Catering firm Amadeus makes Genting Arena cashless across F&B concessions

01/02/2018 - 07:00
Midlands-based event caterer Amadeus has removed cash from its EPOS tills on food and beverage concessions at the Genting Arena.

The company claims that the cashless initiative makes the indoor Birmingham arena the first in the UK to adopt a card-only policy.

The venue trialled the payment system in May 2017 before it was introduced officially in November in a bid to increase speed of service.

One mobile POS cash till per concession has been put in reserve for customers who cannot pay by card, meaning the venue is not strictly cash-free.

Amadeus said that a successful marketing campaign designed to influence customer behaviour – and get visitors to leave their cash at home – has seen a dramatic shift in purchasing patterns.

It reports that prior to its introduction, 70% of F&B transactions were being paid for in cash  and that since November 2017, this has reduced to just 20%, with 80% of transactions being made on card.

The cashless transactions are estimated to have sped up by 20 seconds in total.

Annie Monnox, general manager for Amadeus at the Genting Arena, said: “Busy arenas bring with them unique challenges for caterers, including dealing with peaks in footfall and ensuring speed of service without compromising quality.

“At a typical event at the Genting Arena, Amadeus serves up to 15,000 customers in a 90-120-minute window before the main act – so we need to make sure we are doing everything possible to ensure efficient and quick service.

“Considering the fact that the majority of customers spend less than £30 on food and beverage at a show, we saw the potential benefits of getting more customers to pay by card – in particular, by using contactless technology – as opposed to cash. The results have been phenomenal and customers have really embraced the change.”

Changing its payment model is also said to have had significant benefits for Amadeus in terms of labour costs and welfare with staff saving 30 minutes on average ‘cashing up’ at the end of each event – the equivalent of £8,500 per annum.

Kevin Watson, managing director for Amadeus, said: “At Amadeus, we keep a close eye on consumer trends and invest in innovation that improves the customer experience. Our cashless initiative further cements our reputation as an industry leader with the Genting Arena the very first arena to offer cashless payments across all its F&B concessions.”

Amadeus will roll out the cashless model to all of the NEC Group venues it caters for in 2018, including the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and International Convention Centre (ICC).

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