Sports and entertainment hospitality provider Levy has today (Thursday) announced the launch of DBK Studio, a new innovation studio that will work with startups and emerging technology companies to pilot and scale technologies across its portfolio of venues.

Levy said that the studio is designed to create the next generation of “truly frictionless” experiences for guests and team members.

DBK Studio will look to mature technologies across key areas impacting the live event and hospitality experience, including mobile ordering, self-service and inventory management.

DBK Studio is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Levy, which was founded in 1978 with a single delicatessen – D.B. Kaplan’s Delicatessen. The company has since grown to serve more than 250 venues and events.

DBK Studio will be powered by the data insights and analytics resources of E15, which Levy launched in 2014 and whose resources will be used to enable the studio to test, refine and scale new technology solutions.

DBK Studio’s leadership group will include Sandeep Satish as managing director; Lou Morga as principal, frictionless deployment; Alison Weber as principal, experience lead; Elizabeth Shakespeare as principal, portfolio operations; and Cooper Sturr as principal, portfolio management.

DBK Studio will also launch with guidance from an advisory network that will include Larry Levy, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Levy Restaurants, and Betsy Ziegler, chief executive of private incubator 1871.

The studio’s partnerships will initially focus on five key areas impacting the guest and team member experience: commerce, venue and staff management, product optimisation, business intelligence and sustainability.

Andy Lansing, president and chief executive of Levy, said: “The way fans and guests prefer to experience food, beverage, and retail has fundamentally changed since most of these venues were built.

“At no time has the pace of innovation been faster than the past few years. Mobile, contactless, frictionless experiences are the new standard, and our partners recognise that, to deliver hospitality each and every guest values – to truly meet guests where they are – we need to adapt and evolve more quickly than ever.

“Today, we’re launching DBK Studio to build on the incredible momentum we’ve seen since E15 Group, our advanced analytics group, launched seven years ago. DBK will bring forward the solutions that create the best possible experience for our partners, guests, and team members.”

Satish added: “There are so many technologies with the potential to make experiences so much more enjoyable for fans, guests, and team members. These companies just need an opportunity and the resources to learn, operationalise, and scale. DBK uncovers opportunities for these solutions to push the boundaries of what we previously thought possible in sports, entertainment, and hospitality venues.”

Levy’s sports event portfolio includes the NFL’s Super Bowl, the US Open tennis tournament (pictured) and venues across the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball.

Image: Sudan Ouyang on Unsplash