No visitor likes to wait in line, especially when confronting a ravenous appetite. Appetize Technologies in Playa Vista, California, knows the feeling and developed a software system to empower front-line food and beverage (F&B) employees to expedite the ordering and payment process.
“We’ve built our software from the ground up with the end user in mind,” says Kevin Anderson, Appetize’s co-founder and chief strategy officer. “That’s allowed us to build software that’s easy to use. Most of our transactions are done with just a few screen taps.”
Appetize Technologies focuses on how businesses manage and process point-of-sale guest transactions at attractions and sports entertainment venues.
Anderson says for cashiers, the design of ordering screens is crucial to rapid and accurate transactions. All of the screens need to be icon-based so cashiers quickly recall where items are located. Therefore, Appetize created screen layouts based on studies about where eyes track on a screen. This also makes the training of managers and seasonal workers much easier. Anderson notes Appetize is cloud-based, using Amazon Web Services, and doesn’t require on-site computer servers at attractions.
The company is also putting an emphasis on self-serve kiosks and mobile ordering. The time-saving involved with these transactions should be especially important to guests at pay-one-price admission parks where they’re often trying to enjoy as many attractions as possible to maximize their admission cost.
“We’re replacing cashiers with kiosks,” he says. “In simple-order concession stands, it’s often faster than cashiers, but even in more complex ordering situations, where the transaction time can be a little longer at the kiosk, the number of kiosks more than makes up for that.”
Enabling guests to order from their mobile devices is also a payment option gaining popularity.
“If you order on your smartphone, your order will go to the same place as an order placed at a cashier, so it works right into the existing setup, and we also provide guests their wait time,” he says.
However, Anderson urges attractions to put in safety measures. “We always require payment when the mobile order is placed. You have to do that so you don’t have a teenager order 100 pizzas and then not pick them up!” he says.