Apple Pay Tests Order-Ahead Feature for Concessions at Music Festivals
Apple Pay is aiming to solve a common frustration at music festivals—waiting in line to buy something to drink. Apple recently tested an order-ahead service at the BottleRock festival in San Francisco, where users could order and pay from their phone, go to the concession stand, and simply pick up the beverage.
The service worked through the festival’s mobile app. Users could select the concession stand, choose a drink from the menu, and then checkout with Apple Pay. Apple then sent a text message with the order number and a map pinpointing the concession stand’s location. Each stand had a special area for Apple Pay order-ahead orders, similar to the fast lanes at order-ahead restaurants.
BottleRock is approximately 100 miles from Apple headquarters, making it the perfect place for Apple to test services before making them widely available. Last year, all of the concession stands at the festival were equipped with Square registers that had Apple Pay compatibility. There were fast lanes for Apple Pay users, but not nearly as fast as the order-ahead lanes. Apple reported approximately 30% of last year’s BottleRock transactions were paid through Apple Pay.
If Apple chooses to expand this service, it wouldn’t just help music festivals. It could be used wherever there are large crowds such as state fairs or sporting events.