Integrating food and beverage into the Visitor’s Journey
The entire experience economy has been forced to transition. Many attractions and venues have faced a very challenging shift from selling mostly offline to selling up to 90% of ...
We love food. Let’s start with that basis. And if you landed here, probably attractions such as theme parks, zoos, museums, or wellness centers are your thing. So, let’s integrate the best of both worlds: having a great food (and beverage) experience while being in a leisure venue.
Who doesn’t appreciate a flavourful ice cream after hoping out of a thrilling rollercoaster? Or maybe a delicious burger after visiting the cutest newborn baby elephant? Few things sound better than that. Wouldn’t you agree?
For most venues, the food & beverage experience is only limited to the moment visitors are in the venue itself. But, let me tell you a secret: your F&B can be integrated into your whole Visitor’s Journey, even before the visit date itself.
You can probably suspect that technology plays a key part in all of this, and you are right: mobile food ordering is here to change the way your visitors order their food.
For the purposes of this blog, I am going to use an example of how this could work with food and beverage in theme parks.
But first, a quick look at the visitor’s journey:
As mentioned before, your visitor’s journey starts way before they cross your door, the experience starts at home. So, to simplify the concept, the visitor’s journey is divided into three important phases:
- Before the visit: When they are in the main research stage thinking “hmm… what should I do this weekend?” and they are considering your venue as an option. This phase ends minutes before they cross your door, so think about ticket purchases, the day-out planning, and everything in between.
- During the visit: This is all the time they spend in the venue itself, enjoying and creating memories.
- After the visit: We could consider this as the phase that only ends when your guest re-visits your venue. ( that can be quite soon if you press the right buttons ;) )
Integrating Food & Beverage before the visit starts
Before we continue, let me clarify something: I am aware that your food and beverage offer is probably not the main reason why your visitors decide to visit your venue. But, they are deciding to visit because of the experience you offer, and F&B plays an important role in it.
Imagine you caught the attention of a family who has decided to visit your theme park in two weekends. When they are in the process of buying a ticket from your website, you could also show them all the food ordering opportunities in your venue, and if they want to plan ahead, they can even place an order for the day of their visit. Yes, two weeks in advance.
If your venue has an app, such as the one Tap offers, then the spectrum of possibilities widens up. You can send push notifications showcasing your delicious menu, or you can even show on your app’s home screen the different restaurants and snack bars that your venue has to offer.
If your venue doesn’t have an app (yet), don’t worry. You can still use the confirmation emails or even the emails you send the day before to try and upsell your delicious offer.
In this way, you are strategically offering F&B and getting orders in, even before your visitor has arrived at your venue.
Making the visit even better
Once your visitors cross your doors, the fun starts (literally!). Here is where mobile apps come in handy.
You can have a digital park map and connect it to the mobile food ordering section of each specific restaurant and make an order that is to be picked up in a couple of hours. This way, your visitors don’t have to spend valuable time queueing and waiting to order and pick up their food. They can do it through mobile ordering, and take advantage of the waiting time by exploring your venue. A win-win situation, don’t you think?
You could also trigger an automatic push notification around lunchtime, where you could promote some food and drinks from nearby restaurants or snack bars. Your visitors could quickly place an order triggered by the push notification. In the end, it is all about sending the right message, to the right person at the right time.
If you are reading this and saying “How can I do this if I don’t have an app?” don’t worry, we got you covered. Mobile food ordering is all about combining online tools to make the offline experience even better. You could still have all your menus online, and people could still order directly from their phones on your website, without the need for an app (of course, our advice would be to really consider an app as a digital booster of the offline experience). You could promote the digital order throughout QR codes in strategic places in your venue, stickers in the bathroom, digital screens, and more. The possibilities are as wide as your creativity.
The main purpose of implementing Mobile Food Ordering is to have a seamless F&B experience and just make the visit even better.
The day has ended. What now?
The visitor left the park, their day has ended, but the visitor’s journey has not. Remember the third phase of the customer journey? The “after” stage is where all the loyalty programs would kick in, looking for creative ways to get that visitor to re-book a day with you.
If your venue is using Mobile Food Ordering, it means that you are collecting even more data from your visitors; you now know what they like to eat, if they have any beverage preferences, if they are vegan, or even if they liked the premium special your venue just launched. You can strategically use this for loyalty purposes, and to show review results based on F&B to help convince new potential visitors to book a great day out visiting your venue.
As you have seen, Food Ordering should not only be limited to the moment visitors are in your venue. You could start incorporating the delicious factor of F&B weeks before they arrive, and weeks after they leave. As mentioned above, the possibilities are as wide as your imagination.