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This startup is killing queues

RESTAURANTS & BARS

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The Norwegian startup OrderX has a clear mission: since queues are killing profits at festivals and events, they are going to kill queues. This summer, they fulfilled that mission at Norway’s biggest event, Fotballfesten, where they reduced queues and helped increase beer sales by 60 percent. With Bambora as their payment partner, OrderX is now looking to end “beer lines” at northern Europe’s biggest festivals.

“At a concert or a football game, for example, you have a 15-20 minute window where you have to make the absolute majority of your sales. Those 20 minutes decide if you make a profit or not, and if you have long lines that will kill your profit”, says Orderx’s founder Tom Aukrust.

The idea for OrderX started with some of Tom’s friends who had experience in arranging festivals and concerts. They complained about how long lines at the bar affected both the experience and the bottom line of big events. Tom, and co-founder Peter Eikland, understood that solving this problem required more than just speeding up the beer taps or simplifying the payment process. To actually “kill” queues they would need to turn the whole process on its head.

“From the start, our idea has been that if you want to eliminate queues you have to rethink the whole customer journey”, Tom explains.

To create a new way of serving beer, Tom and Peter founded OrderX in 2016. Their solution uses Bottoms Up, an innovative beer dispenser that speeds up the pouring process and reduces waste by filling the glass from the bottom. (See the video here)

To fix the next bottleneck in the serving process, OrderX allows customers to pre-order their drinks through an app, eliminating the need to stand in line to order. Instead, customers simply walk up to the bar and “tap” their phones to get their beers poured instantly. For those who don’t want to use an app, OrderX also allows for quick payment at the bar through contactless cards or e-wallets on their phones.

"Bambora’s fast onboarding process is so important"

TOM AUKRUST, FOUNDER OF ORDERX.

Quicker ordering increased sales by 60 percent

OrderX’s biggest milestone came this summer, when their solution was used at Norway’s biggest event: Fotballfesten in Oslo. The 50 meter long bar at Fotballfesten was equipped with Bottoms Up dispensers and 80 payment terminals. At its peak, this set-up was able to cut the average ordering time down to 6.5 seconds.

“We were able to increase sales by 60 percent compared to the last event in 2016. The bar was the same size and the event only saw a 10 percent increase in attendance, so 60 percent is a significant increase”, Tom explains.

Fotballfesten was an important proof that OrderX could handle big events. This need to “scale up” was also a big reason for why OrderX chose Bambora as their payment partner. With Bambora, OrderX now has the ability to handle both app and card payments at big events.

“We have pretty huge demands when it comes to scalability. We have to be able to deploy 200-300 card terminals at a festival, where they will be used for only three days. That is why Bambora’s fast onboarding process is so important. All we have to do is download new parameters, and then we can move the terminal to a new customer. That is a lot easier than with other suppliers we’ve had.”

Changing behaviour, one festival at a time

Bambora’s ability to supply large amounts of card terminals is an important asset, but Tom sees an even bigger potential in using Bambora Checkout for the in-app ordering. OrderX offers their ordering software as a plug-in for festivals’ official apps and the thought is that card terminals will become less and less important as people get used to the convenience of pre-ordering in the apps.

“In the end, we are trying to kill queues by changing people’s behaviors, and we have found that festivals are a good places to do that. People are more willing to adapt their behavior to “the way things work” at different festivals, says Tom.