Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. announced Wednesday that the company is testing checkout-free convenience store technology at its Hollywood, Fla. Location. The Game & Go micromarket has opened in partnership with Zippin, which is providing the checkout-free technology, and Coca-Cola, which is providing the beverages.
“Innovation is critical in the entertainment business and our new Game & Go MicroMarket is truly state of the art,” Brandon Coleman III, senior vice president and CMO of Dave & Buster’s said in a statement. “Our F&B team partnered closely with Coca-Cola to bring this exciting new technology to life and I think the guest is really going to enjoy the new food and drinks, as well as frictionless payment.”
Zippin is part of a growing trend of technologies that cut down on labor needs in the industry. The technology works much like a walk-through vending machine, where customers can put their credit card through EMV technology. Then the sensors assign an identification to the customer’s head and hands and can identify when a customer picks up a Coca-Cola bottle and bag of chips, or when they put it back down. The customer is only charged when they walk out of the store.
This technology is similar to Starbucks’ recently opened Amazon Go cashier-free Pickup store in New York City, where customers can pick out food and beverages and similar just walk out because the technology is tied to either their credit card or Amazon account.
The Game & Go store is located in the Midway section of the Dave & Buster’s near all of the games, and offers pre-packaged snacks, beverages, some over-the-counter pain medication and even canned beer and wine (though they will have to show ID to an employee to be able to purchase the latter).
“It’s designed for guests that are coming in to play and don’t really want to sit and eat and spend the time at a table to eat,” Tim Murphy, director of operations at Dave & Buster’s told Nation’s Restaurant News. “They want to grab a Coke and a snack and go back to playing. The experience inside the c-store is really fast, like 60 seconds.”
Since recovering from the COVID-19-related shutdowns, Dave & Buster’s has leaned into digital technology offerings like the brand’s mobile app which launched in 2021 and allows customers to pay, earn points, and activate games with their phone. Eventually, the convenience store’s automated checkout technology will be accessible via the Dave & Buster’s app
“We're always on the cutting edge of technology,” Murphy said. “I think anything that can enhance the guest experience and make it faster and quicker and offering some new products, that’s what makes it important for Dave & Buster’s.”
If all goes well during this six-month test of the checkout-free convenience store, Dave & Buster’s will be expanding the Game & Go micromarket to other locations.
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