We all like a good pie at a football match (fact) and we all hate queuing (another fact). But a solution to our problems may be on its way…. Hearts fans have trialling a new experience, the chance to jump the pie queue – good idea of what! And it’s all done via by placing orders through their smartphones.
The club has developed a mobile app that allows supporters to place orders and have food and drink delivered to their seat. Sadly, due to drinking restrictions in football stadia we don’t think this includes beer orders. But could be a great idea for cricket matches.
It was available to Tynecastle fans who used the app during saturdays match with Motherwell. We’re not sure about the results of this trial but am sure it went down well. That is depending that the 3G was working well enough.
A statement on the Scottish Premier League club’s website said:
“Supporters seated in the upper sections of the Wheatfield Stand will have the unique opportunity to use their Android or iOS smartphones to skip the queues and have their food delivered direct to their seats, ensuring that they don’t miss a minute of the action on the pitch. This is a UK first in terms of the use of mobile technology for ordering at a football match. Following this initial deployment, it will then be rolled out to other areas of the stadium throughout the remainder of the season.”
The new app has been developed along with catering partner Saltire Hospitality and mobile technology company QikServe. Supporters who have downloaded the app will be able to scan barcodes on their seats to find the available menu. QikServe orders will be put on hold during half-time, while the concessions kiosks are at their busiest at the Edinburgh stadum. Dan Rodgers, QikServe’s founder, added:
“The classic pie and Bovril combination is a British football tradition and that will never change, but our goal is to use mobile technology to bring that tradition into the 21st century. The convenience of ordering from your seat is a perk normally reserved for the executive boxes, but QikServe makes it possible for everyone.”
Before we get too carried away with the potential for apps of this kind, there is one lingering issue that has been raised by many in the sports tech industry. Phone Connectivity! We have all been to sports events where you can’t even get a text message, never mind bring up an app and place a seamless order from your seat.
The Daily Record spoke to one supporter who said she often had problems getting phone reception at the stadium. “I constantly struggle to get a signal at Tynecastle, so if they were going to do it, they would need to have free wi-fi for it to work properly.”
There are signs that these issues could become a thing of the past. Companies such as Cisco have partnered with clubs to offer wifi and better 3G coverage on match days (though still restricted to the bigger European and American clubs). There are cheaper solutions being developed and we all saw during London 2012 how well it can be done.
Will it work? Lets wait and see but fingers crossed it can (it’s good PR for the club anyway).