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The UK Gets Its First Cashless Arena (For Food & Bev)

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BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND (CelebrityAccess) The Genting Arena in Birmingham, England, recently went cashless at its food and beverage concessions, making it the first arena to do so in the U.K.

The protocol was implemented by concessions company Amadeus, which removed all electric POS tills at F&B concessions inside the arena, according to PanStadia & Arena Management. Customers are encouraged to pay by card, via contactless, chip or pin. Amadeus deems the experiment successful and reported it would roll out its cashless model to all NEC Group venues using Amadeus this year.

About this time last year, 70 percent of F&B transactions were reportedly cash but the percentage dropped to 20 percent in November, when the arena officially went cashless. The arena trialed cashless in May, according to PanStadia.

“Busy arenas bring with them unique challenges for caterers, including dealing with peaks in footfall and ensuring speed of service without compromising quality,” Amadeus GM at the arena Annie Monnox said in a statement. “At a typical event at the Genting Arena, Amadeus serves up to 15,000 customers in a 90-120-minute window before the main act – so we need to make sure we are doing everything possible to ensure efficient and quick service.

“Considering the fact that the majority of customers spend less than £30 on food and beverage at a show, we saw the potential benefits of getting more customers to pay by card – in particular, by using contactless technology – as opposed to cash. The results have been phenomenal and customers have really embraced the change.

“Changing to a cashless model also has significant.”

The 16,000-seat arena was formerly known as the LG Arena. Upcoming shows at the facility include The Script, Imagine Dragons, Morrissey, Paul Weller, Sam Smith, Harry Styles and Bryan Adams.

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