With new tech gaining a stronghold across hospitality and large spectator sports and finding its shine during the pandemic crises, businesses have found solutions that go well beyond the confines of addressing COVID-related concerns and equipping stadiums with powerful tools for the long run.

Peterborough United Football Club was able to implement Goodtill’s iPad-based POS to see a spike in turnaround, ease of transactions and safety through lockdown and beyond. 

Peterborough United is a community-focused professional football club. Before the lockdown, the club regularly attracted over 7,000 fans to its home games. Goodtill by SumUp spoke with Chris Brewer, head of media and ticketing at the club, to find out more about the partnership.

Speeding up by going cashless

“We decided that we needed to change POS suppliers as we wanted to speed up transactions and boost revenue. As our existing standalone cash registers were very bulky we needed something that was smart, modern-looking but also space-saving. Moreover, our existing tills did not integrate with our card readers – meaning that all payments had to be input manually which led to human error.”

Many large-scale venues are in the process of looking for innovative tech to instate new capabilities and a faster turnaround through frictionless, speedier and more comfortable order fulfilment. While music and festival organisers across the UK have been keen to follow the cashless model, sports stadiums have been slightly more hesitant. The opening of Tottenham Hotspur’s new 62,000-capacity ground as the first completely cashless UK stadium may just have been the tipping point however.

“Primarily we wanted to speed up service and make sure that if customers wanted to pay by card, they didn’t have to re-join another queue. Sometimes a supporter would get to the counter after queuing not knowing that the till didn’t offer card payments. We also wanted to show the fans that we were “moving with the times” and showing investment into the football club.”

With cashless payments, everything is digitised through the dedicated POS till system, meaning fans are ready to go as soon as the till is switched on and all that counting time is eliminated. By doing this, some venues are reporting labour cost savings of up to two hours per day per staff member while vastly reducing the risk of exposing the business to human error as card and mobile transactions are automatically reconciled with the bank.

Mobile ordering is also becoming standard as the lockdown is reaching its current conclusion. Platforms like Goodeats are bespoke solutions for stadiums through in-seat ordering; using a mobile ordering method, fans can order their drinks or food from their mobile device and either have it delivered to their seat or collect it as soon as it’s ready.

Access to greater insight

The club aimed to lower overheads and reduce leakage by introducing improved reporting, forecasting and business insights such as stock control, waste management and staff logistics. The new solution had to integrate with all areas of the business; from the bustling matchday concourse to the lucrative corporate areas – through to retail and non-matchday hospitality.

With a digitised version, scanning a barcode and automating data means there’s far less chance of mistakes. Deliveries can be booked in with ease (and any discrepancies quickly spotted) and integration with other business systems means there’s no longer any need for double-entry data.

POS brings with it stock variance reports after each inventory count so that stadium runners are easily able to identify what, where and why mistakes are occurring (to take early action before such actions cause any long-term damage to the business). Viewing inventory data that are synchronised with sales reports will also help owners make smarter purchasing decisions, who’ll ultimately want to ensure plentiful inventory in place that meets customers’ demand while avoiding the problems that come with overloading (wastage, higher insurance or security costs).

The results

Peterborough United decided to introduce the Goodtill POS solution to its London Road stadium after the management team saw it being used at other football clubs.

“Fans have given very positive feedback on the new EPOS system and were impressed with the speed of service, ease of payment and the front-facing screen in the catering kiosks and hospitality bar. In the future, we are looking to use the Goodtill system in our retail store with online integration and link the system into our loyalty scheme.”

POS is designed to focus on the customer as well as the staff who handle the logistics; bringing an intuitive platform to both the end-user as well as the back office. Championing ease of use is often at the heart of every point of sale.

“The forecast benefits of choosing the Goodtill EPOS system were in evidence after our very first match. Customers spent more money when paying by card compared to cash. On average, a cash transaction per customer was around £5 compared to over £7 for fans paying by card (a rise of 40%). The spend-per-head overall also improved with the increase of card readers throughout the stadium which increased our overall revenue and profit margins. The system also allowed us to understand when the peak times were on match days and how best to cater for them. The reporting system has allowed us to streamline the stock and delivery process reducing both labour costs and over-orders.”

POS is becoming the new standard

A few weeks into the reopening of indoor hospitality, large spectator sporting events surely aren’t far behind and fans are clamouring for some live games, to indulge in food and drinks and enjoy the immersive experience – a POS system will not only future-proof but scale, speed and power up stadium capabilities in the long term.