TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Plagued by a shortage of stadium workers and complaints about long concession lines at home football games during the pandemic, the University of Alabama contracted with an app in line.
The school is also making other changes in hopes of speeding up serve in Saturday’s return game against Tennessee.
With a capacity of over 101,000 expected, Alabama says fans can use the Waitr phone system to order food and drink at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Fans will be notified when an order is ready and they can pick up items from stadium windows.
The Alabama deal is Waitr’s first for a football stadium, although baseball fans have used the app in Louisiana and Mississippi, company spokesman Dean Turcol said. It was used in spring games at LSU and summer minor league games in Biloxi, Mississippi, he said.
Other applications, some specially designed for such use, have been used in stadiums for a variety of sports.
Alabama received complaints of long franchise lines after their last home game against Ole Miss on October 2. Athletic director Greg Byrne said part of the problem was the difficulty in finding workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Similar to staffing issues at the gates, an average of 40% of people who were supposed to make concessions on game days end up not showing up, leaving them short-staffed,” he wrote in an e – weekly email to supporters at the time.
In addition to offering the order online, the sports department said it expects additional workers to show up this week after adding several outside groups to the worker mix. He said he’s also streamlining menus and adding ordering technology to speed up sales.