Watch now: At Wrigley Field, online food ordering clashes with stubborn ballpark conventions and traditions. ‘Beer, click here!’ is not the same. | Sports

Will Kreznick

According to another Tribune reporter, multiple concession stands in the upper deck were unable to sell grilled sausages and Italian beefs due to a curiously specific computer malfunction. But this was mostly a clash of cultures. Take, for example, the order-from-your-seat concept. On the surface, this is a fine idea. […]

According to another Tribune reporter, multiple concession stands in the upper deck were unable to sell grilled sausages and Italian beefs due to a curiously specific computer malfunction.

But this was mostly a clash of cultures.

Take, for example, the order-from-your-seat concept. On the surface, this is a fine idea. Each seat at Wrigley now has a scannable QR code posted at waist level of the occupant. A quick photo brings up a menu with all the usual treats: Cracker Jack, beer, hot dogs. But instead of reaching for a quick 10-spot when the vendor hits your aisle, you have to fumble with a credit card, and you can see added sales tax on your screen, too.

If you’re going with such a system, what you need is a kind of ghost kitchen under the seating areas, filled with runners rushing orders to seats. But that’s not what the Cubs has in place: it has single-item vendors. The hot dog person would not be caught dead with hot chocolate. The beer dude doesn’t have your kid’s soda. That, too, gums up the works. Massively. The typical wait for a beverage observed by this reporter was in the 30-45 minute range, assuming one’s paid-for beverage arrived at all. Some took matters into their own hands, chasing down purchases.

The vendors themselves appeared frustrated. One clung on to the tradition of a cash tip, holding a 10-spot in his hand as one of those familiar psychological maneuvers designed to increase the take-home pay of a hard-working person, an outlier in a newly non-cash ballpark. Others struggled to decide whether it was best to take orders directly — one could still flag a vendor down in the old tradition — or click through all those screens trying to decide who had ordered what, whether what they had ordered was on their tray, and where those people were sitting, assuming they still were sitting where they were supposed to be sitting, rather than trying to find a glimmer of warming sun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

The Best & Worst Breakfast Options at Wendy's, According to Nutritionists

If there were such a thing as the breakfast wars, Wendy’s would almost certainly win. The chain only launched its breakfast menu last year, but judging by its sales, it has already become one of America’s top morning options in fast food. And since you’re probably a little tired of […]