Urban Air’s touch-free ordering solutions courtesy of Appetize

ATJohn W.C. Robinson

LOS ANGELES — Appetize, a point of sale, digital ordering and enterprise management platform,  announced a partnership with Urban Air Adventure Parks. As Urban Air’s exclusive provider for ordering and payment software, Appetize has begun its initial product roll-out to service more than 100 Urban Air franchise locations in North America.

“We’re thrilled to work with one of the fastest-growing and well-known adventure parks in the industry,” said Appetize co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Max Roper. “Our companies share the same vision of a touch-free guest experience while providing operators and franchisees modern tools to run their business in the COVID-19 era. Now more than ever, businesses are looking to digital ordering platforms as they begin to reopen, and we’ve been incredibly honored to help them navigate ‘the new normal’ with our omnichannel solutions.”

Urban Air appointed Appetize for its contactless capabilities — including NFC and “tap-to-pay” checkout — and cloud point of sale to enhance the safety and experiences of guests and staff. The company’s current system is being completely upgraded with the integration of Appetize’s omnichannel digital solution, including self-service kiosks, Interact, which allow the reduction of staff interaction and crowded check-ins and provide 25% faster checkout. 

“The Appetize platform is being used at Urban Air to facilitate admission to the park, including buying tickets and signing of a waiver,” stated Brian Whitney, vice president of sales for Appetize. “This waiver is required of all people entering the park and includes the ability for repeat visitors to look up their previous waivers to reduce the time needed to buy tickets. In early deployments, the combination of the streamlined UI and process improvements reduced the ticketing transaction time by as much as 40%.”

“Urban Air collects several pieces of information to complete the waiver process from guests including their names, dates of birth, phone numbers and email addresses. The Appetize solution enables easy entry of this data and uses our open API structure to send that to Urban Air.”

All Appetize devices come ready with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, a feature that helps eliminate cash handling.

During the COVID-19 shutdown, Urban Air seamlessly deployed Appetize using a self-installation strategy. While Appetize offers a full-service, in-person installation model, the ease-of-use of the platform allowed Urban Air to successfully install Appetize technology on their own. 

“While our parks were shut down, we took a number of actions to improve guest service and ensure a safe return to operations,” said Urban Air Chief Development Officer Josh Wall. “Working with the team at Appetize, we were able to accelerate the rollout and give our returning guests a faster and more secure check-in process. One of the items high on our list was reducing crowds at check-in, and we have proudly addressed it.”

“Appetize partnered with Urban Air to accelerate the deployment of the solution while many parks were shut down. While travel for installers and technicians was limited, we were able to work with staff at each park to complete a self-install of Appetize quickly and easily,” said Whitney. “Our deployment teams worked remotely to enable the parks, and working together with Urban Air in this way, we were proud to bring dozens of parks online in a single week.”

Keeping with the upgraded santitation and disinfection procedures which are rapidly becoming the industry-norm during the global pandemic, the Appetize kiosks are regularly sanitized by staff throughout the day.

“Urban Air has a strong sanitation program for their facilities, which includes a regular cleaning of the kiosks to limit guest exposure,” added Whitney.

In the next several months, the Urban Air plans to deploy Appetize POS terminals, self-service kiosks, handheld devices, and kitchen display systems at each of its locations to reduce wait times and crowds and increase guest satisfaction.

While under  the pandemic, Urban Air locations are following CDC safety and sanitation guidelines to practice safety. All staff wear face shields, guest temperatures are taken at the entrance and sanitation services have been increased, including regular surface cleaning.

“[The Appetize system can be offered] as a Service program, which provides for a low initial cost and a monthly fee that includes all hardware, software, services, support, upgrades, hosting and associated fees, as well as full hardware support,” explained Whitney. 

Appetize has helped several large-scale businesses and franchisees reopen safely with its contactless technology and omnichannel solutions. In an effort to provide businesses the tools they need to navigate through COVID-19, Appetize also offers free webinars, educational product demonstrations, and important resources on its website. 

“All of our devices support contactless payment, which has become a necessity for many operators,” stated Whitney. “Our Interact Web platform also allows companies to deploy contactless ordering so customers can use their own devices to place orders through a fully-functional web experience without forcing the customer to download an app. By simply scanning a QR code, guests are taken directly to the ordering site where they can easily order, pay and transact with the brand without a face-to-face interaction. No matter how an order is placed, they are all managed centrally from our platform without the need to deploy any additional devices.”


This article appears in the SEPTEMBER 2020 issue of Amusement Today.
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