Appetize Moves Into The Cloud

MLB stadiums upgrade to cloud-based POS with Appetize

  • by Noelle Riley
  • Published: July 11, 2017

An Appetize POS system hooked up to the cloud.

Major League Baseball (MLB) stadiums are working with an innovative Point Of Sale (POS) company to improve efficiency with customers and better track inventory, which in the long run, saves venues money.

"We focus on the fastest transaction time we can get,” said Max Roper, CEO of Appetize, a high-tech POS business based in Playa Vista, Calif. The goal is to increase the guest experience and get their orders processed quicker.

Appetize recently announced that it now serves eight MLB stadiums, providing mobile, tablet and cloud-based POS systems to concessionaires, including restaurant, retail and food vendors.

“The mobile, tablet and cloud-based technology really hasn’t broken into the larger venues,” said Kevin Anderson, chief strategy officer of Appetize. He noted that consumers see such systems at restaurants, but many of the big venues across the nation still use “old-school” POS systems, such as Micros and NCR.

Appetize comes into play by bringing stadiums up-to-date with better technology, Anderson said. Old systems “lag behind in processing orders at peak volume, especially during live events, and struggle with adapting to the latest payment formats like Masterpass, Apple Pay, EMV,” stated the press release.

“It’s faster, it’s easier to use. You can track inventory faster,” Anderson said, highlighting that managers can actually look at inventory on their smart phones, rather than having to physically be in the store. “You get reporting that you can see on any device — you’re getting reporting and inventory counts.”

The old “legacy-based” POS systems printed out stand sheets and excel-based reports in order for food vendors to manage inventory.

“Now you can view inventory counts based on heat maps. In one second, I can see what’s running low,” Anderson highlighted. “At the end of the night, you’re able to download those reports and let your employees go home early (which saves money).”

Even the servers working the stands have tablets where they take food orders and run credit cards and/or customers can order from their phones.

“Being mobile based, fans order from their seats,” Anderson said.

Some of the MLB stadiums that work with Appetize haven’t fully integrated the entire venue to the web-based system, meaning that although the food vendors may have the new POS, other areas of the venue — such as retail — still use older systems.

It’s Anderson’s goal to fully convert all the MLB stadiums he works with to the high-tech system.

“A big initiative for the company in 2017, is something we call land and expand. When we sell the POS and the reporting that comes with that, we can then come in and say,  ‘Well, what do you think about self-serve kiosks? What about your parking lot, what about your retail?’,” Anderson said.

Appetize has, in fact, fully integrated into Yankees Stadium, New York City, and Coors Field Stadium, Denver, where all food, retail and parking sales are now on the cloud-based POS.

“Appetize has been a great partner that has driven both innovation and efficiency within our operations,” CIO of Legends Hospitality at Yankee Stadium Mike Morris said in a statement. “Using Appetize has helped us to enhance the fan experience by providing more flexible ordering and payment solutions that improve the speed of service to our customers.”

The way Appetize lands contracts with venues depends on what entity at the stadium issues the Request for Proposal (RFP). Many times, it’s the team and other times it’s the concessionaire/food provider issuing an RFP for a venue.

Appetize doesn’t just serve sports and entertainment venues; it also sells college campuses and restaurants its POS.

Currently, Appetize is in 500 sports and entertainment venues, which includes major outdoor venues such as stadiums, music festivals, amphitheaters and the Professional Golfers Association tours. It also contracts with 20 campuses across North America.

What’s next for the company? Anderson said they’re working to expand into Europe.

Right now, Appetize serves the following MLB stadiums: the Rockies, Coors Field, Denver; the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.; the Angels at Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.,; the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles; the Mets at Citi Field, N.Y.; the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boston,; and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, Detroit.

Appetize also contracts with several NFL stadiums, including the Minnesota Vikings’ new U.S. Bank Stadium.

  • by Noelle Riley
  • Published: July 11, 2017