Nine hundred thousand guests pass through the gates of Djurs Sommerland every year. Once they have bought their entrance ticket, guests get free access to all the 60 rides inside the park.
Guests are welcome to bring their own food and have a picnic, or enjoy a tasty lunch in one of the park’s many restaurants, bars and kiosks. “We just want our guests to come to the park and have fun,” says Michael B. Nielsen, Director and Owner of Djurs Sommerland A/S, a large amusement park that is still family owned. “Then, we do our best so that people want to visit our restaurants.”
The park is open 100 days a year; every day during the summer season, and on weekends at the beginning and end of the season. Providing a seamless customer experience for such a high number of guests within a short period is a challenge. The park makes 60% of its turnover over just seven weeks in the summer. Everything must be planned efficiently to ensure optimal performance even at the busiest times.
With dozens of diverse eateries, ice cream shops, and restaurants, food service plays a big part in the park experience. When the management team at Djurs Sommerland started looking into implementing self-service ordering kiosks in its fast-food outlets, they had three objectives:
- reduce lines and waiting times for guests
- increase capacity of production
- improve labor costs
Today, the company has 800 employees, most of whom are seasonal. “We obviously invest a lot in attractions, but the biggest cost of running an amusement park is staffing,” says Nielsen. To make service faster for guests without having to increase costs, the company started looking into self-service options.
What they hadn’t anticipated was that COVID-19 would speed up the process. When the pandemic hit in 2020, it became critical to be able to limit crowds and reduce lines.
That year, the company was able to secure funding for the project and get it up and running. “We needed to identify three different suppliers for software, hardware, and EFT, and LS Retail was one of them,” says Nielsen.
Djurs Sommerland has been using LS Retail software solution to successfully run their business since 2004. The fact that the self-service solution would be part of the same system as the company’s current POS meant cheaper installation cost, which helped get buy-in from the stakeholders.
With LS Central, which extends Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP, companies can get functionality for retail, hospitality, food service, and bookings management within one software platform. The POS can be run on different devices, including self-service kiosks. “It was easy and cheap to convert the POS to use as self service. You can’t do this with most competitors’ systems, usually you need to install new software, which increases both the cost and time needed to complete the project,” says Nielsen.
The implementation was quick and smooth. “From decision to action, it took a very short time – when there were changes to be made, it all happened quickly,” says Nielsen.
Today, Djurs Sommerland uses LS Central to manage:
- Retail sales in the souvenir shops.
- Food sales in 20 food outlets, from small kiosks selling ice creams, snacks, and coffee, to large restaurants with fast-food and buffet options.
- Kitchen Display Systems. The company uses the KDS with bumping screens and kitchen printers to ensure that dishes are prepared fast and timely.
- Customer loyalty. The company manages season passes, offering their 65,000 members discounts on tickets, food and beverages, and rentals. Loyal guests can, for instance, get 25% off trolley rentals or 25% off the buffets in all restaurants after 2:00 pm.
With LS Central, Djurs Sommerland can efficiently run retail and food sales while maintaining all their business information in one, centralized database. Having one platform enables the park to offer their loyalty programs members offers that span across retail items, food service, rentals, and more.
Since implementing the self-service ordering kiosks in their fast-food outlets, the company has seen higher customer satisfaction. “In one of our food locations, guests used to queue for approximately half an hour. During this time they couldn't spend time with the rest of the family,” says Nielsen. “With our self-service kiosks, they register the order themselves, and can immediately go back to the table and wait while relaxing with their family.”
Other benefits the company has seen include:
- Increased kitchen efficiency – The Kitchen Display System (KDS) speeds up ordering and food preparation processes: orders are sent directly to chefs and relevant preparation stations, simplifying the work in the kitchen and ensuring dishes are ready on time. “We look forward to implementing the same functionality at our buffet restaurants, so we can keep track of how many guests order from the buffet and maximize availability,” says Nielsen.
- Minimized order preparation errors – The company can display accurate ingredient and allergen information at the POS and on the self-ordering devices. Guests can easily see which dishes are suitable for them and add or remove ingredients.
- Higher customer satisfaction – The company has seen a 9% increase in guest satisfaction in the three locations, as well as a 5-10% increase in sales.
- Simpler and faster ordering experience at the manned POS – While they offer self-service options, Djurs Sommerland also still offer traditional POS cash registers for customers who prefer to order with a cashier. “In the latest version of the system, we have been very impressed with the way menus are set up. You push a button to select a burger menu, then the kind of soda you want, the fries portion size: it guides you through the sale. Our staff really likes how fast and smooth ordering is on the latest version.”
Djurs Sommerland has more ambitious plans ahead, and they are confident that LS Retail will continue to support them in providing exceptional experiences for their guests through each step of their amusement park journey.
We’re very glad to have access to the sales reports and analytics that are in the back office of LS Central. We can follow what’s going on in the stores, and we believe this will give us even more possibilities in the future.