Sodexo Live! helps enhance the fan experience for Brighton & Hove Albion with new frictionless store

Sodexo Live! the venue partner of Brighton & Hove Albion since 2013, has made a significant investment at the American Express Stadium, to further enhance the experience for fans and guests alike.

Last week saw the launch of a new frictionless retail store, the West Stand Tap, which is fully automated and allows guests to walk up, scan their payment device (card or phone), grab what they want and then simply walk out to complete their purchase.

The launch of the store was to provide Brighton & Hove Albion (BHAFC) fans with a quick service retail solution that offers key items on matchday. Items available include a selection of beer, lager, cider, soft drinks and pies and sausage rolls from local favourite Piglet’s Pantry.

Watch the video to see the store in action:

Sodexo Live! is committed to putting its customers and fans at the heart of what it does, a fan event to test and trial the store was arranged and took place on December 3. This was made up of approximately 60 supporters who got to try out the facility and share their thoughts and feedback ahead of the opening last week.

Feedback from supporters from the event includes:

  • First impressions were really good – it’s going to speed things up on matchdays
  • People won’t have to wait in a queue, which is great!
  • The speed of it is what’s going to improve things for me as a fan
  • We can get what we want and go and watch the match – it will be great
  • Our first impressions were very smart, very modern, very clean looking. Quite sophisticated
  • I think it’s going to benefit fans. I think this could really make it easier for those people to just go in, get their simple pies and pints and leave very quickly

Working closely with the club, Sodexo Live! has partnered with AiFi to develop and deliver the frictionless store, due to the convenience, accessibility and personalised approach it offers. The new frictionless store and recently installed permanent fixed self-serve beer wall, (which was the first in Europe at a Premier League stadium) are a key part of the drive to provide fans with enhanced levels of experience, reduced queues and more time to enjoy their visits to the American Express Stadium.

Paul Barber OBE, Brighton & Hove Albion Deputy Chairman & Chief Executive, said:

At Brighton & Hove Albion, we are always looking to innovate and ensure our fans have the best possible matchday experience when they come to the American Express Stadium. Working with our venue partner Sodexo Live! we are really excited to have introduced the frictionless kiosk in West Lower, with the sole aim is to simplify and speed up service times for our supporters enjoying their pre-match, half-time and post-match refreshments.

It’s been really encouraging to hear the feedback so far, and fans are enjoying the benefits of this brilliant and innovative technology, as it cuts queue times on matchdays. As a new year beckons, we look forward to working with Sodexo Live! to see what else we can bring to the club to further enhance the fan experience.

David Trotter, Divisional Managing Director (Sports & Stadia) at Sodexo Live! UK & Ireland, said:

Sodexo Live! is the global leader in the live industry, for good reason. We serve tens of thousands of customers each week and are always looking at new innovative ways to benefit our customers and venue partners.

Our customers are at the heart of all we do, which is why we wanted to invite a selection of supporters to come and try the frictionless store ahead of a general opening. That way we could refine and ensure it meets their needs. Feedback so far has been great, and we cannot wait to look at other initiatives in the future to further benefit all our partners and customers.

Steve Carlin, CEO at AiFi, said:

At AiFi, our goal is to use autonomous technology to enhance the fan experience, and we’re honoured to be able to provide Brighton & Hove Albion fans with convenient and seamless checkout options. Through our AI-powered solution, customers can quickly grab food and drinks without waiting in line, and then get back to their seats to enjoy the game. We’ve worked with Sodexo Live! many times, and are confident that American Express Stadium goers will love the ease and speed of the new concessions process.

Nick Beeson, Managing Director from EBar, said:

We are very excited that Sodexo Live! has chosen EBar’s built-in Beerwall® solution for the American Express Stadium. This was the culmination of an extensive trial during which fans have praised both the fast service and keg-fresh taste of the EBar pints. We look forwards to working with Sodexo Live! as they bring pioneering self-service innovation to their guests and venue partners.

The launch of the frictionless retail store is just one area of innovation Sodexo Live! has brought to Brighton & Hove Albion in recent months. In October, it launched the first permanent self-serve fixed EBar Beerwall® at a Premier League stadium, which automatically pours pints for fans in less than 30 seconds. The pioneering venue partner has also worked with Brighton & Hove Albion to deliver the Tunnel Club restaurant in the summer of 2023 and is working with the club on the plans to introduce a new exciting fan zone with more details to come in 2024.

Source & imagery, courtesy: Sodexo Live!

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