We are very grateful to every supporter who in completed our survey and shared their matchday experiences, they give us a valuable insight into how things are going, what is working well and what the priorities for development should be.
Our end of season survey received just over 6,000 responses and showed:
The majority of match-going respondents were satisfied or pleased with the availability of food and beverages at the stadium (67%), the quality (73%) and the choice (71%).
However, only 47% were satisfied with the pricing, and this was before the further price rise this season, (30% were dissatisfied). Just 52% of respondents were satisfied with the speed of service (29% were dissatisfied).
These percentages were reflected in the recent catering survey which applied to the opening two games of the season and for which we received a smaller response, but more detailed, qualitative data. All these responses have been shared with and read by the Club.
This season’s survey showed that the most popular food remained: pies, sausage rolls, burgers and chicken. The most popular beverages were draught beer, craft beer, cider, wine, tea, coffee and soft drinks.
Generally, supporters valued the range and quality of the food and drink and recognised the very high quality of many dishes, especially in the feature outlets such as The Smashed Olive and Naan & Noodle but were dissatisfied with the cost and the time it took to be served and felt there was a need for better queue management and, in some cases, further staff training. The introduction of the Park Lane Square for refreshments before, during and after the game was also very well received, both for the environment and pop-up stalls, but also for the pressure this took off Market Place outlets.
What we are asking for:
- Prices to be kept as low as possible. We of course understand the context of rapidly increasing supply and labour costs that THFC are being charged. However, everyone is facing the effects of energy, cost of living and mortgage increases. We are already paying very high prices for match tickets so supporters’ interests, and pockets, need to be protected.
- Better use to be made of the app for the Food & Beverage operation. Communication around which items are available where, provision of food for different dietary requirements, location of water fountains, outlets in the Park Lane Square, queue lengths etc could all be communicated here in our opinion.
- Improved signage for the free water fountains which are located around the stadium but are not in prominent positions and can be very difficult to find.
- Replacement for the leaking beer cups
- Quality coffee provision, including but not exclusively in Park Lane Square - and better communication of existing provision.
- Creative ways to reduce queueing including pop up / mobile sellers or alternative methods of selling certain items, as well as speeding up of service generally, especially at the Market Place, Feature Bars eg Dispensary and Tap Inns.
We discussed all these issues with Andy and Andrew and although we won’t agree on every issue, everyone recognised that we can learn from their perspective and they can learn from ours, and the individual cases we highlight.
Staffing: all staff at the Club, and at all the Club’s suppliers are paid at and above the London Living Wage (LLW). This is very much to be commended but comes at a price. The LLW is now £11.95 per hour (a 10% increase on last year). The Club absorbs the majority of these increased costs with a percentage passed on to supporters. Approximately 80% of matchday staff are employed directly by the Club, with 20% coming from agencies. This should enable training to be effective and for consistency to be developed. Our surveys suggest that there is still considerable room for improvement in this area and we will focus on this when we observe practice at a future game.
Water: The poor availability of bottled water at the Southampton game received a lot of feedback and was one of the specific issues we discussed in detail. Andy advised us that while normally the Club use one water supplier, for this game they had used four separate companies in order to try and meet anticipated demand during the very hot weather. On the day the Club sold what they would usually sell over two games. This context is useful but highlights the need for the free water fountains to be better signposted and for staff to know where they are too.
Half time: Staff half fill beer cups shortly before the end of the first half so that they can be quickly topped up and served during the very busy half time period. These should still be fresh and served speedily rather than waiting for full pints to be poured. Eight-hundred pints are currently sold at half time in the South Stand Square.
The big picture: Andrew is currently working on developing a short and long term plan for the provision of Food & Beverage which will weave in sustainability, lessen queues and grow and develop the current offering. The Club reiterated that all profits are reinvested in on-field matters and this includes revenues from concerts and other sporting events. With more than 40,000 transactions per match day in general admission areas, we are told this is by far the highest number in the Premier League.
Sustainability: A great deal of care is taken to support the Club’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. For example, most food is cooked on site, the produce is fresh and locally sourced, and food is recycled eg into pig feed for the pigs that are then used for meat at the stadium.
It was acknowledged that the beer cups are not all of an acceptable standard and alternatives are being sought.
Access: For people with access requirements it is recommended that they contact the Club’s Access Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) who can help with issues around buying appropriate food and drink, as well as our colleagues at Spurs Ability (Email Spursdsa@outlook.com), the supporter group for people with access needs.
The Club are using data analysis systems to enable them to track transaction rates at individual tills. These show where performance is high and where less so, but do not in themselves inform the Club where waiting is at unacceptable levels. We talked about ways of informing and encouraging supporters to use quieter service points, especially after the match. The two concessions at either end of the concourse above the Market Place in the South Stand (by 257 & 258 and 249 & 250) were highlighted as places that are often quiet and service can be faster. Consideration is also being given to change these to ‘Beavertown’ bars.
The meeting concluded with an invitation extended to Simon and Rachel to jointly observe the catering operation on a matchday, and in particular to look at areas where we have had reports of slow or poor service, excessive queuing and shortages of specific beers or tea / coffee. We have also arranged a meeting with the Club and Spurs Ability to explore ways of making the app more user friendly for Food & Beverage and those with access requirements.
Again, thank you to everyone who sent in their feedback via our surveys. The Club can’t meet every individual request (although this won’t stop us from continuing to ask for smoked salmon bagels!) but your responses give very clear information on where the successes are and where we Spurs fans seek improvements.
17 October 2022