Imagine getting hit with a food or drink craving while you're sitting in your seat at a sporting event. The seat cost you close to a left lung, so you don't want to waste a lot of time walking to the concession stand (and dealing with all of your fellow sports fanatics). So you text your order on your phone, and it appears before you a short time thereafter.

Sound like a great idea, right? To experience it, you'd have to be a fan of the Salt Lake City Real major league soccer team, and have bought your seat at Rio Tinto Stadium in sunny Sandy, Utah.

I love gee-wiz technology that gets put to meet simple, tangible needs. For all of the enhanced experience, new media phenomena getting all the attention, this solution is busy being relevant.

 

The start-up behind the service is called Mangia, and its web site promises big-time deals with famous restaurants and other sports venues. There's a tech platform that makes the transactions possible, which includes payment processing (so no need to fork out cash). Maybe at some point it'll get geolocation, so there'll be no way your order doesn't find you. 

My biggest question is why isn't it commonplace?

I'm sure Mangia has some really cool proprietary approach, but the idea is pretty basic: how do you get rid of the concession stand "interruption" of interminably long lines, followed by juggling food and drinks...not to mention the time spent missing the game?

When you break that bottleneck, you open up the system to its primary purpose, which is fulfilling orders. Selling stuff. Add to that an obvious increase in consumer satisfaction, and it's kind of a no-brainer. And yet nobody has offered up a solution before, or at least not one that popped up on my radar (thank you, fellow dim bulber, for the forward).

Maybe it's just not sexy enough? OK, so:

  • Make the service a community, and let consumers rate the quality of the hot dogs, or vote on whether the beer is cold enough or not.
  • How about real-time recommendations on the best dish, or variable pricing from the concession stands based on what's selling at the moment?
  • Build a track record across games that advises  consumers on the "best" times to buy certain dishes (those dogs rolling on the greasy steel bars for anything more than thirty minutes are probably not as good as they could be)? 

Or Mangia could just focus on bringing food and drinks to consumers at their seats?

Original Post: http://dimbulb.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/06/an-edible-tech-solution.html

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