78% of millennials would rather spend money on eatertainment experiences than products. More and more, your guests have come to value experiences and creating memories when they go out. However, we now see that guests prefer to do this with a fantastic culinary experience. So, what’s the answer? Eatertainment!
Read on as we discuss eatertainment, why it is so popular, common examples, and some best practices you can incorporate at your venue.
What is eatertainment?
Eatertainment is a guest experience that involves some form of entertainment accompanied by food and drink. Usually, this is a venue like an attractions/leisure center that provides activities for guests and a cafe/restaurant area in-venue.
Eatertainment essentially means that the venue organizes for the guest to be both fed and entertained while they are in attendance.
Why is eatertainment on the rise?
Guests prefer to spend on experiences
76% of all consumers would rather spend their money on experiences than on material items.
Your guests' focus has shifted in recent years, especially after weathering a global pandemic. Guests now place more value on experiences than goods, which shows in their purchasing preferences.
The ‘experience economy’ started gaining traction in the early 2000s but is now more popular than ever, with guests seeking more fulfilling experiences in their free time as modern-day life gets busier and more stressful.
Guests expect more from their experiences
A study by SevenRooms found that 62% of American consumers prefer to choose eatertainment venues for a night out with their friends. And 43% said they would select these venues for a birthday outing.
Your guests' priorities are changing as it relates to their entertainment preferences. Traditional entertainment experiences were not historically known for aligning the visit with a mealtime (many were even notorious for their lack of options and quality).
Now, the quality standard of the kitchen and the menu has gone up significantly. Guests expect more options, healthier options, more exciting options, and often a combination of all three. Pizza, burgers, and french fries still have their place, but you can’t rely on these classics if you want a well-rounded experience that will increase the length of stay and spend per head.
Eating has become an experience
Food and beverage purchases account for up to 30-50% of revenue at leisure and recreation venues.
Eating out has a whole new meaning than it used to. Guests’ now don’t just go out to get a meal to curb their hunger — they want options and good quality food, and many want to post about it on social media afterward.
#Foodposts appear 250 million times on Instagram per month. Take advantage of this and ensure you offer great food options that lure your guests in and make them want to post about it too!
Read this next: Top 5 Food and Beverage Trends in 2023
Leisure and attractions venues with food options
For example, an FEC that has a cafe/ restaurant attached. The food options provided should match the type of venue, so if it is an FEC that has activities aimed toward kids six and under, the food options must suit very young children. But because a guardian will always accompany children, it is advisable to offer adults coffee and a few food options.
The entertainment options at casinos are always accompanied by food and drink. In this case, the entertainment and food options are catered for adults because entry is restricted to adults.
These options are generally priced higher, too, as guests expect to spend more at a venue like a casino.
Fast food places that include entertainment
Two of the most prominent examples of fast food places that have found success using an eatertainment model are McDonald's and Chuck E. Cheese.
Most McDonald’s venues offer a children's playground area, and Chuck E. Cheese has an arcade area. Both places provide a complete food and play experience that keeps parents and children happy.
Eatertainment best practices
Use venue management software that caters to F&B purchases
The software you choose to run your venue is supremely important. If it is not optimized to help your venue grow, with inclusions like F&B ordering, it can slow down your venue's progress and profits.
Consider cloud-based systems as they are more powerful and secure than traditional legacy-based systems. Being cloud-based means you can check in on your operations from anywhere in the world, and any changes you make to your platform will be updated in real-time across all of your venues.
Choose a cloud-based system that offers POS systems and an online checkout that can process tickets and F&B orders. It will be much easier with one system that can process multiple transaction types.
Offer unique, novelty attractions
Guests have many options to choose from these days, and as mentioned above, they are getting pickier.
Create unique and fun attractions at your venue that stands out from your competitors. A competitive advantage like this will make you much more popular amongst your guests and will help keep them coming back for more.
Consider all the demographics and try to cater to as many as possible to increase your reach.
Have food options that would interest both parents and children. Offer virtual reality games that cater to parents and teenagers and less complex activities like arts and crafts for younger children.
Have multiple attractions, and refresh them regularly
Variety is the spice of life, they say. The same goes for your venue’s attractions!
And more attractions mean more guest money spent as they will stay at your venue longer when there’s more to do.
While it would be impractical and over-costly to add to/ change your attractions constantly, you could approach this from a different angle.
You could have five staple attractions that are guest favorites and don’t change. Then you could perhaps have another two or three attractions that get changed every six months.
This way, your guests know that when they come and see you again in a few months, their favorite attractions will still be there, but there’ll also be a few new ones to try out too!
Eatertainment is what your guests want
Eatertainment is here to stay — it’s a guest favorite.
Consider incorporating eatertainment into your venue — your guests will love you for it, and you will see your profits rise.
If you need help with your venue management system or want to discuss how ROLLER can assist your venue, contact us here.