveness cause long lines. Most sports have 1-3 intermissions, so fans don’t have many opportunities to go to the concessions without missing part of the game. Many arenas are not equipped to serve this large rush of fans in such a short period of time. To add to the issue, most fans are indecisive about what to order when they get to the front of the line and are slow to pay.
Enhance the Fan Experience
A potential solution needs to bring convenience and added value for the fan.
Be Feasible, Viable & Desirable
A potential solution must make sense from a business perspective and show revenue potential.
Increase Venue Revenue
A potential solution needs to improve concession sales and efficiency for the venues.
The stadium app market has become increasingly competitive over the last 3 years as technology continues to become more prevalent in everyday life. In terms of direct competitors that offer in-seat ordering apps, the top players are Qkr!, FanFood and Appetize. These companies are US-based, and they provide native app solutions, not web apps. There are also several indirect competitors that offer full-stadium app solutions with multiple features to enhance the fan experience. The top players in this category are Yinzcam and VenueNext, both US-based companies that focus on pro-level teams.
At the start of 2019 there were 85 sports teams across Canada in the NHL, NBA, MLB, CFL, MLS, CHL and AHL. Of those teams, there were only 3 that offered an in-seat ordering app – the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. This presents a huge opportunity (especially with the smaller-mid level teams) in the Canadian market with 96% of the market still untapped.
How Might We…
use technology to reduce concession stand lines to enhance the fan experience and increase the number of sales for the venue?
Focusing on the core function of being able to order concessions to your seat, I worked on designing a task flow that was as simple and intuitive as possible. Given the nature of the product, I wanted to minimize the amount of time on the app to ensure fans could get back to watching the game without missing any of the action. Below is a fan’s basic flow when placing an order.
The SeatSuite platform is comprised of 3 products. The first is the user app that allows fans to order food, drinks and merchandise directly to their seat to avoid waiting in long concession lines and eliminate the risk of missing part of the game. The second is the concession app that allows the venue to receive orders, update the menu and see sales performance analytics. The third is the runner app that allows the employees delivering the orders to see where to pick them up and where to deliver them too.