As my family and friends know, if I’m hungry, I need to eat soon. So, I was surprised when we found that 45% of fans abandoned concession lines at least once in the past year because the line was too long. Meanwhile, my husband would rather wait a couple hours to eat instead of missing the game. His sentimentality would fall into the equally as popular segment of people who choose not to even try visiting the concession stand.

45% of fans abandoned concession lines at least once in the past year because the line was too long.

Turnkey Intelligence recently conducted a study with Oracle to understand attendees’ perceptions and experience with food and beverage at games. This study was looking for general trends in the industry, so the sample comprised attendees from a mix of the major sports in the US and around the globe. When it came to the biggest pain points, results were relatively stable across sport and country.

Since two-thirds of fans admit to buying concessions on impulse, it becomes less surprising that many fans abandon their place in line or never even get out of their seat. However, half of fans attend sporting events because it is a fun social activity with friends or family. In my opinion, food and beverage is a vital part of having a fun social activity so fans are likely desiring an improved at-game experience.

Based on these findings, it’s apparent that venues are leaving money on the table when it comes to the food and beverage experience. Venues should explore the following options: (1) Increase efficiency and reduce wait times, so fans aren’t leaving their place in line (2) Explore additional modes of F&B transactions so fans don’t need to leave their seat (3) Cater to the socializers and those buying on impulse by attracting their attention with promotions and aesthetically appealing concessions stands.

Christina LatynSenior Director, Research
Christina is responsible for full service project management, including advanced analysis and reporting. A graduate of NYU’s College of Arts and Science and Rutgers Business School, she enjoys cooking and traveling, and is a Philadelphia Union season ticket holder.