Food lockers at Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati.
(Editor's note: This story originally appeared in SportTechie.com)
Starting July 10, visitors to Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, home of the Cincinnati Reds, will be able to experience a new food and beverage pickup service.
Thanks to a partnership between food service provider Delaware North and Apex Supply Chain Technologies, fans will be able to pick up their food and beverage orders in a locker-style compartment. It will be the first use of the Apex technology for a professional sports league venue in the United States.
Don Dierig, Delaware North General Manager for the Great American Ball Park, said he was first introduced to the technology at a Delaware North Technology Summit last year.
“I thought it was one of the more unique and innovative things that I’d seen in food service,” Dierig said. “I thought it would be great if we could be part of it.
“We went out and toured the (Apex) property, heard what the lockers could do for us and then went in their innovation lab to see how it would be applied to our ballpark.”
After placing an order through MLB’s Ballpark app, a secure pickup code is sent to the fan once it is ready at a locker location. Fans then scan their code and the door is automatically opened so the food and beverage can be retrieved.
The locker-style compartments for the initial pilot phase at the Great American Ball Park will start at a size of 13” wide by 14” tall by 16” deep, which fits four beers, two popcorns and two hotdogs.
As Dierig explained, there is the potential for multiple-size lockers depending on customers’ purchases during the piloting. Initially, the lockers will be placed at two separate locations throughout the stadium and will be set at an ambient temperature, but they’ll have the capability of being set to hot or cold temperatures.
Dierig said that during the trial phase, Delaware North and Apex will also figure out the ideal threshold of time available for fans to pick up their food and beverages before it has to be recooked and replaced.
“Apex has a very turnkey solution where we felt that the customers could order their food through an app, and then we had a way for them to pick it up and send alerts back to them as opposed to waiting in line or having a line dedicated to pick up,” Dierig said of the advantages of having the locker-style system.