Why the paper?

Why the paper?


We get asked this question on occasion. Why the piece of paper? Why not just have a tablet behind the bar? Or a handheld QR scanner?

Picture this. You’re about position 8 in a queue on a stadium concourse. You already missed the last 5 minutes of the first half because you wanted to get ahead of the queues to get your beers. You’re shuffling forward every 90 seconds or so, muttering in frustration that it’s not moving faster. Here’s the first reason why you won’t move any quicker (even with contactless payment): the staff member working the till can only serve the person at the front, because they have to pay before they can receive their order. Seems simple enough doesn’t it? But how does this fare when thousands of people pour into the concourses at that halftime whistle? Spoiler alert: not very well.

Now, the paper does 3 things:

  • It provides proof of payment.
  • It contains all the details of the customer order (including the customer's name - really handy when calling out the order!)
  • It means you don’t just have to serve the person at the FRONT of the queue. Why you say? Because every single customer holding a piece of paper has already paid.

In fact, they’ve done more than that. They have deliberated, ordered and paid for their refreshments before they even get to the bar. So that 30 seconds of dialog (on average) between the customer and the staff member (including inputting the order into the till before they vanish to collect your order) has disappeared like magic. And magic it really is. With bar staff no longer needing to work a till, to speak to customers, to take payment - their only job now is to serve. They can take 3 or 4 tickets in one go and serve multiple customers at one time.

The paper also solves the problem of transient staff. Something not everyone knows is a monumental issue in the stadium world. On average kiosk staff work 3.4 shifts in their lifetime. Most only work 1 shift. They’re young, they’re unmotivated (some of them are even hungover) and most importantly, they’re untrained. Imagine how much faster these untrained employees will work if you remove the till and simply hand them a piece of paper to serve from. Not to mention in a high pressure situation such as halftime they don’t need to keep referring back to the screen to remember their order, it’s printed on the paper in their hand. They don’t even need to speak fluent English, there’s no need to communicate with the fan other than reading their name from the paper. It makes for a much simpler and happy experience for both the customer and the staff.