Sport and music fans are changing. While the main event is the most important part of the experience, audiences will no longer accept subpar food and beverages as part of their day or night out. Fans can choose to eat or drink in any location before or after the game or show, so why should they do it at your venue?
How can you bring this entire experience to your grounds?
1. Know Your Fans
Firstly, understanding your fans’ preferences and expectations is essential. Tailor your food and beverage offerings to cater to their tastes and ensure a memorable experience.
- Research: Conduct in-depth market research to identify trends and popular local options for food and beverages. This knowledge will help you make informed choices and stand out from the competition.
- Communicate: Keep an open line of communication with your fans. Share information about the diverse food and beverage options you provide, and encourage feedback to continuously improve.
- Build data: Collect and analyse data on your fans’ food and beverage preferences. This information can help you make data-driven decisions and refine your offerings.
2. Work With Your Community to Promote Food and Beverage
Secondly, think of teaming up with local businesses to source food and beverages. You can establish brand partnerships that resonate with your local fan base.
- Local businesses as food & bev providers: Collaborate with nearby restaurants and food vendors to offer diverse and appealing dining options, enhancing the overall fan experience.
- Team partnerships: Forge partnerships with sports or music teams to create exclusive food and beverage offerings that resonate with the team’s identity and fan culture.
- Brand partnerships partner with locally relevant brands: Partner with local brands that align with the interests and preferences of your audience, providing a unique and community-centric food and beverage experience.
- Build on existing fan culture: Capitalise on the existing fan culture by incorporating food and beverage choices that reflect the heritage, traditions, and tastes of your fan base, creating a stronger emotional connection.
3. Get the Word Out
Effectively promote your food and beverage options to your fans through various channels to generate awareness and attract more customers.
- Well designed websites can support F&B sales by funnelling web visitors towards the options that they will have on site. Ensure your website is user-friendly, guiding visitors toward food and beverage sections to boost sales and improve the fan experience.
- Ensure your F&B options take a prominent place on your arena website, and link to these options from other high traffic pages including Getting to the Venue, Parking, Ticketing pages and your main menu. Make food and beverage information easily accessible on your website, connecting it with other highly trafficked pages to streamline fan access to F&B choices.
- Drive social media traffic to your F&B pages. Use social media to direct fans to your food and beverage pages, sparking interest and engagement with your offerings before they even arrive at the venue.
Take UBS Arena, for instance, the home of the New York Islanders. Their website highlights the culinary offering available to visitors, from vegan options to kosher and gluten-free market-style outlets. By showcasing these options, they encourage guests to explore and enjoy their unique dining experience.
4. Think Fan-Generated Content
User-generated content not only promotes your brand organically but also builds a sense of community and authenticity around your products or services.
- Once your fans are experiencing these great options, can you capitalise on their enjoyment? After fans enjoy your food and beverage offerings, encourage them to share their positive experiences and content, turning them into brand advocates and generating organic, user-generated content.
- Promote the use of hashtags, tagging your social accounts. Encourage fans to use specific hashtags and tag your social media accounts when posting about their experiences, making it easier to discover and share their content.
- Set up visually compelling installations designed for photos and video. Create eye-catching installations within your venue that motivate fans to take photos and videos, helping to spread the word about your offerings and enhancing social engagement.
- Work with brand partners to generate excitement and content sharing to build awareness of all options at your venue. Collaborate with brand partners to create engaging promotions or events that encourage fans to share their experiences. This can increase awareness and excitement surrounding the food and beverage choices available at your venue.
A memorable culinary experience can be just as important as the main event. For many attendees, dining options are a crucial part of their event experience. High-quality food and beverage offerings can elevate the visitor experience. It ensures that people leave with not only great memories of the event but also of the delicious meal they enjoyed.
Mullett Arena understands this principle. They promote food and beverage on their website. There’s a diverse range of food options, from classic stadium snacks to gourmet selections. By promoting their food and beverage options, they create anticipation and excitement among their visitors, making every event a complete experience.
Food and Beverage Promotion for Branding and Identity
Showcasing food and beverage options also plays a role in shaping a sports venue’s identity and brand. Whether a venue wants to be known for its street food or a fine dining experience, the culinary offerings should reflect that. By doing so, venues can distinguish themselves from the competition and build a loyal customer base.
Promote Food and Beverage to Meet Diverse Dietary Preferences
Lastly, modern fans have diverse dietary preferences, from vegan and gluten-free to keto and everything in between. By promoting a variety of food options on their websites, venues can cater to a broader fan and ensure that every guest can find something they enjoy. Accommodating dietary restrictions and preferences can make a big difference in customer satisfaction.
In an era where venues need to continuously innovate to attract and retain their fans, your arena has to promote food and beverage offerings. It is a strategic move that can bring about a multitude of benefits.
It’s not just about profits; it’s about creating a memorable, well-rounded experience for visitors. The examples of UBS Arena and Mullett Arena illustrate how effective website showcases can enhance revenue, visitor experience, branding, and dietary inclusivity.
For event venues looking to stand out in an increasingly competitive landscape, paying attention to their culinary offerings and effectively promoting them through their websites is a recipe for success. It’s no longer just about what happens on stage or on the field; it’s also about what’s on the menu.