Some of us have been there, at a festival, standing in the queue for so long you don’t know if you need to p*ss, dance or pass out… You’re so thirsty it’s uncomfortable, people don’t even have their cash out ready at the till, all to miss out on the opening of your favourite act because you are standing behind 35 other people with dry and papery mouths like they’ve swallowed a pot of glitter. Queues at the bar at festivals – just the worst, right?
Love Saves the Day: Our reporter on the ground,
Natasha, carefully documenting her research
This year at Bristol city music festival Love Saves the Day things were different. To the left-hand side of every drinks tent a small group painted blue and dressed in white overalls waited behind the bar for people to come and take their smurfberry juice. In a Gargamel-like fashion, the ‘customers’ were taking the precious liquid horde without paying their dues or waiting in that queue. What was going on? As a paying customer you should have to wait behind everyone else! Ordoo you?
Festival-goers could download the Ordoo app, upload their card details and order their 4-pack of Red Stripe while still being in the middle of the crowd for Dizzee Rascal. Then, when Dizzee dropped his final bar, you could skip past the queue (skipping, if you like) and collect your drink from a blue Ordoo smurf without fannying around in your fanny-pack.
TechSPARK caught up with Tom Dewhurst co-founder of Ordoo on the field (literally, the field) to find out how Ordoo’s latest ordering feature worked in a festival of 40,000 desparate for a drink.
TechSPARK: How has the service changed since Ordable started out, and why?
Tom Dewhurst: It’s been a very exciting few months since the launch of the app in January under ‘Ordable’. We’ve had some tough decisions to make, like the change of name and rebrand to Ordoo in April. You can find out more about the story behind the rebrand and name change on our blog for those interested.
[We can thoroughly recommend the blog, check out this great excerpt: “I was delighted to think that this girl thought I’d founded Audible… We had to change the company name. This type of conversation was happening too many times. I’ve heard and seen a whole raft of deviations: Orderable, Ordible, Audable (I know – the worst of both), one person didn’t even finish the word because they didn’t know how to say it.”]
We’ve been talking loads to our amazing customers, new and old, to continually improve the service we offer. Based on this feedback we launched a second version with new features that people are really enjoying.
“Ordoo now allows you to claim rewards for being loyal to your favourite venues”
Ordoo now allows you to claim rewards for being loyal to your favourite venues, you’ll have to start ordering to find out how! We’ve made it easier to spread the word about Ordoo as you now receive a £3 reward for inviting your mates to sign up.
Also, we’ve ironed out a lot of operational issues to make sure your order is ready and waiting for you. It’s really important to us that we ensure a consistently amazing customer experience and we’ve put sweat, blood and tears into nailing down this process.
As we’ve grown and people have started using us, we’ve tried to match this interest with more choice of awesome partner venues across Bath and Bristol. You now have an extensive selection of venues to save time ordering from. A couple of great new additions are Whole Bagel, Cascara, Beyond the Kale (in Bath) and Ironworks, Playground, Pizzarova, Beatroot (in Bristol) – taking our total to 25 places. Yes, we’ve started to offer lunch now!
TS: How did you find your first Ordoo festival experience?
TD: Fun and frantic! It was amazing to see so many people download and use the app over the weekend – it really put the app through its paces and we processed over 3,000 orders. On the whole, everything went smoothly and our pre-order and pre-payment system was obviously much more efficient, as we removed the problem of exchanging c**h.*
*[Tom thinks ‘cash’ is a dirty word]
“I had to restart a tablet in front of 30 thirsty customers all brandishing app orders… I lost about a year of my life in those five minutes”
There was one hairy moment when the app crashed and I had to restart a tablet in front of 30 thirsty customers all brandishing app orders (as we technically were still accepting orders). I lost about a year of my life in those five minutes, but we managed to deal with it and were back running in no time.
We embraced the festival spirit and dressed up as Smurfs – just for a bit of fun. I hope we were remembered! We made loads of friends and lots of pictures were taken.
“We got a lot of drunk love but we were saving people from the scary 30 minute queue! So it was well deserved”
TS: What has the feedback been like, and what have you learned from it?
TD: ‘You guys are f**king awesome, this is such a great idea’ (or paraphrases) were thrown around a fair bit. I think the alcohol we were providing definitely helped our feedback! We got a lot of drunk love but we were saving people from the scary 30 minute queue! So it was well deserved.
We’ve learnt so much from this experience:
- Count your walkie talkies before giving them out
- Our app works under high volumes
- New people pick up the vendor (tablet) app really well
- Festivals have rubbish data connectivity
- Dressing as Smurfs was a great idea
TS: What’s next for Ordoo?
TD: At the moment we’re really focusing on raising awareness for the app across Bristol and finding the people who would use it! More venues would be nice as well. We’re doing a big launch in July so watch this space.
We’re diversifying our partner base as well so you’ll be able to order all forms of food and drink on the app – we could be saving you from the annoying bar queues soon.
TS: How can the South West tech community get involved with Ordoo?
TD: Well, we’re hosting a ‘coffee and networking’ event on Thursday 16 June at Beatroot Cafe with TechSPARK. So come along for a free coffee, try out the app, say hello and meet some new people. There will be one a month so I hope you can make one soon.
We’re also running a Thunderclap campaign for Monday 4 July – Ordoo ‘Independents Day’! Ordoo will be telling the stories of independent venues on our blog, running promotions that share the love and generally partying with independents. Please join our Thunderclap campaign to shout help shout about the great work these amazing people are doing.
Were you at Love Saves the Day and used Ordoo? Send them a message, they welcome feedback. If you enjoyed hearing from Tom, keep up by following @ on Twitter, and definitely get involved with their Thunderclap campaign.
You are welcome to attend our ‘coffee and networking’ event on Thursday 16 June at Beatroot, and thanks to Ordoo, not only are we offering free coffee, but they are also running a Twitter competition at the event where you can win a week of free coffee!