Seat Serve is an iOS and Android mobile application for realtime in-stadium concession ordering and fulfillment. An end-to-end solution, Seat Serve allows fans the option to order both food and merchandise directly from their smartphone.
Additionally, the app gives customers the ability to track their orders in realtime. What distinguishes Seat Serve from other mobile order applications is its realtime functionality – the ability to distribute orders to multiple kitchens and runners simultaneously, while keeping the customer updated as order status changes.
Fast and Reliable Communication Layer
Early in app development, Seat Serve’s development team recognized the need for a realtime network to securely and reliably communicate between thousands of devices simultaneously. With any connected ordering application, realtime interaction is paramount to creating a real life, end-to-end ordering experience, from order to fulfillment.
Seat Serve first considered building its realtime backend infrastructure using an in-house, open-source solution. Despite having a capable staff of developers, Seat Serve recognized the potential roadblocks that would arise by powering their application using open source protocols and a custom-built realtime backend.
Rather, Seat Serve was looking for a data stream network that would reduce build resources and decrease their time to market. Additionally, Seat Serve was looking for an already built-out solution that would provide core realtime features that Seat Serve could implement, and plan on implementing as their app evolves.
Focusing on the Product, Not Backend Infrastructure
Seat Serve wanted to easily implement a solution without worrying about the backend themselves. The number of features Seat Serve desired also would have been problematic for their team, as they wanted to focus on their application itself, not backend infrastructure.
“Everything we needed was available with very lightweight code and great SDKs. We built our product from ground up using the PubNub platform. Every time we needed a new feature we discovered that PubNub already had it. This saved us an enormous amount of development time and allowed us to focus on creating our platform,” said Shay Dadush, Co-Founder of Seat Serve.
Up-to-the-Second Order Monitoring
To power their tight, realtime communication layer, Seat Serve implemented PubNub Pub/Sub Messaging for all realtime interaction within the app. This realtime messaging layer powers the order from end-to-end, from the moment a customer makes an order, to that order being delivered. Updates are pushed to the customer in realtime, keeping them in the loop from start to finish.
“Seat Serve’s order load-balancing algorithm uses PubNub to distribute and track order fulfillment by the stations or kitchens, and runners. In addition, we keep the customer fully-informed on his order status as realtime updates are an integral part of our fan re-engagement process.”
In addition to customer updates, Seat Serve also wanted a way to monitor what runners and stations are online and reflect any changes in realtime. Using PubNub Presence, Seat Serve was able to easily and efficiently implement this feature. This provides a realtime view into order and kitchen status for managers, providing them up-to-the-second updates of order fulfillment.
Why Reinvent the Wheel?
By implementing PubNub, Seat Serve decreased development resources and time to market. And as the Seat Serve application expands to more stadiums and event spaces, the application can easily scale to thousands of users simultaneously.
In doing so, Seat Serve can focus on adding new features and functionality to their application without worrying about building, orchestrating, and maintaining their own realtime backend infrastructure.
“PubNub saved us a lot of time without the need to reinvent the wheel. Once we realized that, adding only a few rows of code would save us boatloads of time. PubNub allowed us to be the only realtime app in our space and gave us an enormous head start on other solutions. And we figured if it was good enough for Coca-Cola, Amazon, and McDonald’s, it was good enough for us.”