Kagoshima United FC, the Japanese third-tier J3 League football club, has introduced a new, innovative RakuRaku United Marche food F&B ordering system at their home stadium, Shiranami Stadium.

The new system, which debuted earlier this month, uses the proprietary Uri-Call in-seat F&B ordering and delivery system developed by Uhuru but delivery of the purchased items to the spectators in seats is not a recommended practice under the current COVID-19 climate so the fans can instead come to the concession outlets located in and around the stadium to collect their pre-ordered food items at the pre-specified timing of their choice.

As the Uri-Call ordering system does not require users to download an app or to register themselves for any membership, fans can simply access the RakuRaku United Marche webpage and specify the item to purchase and time to pick it up.

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Tsuyoshi Tokushige, the president of Kagoshima United FC, told The Stadium Hub: “Under the current circumstance which is naturally dictated by COVID-19 measures, we didn’t want fans to come to the same concession outlet at the same time, and fans didn’t want to handle cash all the time for obvious hygiene reasons.

“The new system not only solves these issues but also helps shop owners predict how much food they would need from the volume of the bookings they receive and that can also contribute to the reduction of food waste so it was clear there’s a merit in introducing it.”

The total turnover from all of the stadium F&B outlets on the day the new system was introduced was around JPY600,000 (£4,300/€4,750) of which JPY90,000 (£645/€715) was collected via the new RakuRaku United Marche system, which was more than club officials expected.

As most of the J-League stadia are municipally-owned athletic stadia without F&B outlets inside concourse areas, having F&B vendors set up their own outlets and booths outside the venues is a common scene especially in the lower leagues.

The new system could therefore unlock new opportunities for Japan’s event organisers let alone regional football clubs who have all been heavily hit by the impact of COVID-19 to move towards cashless economy, more efficient inventory management as well as sustainable operations through reduction of unwanted food waste which is also a social plague the country has not solved.

“Once the fans and customers are used to the way the new system works and feel comfortable with it, we hope to see people accepting cashless transactions at the stadium as something normal,” Tokushige said.

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On the new system’s second outing on Saturday, the club added some food items that could only be purchased via the RakuRaku United Marche to encourage more users to try it.

The Shiranami Stadium currently has a capacity of 12,606 but only a maximum of 5,000 is allowed under the J-League’s COVID-19 match operation guidelines in which no alcohol product can be sold at the venues.

Main Image: Uri-Call

Shiranami Stadium Image: Kanko3131

Article provided by The Stadium Hub