The San Francisco 49ers will introduce a member inclusive menu at Levi’s Stadium next season, hoping to create a successful model for changing the traditional approach to concessions and season ticket offerings.
Working with Levi’s Stadium hospitality partner Levy and its technology and analytics company E15 Group, the 49ers are creating an all-inclusive menu for season-ticket members starting in the 2020 season that covers fan favorites among food and non-alcoholic beverage items. There are expected to be further changes to the menu over the coming months, but the list released by the 49ers and Levy this week offers an early glimpse at what will be included on the all-inclusive slate.
- Food: Chicken Tenders, Hot Dogs (Beef and Vegan), Sausages & Hot Links, Nachos (Regular and Loaded), Fries (Regular and Garlic), Pretzels, Popcorn, Peanuts, Candies
- Beverages: Pepsi Products, Aquafina Water, Peet’s Coffee, Hot Chocolate
This is billed as the first such offering from a sports team, and the 49ers believe that it will yield a few benefits. While adding a perk for season-ticket holders, it is expected that the introduction of a member inclusive menu will also simplify the ordering process and allow for more efficient service in providing high-demand food and beverage items.
“The development of our Member Inclusive Menu came from our desire to align thousands of pieces of fan feedback with operations, data, and analytics,” 49ers president Al Guido said in a press statement. “Our fan surveys, and those reflecting the entirety of the NFL, show that the food service experience is a key driver of fan satisfaction. That insight helped lead us to this new model as a way to increase value for our Members while providing them with the most seamless concessions experience in all of sports.”
“The idea of ‘inclusive food and beverage’ has the potential to make an enormous impact because it creates value for guests by making it easier for them to access the amenities they want most,” Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy, said in a press statement. “We’re going to add value and keep the same great quality and flavor fans have come to expect at Levi’s Stadium. We believe this approach will redefine how we think about serving our fans on gameday.”
The 49ers are rolling this offering out at a point where NFL teams, and the broader sports industry, are rethinking their approach to food and beverage service. Thus far, the most common sign of this trend has been the reduced concessions pricing model that was popularized by Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium—home to the Falcons and MLS’s United—when it opened in 2017, before spreading to other venues around major sports. This model operates on a volume strategy. In other words, operators have been betting that selling an inexpensive hot dog, soda or chicken sandwich will lead to additional purchases of inexpensive hot dogs, sodas or chicken sandwiches.
With the member inclusive menu, the 49ers will see if pitching popular food and non-alcoholic beverage options as a season-ticket benefit can entice more fans to renew or sign up for season tickets next season. To pinpoint how the offerings could be adjusted over the coming months, the 49ers business strategy and analytics team is set to continue surveying fan preferences before the member inclusive menu is finalized ahead of the 2020 season.
“We are proud to have made over 200 enhancements to Levi’s Stadium over the years based on the hundreds of thousands of touchpoints we have with our fans on an annual basis through surveys and other technologies,” Moon Javaid, 49ers Vice President of Business Strategy and Analytics, said in a press statement. “Our ability to learn their preferences on an ongoing basis has enabled our teams to better account for their preferences to the extent that our fan service now ranks within the top five of the NFL.”
As the benefits take effect next season, it will be interesting to see how they affect operations at Levi’s Stadium and whether they ultimately prove to be a lure for potential season ticket members. It will also be an interesting test to see how an offering along these lines can be implemented at a venue the size of Levi’s Stadium, something that will be closely watched.
“Attending to the needs of our fans is always our top priority at Levi’s Stadium,” Jim Mercurio, 49ers Vice President of Stadium Operations and Levi’s Stadium General Manager, said in a press statement. “We understand the challenge ahead of us given this has never been tried at this scale and/or in a venue this size. We are leveraging our expertise, and that of partners like Levy, as well as industry best practices to design a smooth fan experience. We will continue optimizing that experience over time.”
Images courtesy San Francisco 49ers.
This article first appeared in the weekly Football Stadium Digest newsletter. Are you a subscriber? It’s free, and you’ll see features like this before they appear on the Web. Go here to subscribe to the Football Stadium Digest newsletter.