Washington, Broncos claim F&B firsts

Washington Football Team has become the first professional sports property to partner with online food ordering company Grubhub, while fellow NFL American football franchise the Denver Broncos has claimed it has installed the largest number of artificial intelligence autonomous markets in a sports venue.

As part of its partnership with Washington, Grubhub has created a custom ordering experience specifically for FedExField that fans can access through the company’s app or by scanning QR codes on the back of seats and around the stadium.

Utilising geo location, Grubhub’s technology enables fans to place an order with select vendors near their seats, pay directly through the app, and pick up their orders through designated concession lanes.

Approximately 20 vendors throughout FedExField will be available for ordering on Grubhub. FedExField will also have four food concession locations exclusively for orders placed through the Grubhub app.

“We are committed to innovating across our guest experience to ensure we are providing fans with a next level gameday experience at FedExField,” said Jason Wright, Washington Football Team president.

“This partnership with Grubhub provides our fans with easier, faster, and contactless access to amazing food vendors at the stadium, which means they can enjoy all of their favourite gameday foods while also having more time to cheer on the Burgundy and Gold.”

Grubhub provides food ordering technology to more than 250 universities across the US. Drawing from years of work in these high-volume environments, Grubhub is deploying its technology to stadiums and leveraging its unique algorithm and order controls to predict accurate order ETAs.

Grubhub’s mobile ordering and pickup solution was piloted during the preseason and Weeks 1 and 2 of the regular season with a smaller selection of vendors at FedExField. On average, Washington said wait times were cut in half for fans who ordered via the Grubhub app compared to placing a traditional in-person order.

Brian Madigan, vice-president of campus and corporate partners at Grubhub, said: “Grubhub has nearly a decade of experience developing solutions that make it easy to order, pay for, and pick up food from some of the busiest spots in the country, including college campuses, hotels, and resorts. We’re thrilled to extend our expertise to the Washington Football Team and work together to enhance the game day experience for fans.”

In addition to mobile ordering and pickup, the Washington Football Team and Grubhub will pilot various programs to continuously enhance fans’ overall gameday experience throughout the season.

These initiatives include offering fans seated on the suite level of FedExField the ability to order merchandise from in-stadium retailers, such as the team store, through the Grubhub app – making Washington the first NFL team to offer this experience via a mobile ordering solution.

The Grubhub mobile ordering experience at FedExField is part of several new food and beverage enhancements at the stadium for this season. Most notably is the addition of eight new local food vendors, chosen through the ‘Flavors of the DMV’ product showcase held by the organisation this offseason. Several of these winners will be available for in-stadium ordering on Grubhub.

Meanwhile, the Broncos, in conjunction with the team’s food and beverage provider Aramark, have formally unveiled food, beverage and technology upgrades for Empower Field at Mile High, including the new autonomous checkout tech.

Nine AI autonomous markets have been installed throughout Empower Field at Mile High, marking what the Broncos claim is the largest number of such stores in a sports venue. Fans can enjoy a contactless experience purchasing some of their favourite gameday food and beverage items.

Using sensor fusion technology, items are automatically added to guests’ virtual shopping cart, significantly increasing speed of service and cutting down wait times.

Commenting on the general improvements to the fan experience this season, Empower Field at Mile High Stadium general manager, Jay Roberts, said: “This year, the focus has been on new technology, concepts, and creating space to keep pace with fans and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

“We have emphasised the use of AI and mobile ordering to modernise and expedite the food and beverage experience to our fans and stadium goers.”

Image: Washington Football Team