Tailoring self-service to the cinema world with Vista

min read

Moviegoer and consumer expectations have shifted dramatically in recent years. Self-service has been booming and was already slowly becoming mainstream, championed by brands such as Starbucks and McDonald’s with their app and kiosk offerings, respectively.

We have seen self-service explode in popularity and importance. It’s as if a tank of gasoline was poured on the already burning self-service fire. We’re seeing local cafés and bars around the world implement QR code-based ordering at their tables, and ecommerce is quickly approaching the preferred way to shop for everything from groceries to Uber Eats.

So at Vista we knew it was incredibly important for us to keep working on perfecting our food and beverage service offerings.

The bar for these self-service experiences has been set very high, from the UX of websites and apps, through to how ‘offline concerns’ such as how orders are fulfilled. Consumers and guests won’t accept poor online experiences, and where they find a poor experience, they’ll seek out merchants who have better ones instead.

Tackling new self-service opportunities

Thankfully, this shift towards self-service has some big boons for businesses. Firstly: staff.

Labour shortages are a massive hurdle in markets such as the US at the moment, and self-service provides a perfect counter to the issue. It’s particularly good for cinemas. Self-service means a cinema can have three staff members running a counter-pickup concessions operation instead of needing twice that many to run a traditional concession stand.

On top of that, guests who self-service at kiosks actually tend to spend more. Without the pressure of a queue to rush them, moviegoers linger and explore menus freely, often leading to higher purchasing.

Not to mention, they can order twice as much candy without worrying about judgement.

Self-service is causing a colossal shift in the F&B industry, so we knew we needed a giant of our own. Lumos—Vista’s next-generation solution for cinema websites, mobile apps, and kiosks—provides your customers with self-service F&B ordering across all of your digital channels. 

Introducing Vista’s latest: Lumos Order

Since the launch of Serve in 2019, we’ve embraced continued development in the F&B space; we never want to sit back and say “well, that’s done”, but to elevate how we empower a smooth dining experience unique to cinema.

For that reason, we’re hard at work on our own version of scan-to-order technology. While it’s something that exists in-market today, there’s a big difference when it comes to making a dedicated solution for cinema F&B.

Lumos Order is Vista’s answer to that gap. With seamless integration into the Vista suite, that means your food and beverage operations run smoothly and efficiently alongside the rest of your cinema technology. With functionality designed specifically for the cinema experience, such as showtime-relative ordering—so guests don’t place orders 5 minutes before the credits and miss out—Lumos Order is the ideal solution for cinemas.

We aim to empower you to create the perfect in-seat delivery experience for your moviegoers, and Lumos Order is all about flattening the barriers to deliver the ideal experience. Moviegoers—like all consumers, really—like to make decisions on their own terms. When there’s a way to order from your seat with ease; no sign-up, no download, no sign-in, or even needing to check your seat number, that means there’s zero barrier between sitting down and being ready to order. What could be better than that?

All Lumos sales channels offer you modern designs, consistent user experiences, and branding flexibility, all optimised for conversion and maximising spend per head. Whether they purchase items via Lumos Order, Web, Mobile, or Kiosk—the order flow is the same. Complete with modifiers for the medium-rare-with-extra-cheese burger lovers out there.

The Lumos sales channels are powered by the Digital Platform, cloud-hosted and managed by Vista. Leveraging Vista Cloud technology, they are engineered for blockbuster scalability.

Where we’re going next

But we’re not stopping there, either. The F&B space rarely sleeps, and constant innovation is the heart of its development, so we’re already looking toward expansions on the horizon. The Living Ticket is integral to the Lumos suite, and we plan to leverage it to allow guests to receive reminders before their movie, prompting them to pre-purchase food and beverages linked to their ticket, to be delivered to them in-seat.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look behind the curtain at some of Vista’s latest work and upcoming creations. If you’re hungry for more, you can learn about Lumos and the Digital Platform, and keep an eye out for more about Lumos Order in the future.

Written by

John Burrows

Technical Product Director and Vista's resident F&B Expert