Mar 7, 2024

Building F&B Software For The Cinema World

Vista has been innovating with cinema software for more than 25 years, from our beginnings with ticketing solutions to the new generation of Vista Cloud. Over the years we have seen many evolving changes in the cinemagoing experience, not least of which has been the advancement of food & beverage experiences and dine-in cinemas.

When it comes to innovating with food & beverage software, we keep our perspective firmly rooted with one question: how can we build the best F&B solutions to serve cinemas?

Unveiling our roadmap

Recently, at our 10th Vista Group Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, we unveiled many details of our plans for the future, including our roadmap of development to come across many exciting fronts such as the journey to Vista Cloud, and for F&B software.

We were excited by the feedback and responses from many of those in attendance in Auckland. As we look to the future of the cinema industry, the most important voices in determining where we focus and innovate are those of our exhibition clients, and we were delighted to hear that our plans resonate with you.

Let’s dive into what we’ve developed recently, and a selection of the exciting enhancements on our roadmap.

Crafting premium dine-in service

Creations such as Serve—Vista’s mobile app for in-seat dining service—have been among our most exciting developments in recent years, and we hit a height of excitement in the F&B space with its release prior to the pandemic.

Compared to the heights we saw in 2019, that focus on F&B software innovation was unfortunately subdued during the challenges of the pandemic. However, we remain dedicated to continued development and innovation with the software we build throughout the cinema world—including every aspect of providing the best F&B software built for cinema, from your inventory management through to self-service applications.

Since developing Serve in close collaboration with our clients to best match the goals of a full-service dine-in cinema, we have aimed to continually update and enhance the application, most recently introducing a number of UX improvements to simplify workflows, and adding flexibility with button customisation.

Excitingly, we have expanded our Serve device support in partnership with Adyen, taking on their robust, compact, and cost-effective S1E2L and AMS1 devices. These lightweight devices provide a sleek, all-in-one mobile Serve experience.

Our goal in cinema software is never to have a ‘one-and-done’ offering. Instead, we aim to refine software continually, empowering cinemas with rich updates such as Serve’s new Adyen device opportunities, and deepening integration across the entire Vista suite.

The opportunities in digital transformation

In line with our dedication to continuous development, much of our work in recent years has been engineering our vision of true digital transformation with Vista Cloud. The journey to Cloud has covered a vast range of solutions across the Vista software suite, from Data Empowerment and Digital Enablement to Moviegoer Engagement and Operational Efficiency, and among those is Lumos.

Lumos, digital sales channels that provide an omnichannel approach to crafting your online experiences, is a major part of our digital enablement offering, and has produced new opportunities in the F&B space.

Lumos Order—Vista’s frictionless scan-to-order solution—embraces the power of self-service, allowing your moviegoers to order food and beverages right from their seat. With no barrier of sign-ups, sign-ins, or downloads to slow them down, Lumos Order eliminates any friction to making more sales.

As part of our partnership with Adyen, we have also expanded the payment options available in Lumos, adding dozens of new payment options such as After Pay.

Enhancing self-service with checks

Ease of the experience—including ease of payment—are key elements in the ideal F&B service (after all, the fewer pain points for moviegoers, the greater their engagement and satisfaction).

With how important this is for providing the best F&B experiences, we are focusing on building our Checks API to deliver the ideal self-service dining experience.

Guests will be able to open transactions and continue adding food and beverages to their tab throughout a movie, enjoying the full dining experience without the need to pause to pay with individual additions, instead building a single check to close at the end of the journey.

An integrated whole

Unlike other F&B systems, Vista software is built specifically to the needs of cinemas. Where cinemas have vastly different needs for seat-mapping and food delivery timing for a packed auditorium than a standard restaurant, we design to alleviate these pain points.

Vista solutions are also part of a fully integrated suite, meaning everything from your stocktaking through your kitchen and into reporting can all be connected for seamless operations. Part of our upcoming roadmap are enhanced APIs that will enable us to integrate with even more third-party stock and labour software provider options. Our goal is to work with you to build what makes sense for your business objectives, and this will allow us to further support you in building the best F&B experience for your cinema.

More to come

Over the horizon, we see many opportunities that have us excited about the refinement and evolution of cinema F&B. We were delighted to share the upcoming developments of our roadmap with you at the Vista Group Conference, and alongside the new journey to Cloud, we’re excited to deliver better F&B software to the cinema world.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of our F&B innovations and the way we’re building the best F&B software for the cinema industry, get in touch with your Vista Client Success Manager today.

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