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How to Make Beverage Sales a Home Run on Opening Day and Beyond

Opening day 2022 for the Washington Nationals is Thursday, April 7th with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm. Whether attendees are fans of the sport, the Nationals, or Max Scherzer, now pitching for the visiting team, the New York Mets, they’re sure to be entertained. While the main event is happening on the field, concessions sales equal a win for the park, regardless of which team earns the most runs.

How Sestra Helps Baseball Parks Win

A Major League Baseball park wanted to increase revenue, reduce waste, easily ensure regulatory compliance, and improve the fan experience. Sestra’s patented solutions achieved all of their goals, including a positive ROI, in just three months. The venue continues to see year over year improvements in yield, operations, and revenue and has been a loyal Sestra customer since 2016. To read about additional stats, product implementations, and the Park’s big wins, download our case study, HERE.

Customer Challenge

The Major League Baseball park wanted to increase the number of beverage points of sale throughout the park in a sustainable and controlled way. They wanted to streamline their operations and eliminate any waste or theft associated with overpouring. In addition, they wanted to increase revenue by reducing the time between keg changes, understanding service trends and beverage popularity, and pinpointing inventory needs. The operations team wanted to leverage technology to achieve these goals so their staff could focus on providing the best fan experience.

By achieving these goals of faster service, shorter time between keg changes, and increased visibility, the baseball park drove an improved fan experience through shorter lines and perfect pours as well as increased profits.

Read the entire case study and discover how we helped an MLB ball park hit a home run by improving service, speed and quality while increasing revenue

Year over year expansion at the park as well as our continued partnership speaks to the success of the program. Interested in learning how your stadium or event venue can benefit from Sestra’s TapWise technology? Reach out to our team for a free custom consultation. 

 

Unbelievable Super Bowl Food and Beverage Stats

Fans and players alike are prepping for Super Bowl LVI, scheduled to be played on February 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. With viewers tuning in for the game, the commercials, and the halftime show, featuring Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar, viewership is expected to surpass 100 million. Thanks to the popularity of the game and its accompanying food and beverages, Super Bowl Sunday consumption is second only to Thanksgiving and, according to the National Retail Federation, viewers plan to spend an average of $74.55 on food, beverages, and team apparel. 

Super Bowl Food Statistics Infographic

According to Hungry Fan, Americans spend over $387 million on snacks, $130 million on pizza, and over $2 billion on chicken  wings. So, just how much do viewers spend on beer in preparation for the big game? Americans spend around $1.3 billion on beer in the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday and consume 325 million gallons of beer on game day. If you can believe these Super Bowl food and beverage stats, every American would have to drink an average of 10 cans of beer! Limited only by what the local beer store offers, it makes sense that home viewers are not shy about enjoying their favorite pint (or ten) during the Super Bowl. But what about the fans enjoying the game from the stadium?

According to Mercedes-Benz Stadium officials, fans in attendance at Super Bowl LIII purchased 117,400 beers and 16,300 hot dogs. The stadium recorded 110,184 different food-and-beverage transactions during the 2019 New England Patriots versus Los Angeles Rams game, including 76,446 credit-card transactions.

While football fans trail MMA fans and hockey fans in terms of average beer consumption, it’s clear that the Super Bowl rivals any other single match in terms of beer sales and consumption. And, regardless of the sport, it’s also clear that stadiums and arenas have immense opportunity for concessions sales which also means immense opportunity for waste and loss. 

Smart Dispensing, however, can help stadiums and arenas eliminate overpouring and reduce waste, getting the most return from their dispensing opportunities. Smart Dispensing pours consistently and accurately, down to a fraction of an ounce, according to pre-set pour sizes.

In addition to reducing beverage waste, Smart Dispensing reduces wait times for both your staff and the fans. Perfect pour technology saves bartenders from having to measure out ingredients and pour sizes while alerts warn staff of low inventory, allowing them to preemptively prep new kegs. A dependable and precise system minimizes wait time for thirsty fans, allowing them to quickly get back to enjoying the game. 

Professional sports may feel a world away from other businesses within the hospitality industry but that’s exactly what it is; a pillar of the hospitality industry. Stadiums and arenas, like hotels, cruise ships, and restaurants, depend on satisfied guests becoming raving fans. If these Super Bowl food and Beverage stats have convinced your stadium or arena to offer frictionless service through reduced wait times and perfect pours, contact Sestra today to learn how we can help. Tuning in for the Super Bowl? Let us know how you’ll be contributing to food and beverage sales on the second largest consumption day in America. 

Smart Dispensing and Thirsty Fans- The Ideal Stadium Combo

While sports fans may attend their favorite team’s live events for support and camaraderie, there’s no denying the allure of stadium hot dogs and an ice cold beer. Sure, you can get those things at home but it’s just different when you’re surrounded by thousands of your closest friends, cheering on your favorite team. 

While passion may look similar across sports, each set of fans have their own eating and drinking habits. So which sports fans drink the most? Read on to find out and to learn how Smart Dispensing can help your stadium improve your bottom line.

While the song implies that peanuts and Cracker Jacks are the go-to baseball stadium staple, 20 million hot dogs and 4.5 million sausages are consumed by Major League Baseball fans each season. And what pairs perfectly with hotdogs? Ice cold beer. Fans enjoy an average of three beers while cheering on their team, with Chicago White Sox fans drinking more than any other fanbase. According to a survey by NJ Online Gambling, the team’s fans consume an average of 4.2 drinks per game and spend $40 or more on drinks per game.

That’s a lot of beer. And a lot of opportunities to improve sales and reduce over-pouring. After working with an MLB park for over six years, we compiled a case study showcasing their beverage program and improvements since implementing Smart Dispensing. The program at the park has grown year over year with more than 200 connected taps driving increased speed of service, better visibility, and easier operations. In the 2021 season, over 2 million ounces flowed through Sestra’s connected taps. Faster service, shorter time between keg changes, and  increased visibility drove an improved fan experience through shorter lines and perfect pours. As a result, the park saw positive ROI in 3 months, 25% volume growth, and 19% increase in yield. Sestra increased beverage revenue at the major league baseball park and revenue per keg by 27%. To learn more about our partnership with this major league park, download the entire case study HERE. While these stats are specific to one customer’s results, similar ROI is seen across sports venues – including hockey.

With Gretzky’s love of hotdogs being what it is (one Redditor calculated he ate 7,224 over the course of his career), it’s no surprise that hockey fans love hot dogs as well. So, how do their beer drinking habits compare to those of baseball fans? NHL fans drink around 3.5 beers per game and their drinking habits are similar whether they’re watching a game from home or live at the arena.  

Mixing it up, football fans favor pizza over hot dogs with 37% of spectators claiming the savory pie as their favorite football food. Luckily, beer pairs well with all stadium offerings, as fans continually prove. While NFL fans trail hockey fans in beer consumption, they average more than 3 beers per game. The Cincinnati Bengals have the thirstiest fans, who claim to average 5.2 beers per game (including their tailgating beverages). 

Let’s not forget MMA and UFC enthusiasts. Unlike the team sports mentioned above, MMA and UFC fighters are alone in the ring but far from alone in the stadium. Fights are typically attended by tens of thousands of fans, most with a beer in hand. Live spectators enjoy an average of 4 beers at MMA/UFC fights, more than any other sports fans. 

While drink preferences and habits differ across sports, one thing is clear; sports fans love beer. With so much beer being poured and served, that’s a lot of opportunity for waste as well as missed potential sales. Having Sestra’s Smart Dispensing and ongoing support in your corner allows your stadium or arena to decrease waste and customer wait time while also increasing efficiency, tap control, and actionable analytics. Learn more by reading Beverage Technology at Stadiums and Arenas or contact us to learn how we can help improve your bottom line. 

 

Beverage Technology at Stadiums and Arenas

What’s better than a packed stadium and a winning team? Having Sestra’s TapWise technology and ongoing support in your corner. From waste prevention and the perfect pour to increased efficiency, tap control, and actionable analytics, Sestra can help your venue have a perfect season.

Yield

Whether from beer foam, accidentally pouring a little extra wine into each glass, or topping off a cocktail with some extra liquor, beverage waste and over-pouring happens. With a connected solution that monitors the conditions in the line and throughout every pour, beverage technology at stadiums and arenas can help waste be avoided.

Take our Smart FOBs for example – they detect foam or excess air in your beer lines and close the taps to prevent additional waste. Once the issue is resolved, the FOB is reset and pouring can continue without draining half a keg trying to pour through the foam of a depressurized line. And for wine and liquor, the programmed pour size keeps each serving consistent.

Operational Efficiency

What if the person responsible for replacing your beer and wine kegs knew exactly where one was needed before it even ran out? Or all of your taps could lock automatically at the same time? IoT-connected devices can do all of that and more. 

Beverage managers have control right in the palm of their hands with our Remote Station Manager, allowing them to lock and unlock an entire venue from anywhere. Automated schedules make it even easier and alerts keep you on top of all the action. 

Jonathan Stahl, Vice President of Ballpark Operations for the Washington Nationals shares how simple it is to halt serving at the bottom of the 7th inning, “With the click of a button, we can just turn off service for everybody. And then we can pull reports and find out to make sure that our servings are matching up to what we’re ringing up in the point of sales system as well and hold our staff accountable.” 

Third-party vendors can also gain access to the taps only when you need them to and with limited permissions.

Enhanced Guest Experience

The benefits of connected solutions extend beyond tracking every pour. With TapWise, portion control ensures consistency in every drink your guests receive. One-touch and touchless dispensing also increase speed of service so fans spend less time in line and more time enjoying the game. Servers can also spend less time opening bottles and cans and measuring pours, and more time engaging with guests or ringing them up while the pour finishes on it’s own.

These days, more and more stadiums and event venues are expanding their in-app experiences with mobile ordering and payments. With connected control over dispensing, it’s easy to integrate beverage service directly into your mobile experience, allowing fans to order and pay from their seat, scan a QR code to unlock the tap, and pour for themselves without having to wait to be served.

Monitoring 

As the saying goes, “hope for the best but plan for the worst”. When a problem does arise, it’s imperative to have technology on your side. Taps connected to a cloud-based platform constantly share data back and forth so most issues can be found and resolved quickly, avoiding any service interruptions. On top of that, every action is recorded so there are no questions about where inventory disappeared to.

Having a solution backed up by backend monitoring through the technology as well as a team of experts makes a difference in the way you run your business. Many of the manual processes you would have in place to continuously check things like beverage levels, line cleanliness, point of sale reconciliation, and more are taken care of automatically.

 

From baseball stadiums and soccer fields to concert venues and festival grounds, thirsty fans are everywhere. Sestra’s beverage technology at stadiums and arenas can help ensure those fans receive the perfect pour every time while also preventing waste, increasing efficiency and improving the guest experience, as well as providing control and actionable analytics to help your team stay on top of inventory, cleanliness, and more. Ready to learn more about how Sestra can serve your venue? Contact us today.