The Dolphins are testing a new in-seat delivery system where fans can order beers by sending a Twitter message through their mobile devices. Tweet-a-Beer, the name of the system, is a joint effort between the Dolphins, their concessionaire Centerplate, Anheuser-Busch, Twitter and tech vendor Appetize. During yesterday's game against the Jets at Sun Life Stadium, fans sitting in sections 151 and 153 could order A-B products exclusively by tweeting @beerme with their selection and seat number.
As of this morning, the Dolphins were still confirming data over usage and average wait times, but in reading @beerme's timeline in-game, it appeared most fans using the system were satisfied with the service. A-B, a team sponsor, brought the concept to the table as one option for streamlining the process for ordering food and drink at Sun Life Stadium, according to Dolphins Senior VP & Chief Technology Officer Tery Howard. It also provides another point of data collection for the team as it seeks to better understand their customers' behavior and spending habits, Howard said.
The Dolphins and their partners monitored the social media address to fulfill orders. Centerplate had three hawkers deliver the beers ordered through Twitter. They were each armed with tablets for mobile payment and fans could pay with cash or credit card. Fans in the two sections had instruction cards on how to use Tweet-a-Beer. There was no upcharge for ordering beers through Twitter and Dolphins season-ticket holders received their customary 10% concessions discount. For the Dolphins, the program provides the first time credit cards were accepted for concessions sold in the seating bowl, Howard said.
SUCCESSFUL BUILD ON SOFT LAUNCH: Yesterday's program followed a previous Tweet-a-Beer test of about 100-150 fans attending the Dolphins' Dec. 21 game against the Vikings. During the initial sampling, wait times ran 5-7 minutes from the time fans sent a Twitter message to the point they received their orders, Howard said. In both cases, the Dolphins decided to roll out the technology slowly to ensure that it works effectively to improve the fan experience. "We're keeping it low key and under the radar for now," Howard said. "The last thing we want to do is lose credibility."
For next season, the Dolphins are looking to expand the Twitter program to cover more seats and include more concession items in the service, she said. The Tweet-a-Beer initiative is the latest example of how the Dolphins remain ahead of the curve on stadium technology dating to their adoption of digital menu boards and beacons, among other tech upgrades. "We take an approach of having no fear with these things," Howard said. "We enjoy being on the front lines of new technology. It helps that our owner [Stephen Ross] also owns the stadium."