This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A Simulation Study to Improve Customer Waiting Time in Concessions at Jordan-Hare Stadium




Chen, Mengdie

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Industrial and Systems Engineering


Attendance of college football, as well as other live events, has been dwindling for years. To enhance the fan experience, many stadiums have been investing on renovations such as installing larger screens, and building bigger luxury suites to provide premium atmosphere. However, the importance of the food & beverage experience is underestimated. The SEC’s fan experience group has surveyed all SEC universities fans to better understand the importance and satisfaction of factors that contribute to the fan experience. Auburn University results (Auburn Athletics, 2019) show that the waiting time of food and beverage service has the largest negative gap between average importance and satisfaction score. To explore the methods of reducing customer waiting time at concession stands, actual data of customer arrival rate, service time and waiting time is collected from video recordings of 2 concession stands at 2 events, and is used to develop a simulation model that emulates the real situation. Then, scenario analyses are conducted to help concessions managers understand and predict how different staffing configurations, number of registers and queue design could impact the waiting time. The results show that a middle queue exit results in a slightly shorter average TIS than side queue exit. Staff role assignment and number of service stations will significantly affect the Time in System. If only 8 employees can be assigned as front workers, 6 Stations with shared server performed better than 4 stations with dedicated server. Also, separating the cup drink filling process from the checkout process will significantly reduce the average TIS for customers without cup drink orders, and will reduce the average TIS for customers with cup drink orders only if there are more two or more cup drink filling stations.