The Genting Arena in Birmingham, England has become the first arena in the UK to go cashless at its food and beverage concessions.
Catering provider Amadeus opted to remove cash from all electric point of sale tills at its food and beverage concessions inside the Genting Arena.
Trialled at the venue in May 2017, the Arena officially went ‘cashless’ in November 2017 in a bid to increase speed of service for its customers, without compromising on quality.
As part of the cashless drive, Amadeus has removed cash from all EPOS tills on F&B concessions to encourage customers to pay by card (contactless or chip and pin), with one mobile POS cash till per concession in reserve just in case customers could not pay by card.
A successful marketing campaign designed to influence customer behaviour – and get visitors to leave their cash at home – has seen a dramatic shift in purchasing patterns.
Prior to the initiative, 70% of F&B transactions were being paid for in cash – since November 2017, this has reduced to just 20%, with 80% of transactions being made on card.
With cashless payments speeding up every transaction by around 20 seconds, this has helped to reduce queues, allowing customers to enjoy more time watching the main act or performer they came to see.
Annie Monnox, general manager for Amadeus at the Genting Arena, said:
Busy arenas bring with them unique challenges for caterers, including dealing with peaks in footfall and ensuring speed of service without compromising quality.
At a typical event at the Genting Arena, Amadeus serves up to 15,000 customers in a 90-120-minute window before the main act – so we need to make sure we are doing everything possible to ensure efficient and quick service.
Considering the fact that the majority of customers spend less than £30 on food and beverage at a show, we saw the potential benefits of getting more customers to pay by card – in particular, by using contactless technology – as opposed to cash. The results have been phenomenal and customers have really embraced the change.
Changing to a cashless model also has significant benefits for Amadeus in terms of labour cost and welfare.
On average, staff saved 30 minutes ‘cashing up’ at the end of each event – the equivalent of £8,500 per annum for the Arena.
In addition, banking costs have been reduced and less cash handling has resulted in Amadeus’ team leaders having more time to spend with both staff and customers, delivering a better visitor experience.
Kevin Watson, managing director for Amadeus, said:
At Amadeus, we keep a close eye on consumer trends and invest in innovation that improves the customer experience. Our cashless initiative further cements our reputation as an industry leader with the Genting Arena the very first arena to offer cashless payments across all its F&B concessions.
Due to the success of the Genting Arena going cashless across its F&B concessions, Amadeus will be rolling out the cashless model to all of the NEC Group venues it caters for in 2018.