Published September 16, 2013
Alabama State has installed cloud-based system to streamline concession sales
The new football stadium at Alabama State Univ. is among the first college facilities in the country to use a point-of-sale system with tablets for all food concession sales. S.F.-based Revel Systems installed over 30 iPads at the 25,000-seat facility in Montgomery, Ala. The historically black school launched the cloud-based system Aug. 31 at its '13 home opener against Jacksonville State. Alabama State spent about $100,000 for the installation and pays Revel Systems a monthly fee of $50 to maintain the servers on site, according to Revel Systems Chief Technology Officer & co-Founder Chris Ciabarra. Revel's marketing pitch is the tablets streamline the ordering system, operating 14% faster than the cash registers tied to traditional POS systems. The school processed 5,721 transactions over the first few hours of the home opener, improving the total number of sales compared to when the stadium first opened last fall for the annual Turkey Day Classic against Tuskegee, Revel Systems officials said. For concessionaires, the technology provides real-time business reports and inventory numbers and the ease of using the system cuts that down on the time it takes to train employees, Ciabarra said. The system can be expanded to mobile concessions ordering and loyalty programs. During the home opener, the Revel system kept operating seamlessly at concession stands after technical difficulties led to a power outage cut electricity to half the stadium, he said. Revel Systems' clients include Little Caesar's, Popeye's Chicken and Twistee Treat. The company has one major league sports installation but the team has not given Revel Systems permission to talk about it, Ciabarra said. ASU Stadium is not the first college facility to use tablets for concessions. Last year, Centerplate installed similar technology at the University of South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium. In the major leagues, Aramark, the Bears' food provider, replaced more than 500 cash registers at Soldier Field with tablets provided by Micros, a leading POS vendor.