Earlier we brought you some suggestions for changes to the fan experience at Williams-Brice. Those experiences revolved around when the fan is in his seat. If you missed it, you can catch up, here. Today, we suggest some other changes for the fans visiting the stadium.
We need to fix the concessions stands. Some people want to see the food choices updated; I'm not too concerned about that. I think the menu is fine; it's sports concession food. It is what it is. What I think needs great change is the level of service. It shouldn't take the entire halftime break to get a hot dog and a coke, but many times it does.
The staff needs to be trained better or replaced with more capable workers. It takes far too long for totals to be calculated, change to be made and for food to appear. Every visit to the concessions reminds me just how bad this problem can be. I don't know if the workers are volunteers (if so that needs to stop) or paid workers. Either way they need to be trained more so that they can be quicker. This will get fans their items quicker, and allow more fans to go through the lines each break. That will generate more sales and more money.
Speaking of lines, the concessions need to adopt a single line, bank-type approach. Currently, there are 4 or so lines at the concession stands moving at varying versions of glacial pace. A single line can alleviate that problem some. In a bank there is usually only one line. When one reaches the head of the line, he goes to the next available window. Some retailers don't like the system because of public perception, but the single line system is actually faster, and slow lines at concessions are already turning people away. (Here's the success of Whole Foods in Manhattan with the bank model.)
Like I mentioned earlier, I don't have any issue with what is being offered, just with how it is being offered. However, there is one exception: water. On hot gamedays, of which there are guaranteed to be some every season, there is a higher demand for cold bottled water. In years past this demand has been underestimated, and a few minutes into the first quarter only lukewarm water is available. This is an easy fix: ice down more water. I shouldn't have to tell anyone this, but see how much cold water is around after kickoff against North Carolina if the temperature is over 90.
Lastly, I'd like a flyover each game. Shaw Air Force Base and McEntire Air National Guard Base are a few minutes flight from the stadium. It shouldn't be that hard to get a few planes over the stadium, and it would be a great tradition.
In the next few days we'll have our third installment.
Yep, pretty sure they are volunteers (or its some sort of fundraiser type thing for civic groups).
One other issue I have with concessions is that they usually have 15 people behind a counter with two lines. What happens is that you order from one person, they relay that to someone else, who relays it to someone else...etc. The order will eventually be delivered to a cashier (who is not who you ordered from) and there is just mass confusion all around. Half the time I have to order two or three times with different people because they are so unorganized.