NEW YORK — The New York Mets and Aramark, the food and beverage provider for Citi Field and eight other MLB ballparks, announced on Monday a collaboration with CLEAR, the secure identity company that uses biometrics to build a frictionless and secure world, and Mashgin, a creator of self-checkout kiosks that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to scan multiple items at once, to transform the concessions experience at Citi Field. As part of this ground-breaking pilot, fans can grab snacks and beverages from the Walk Thru Bru express self-checkout kiosk, complete their purchase with a single touch, and be on their way in seconds.
Aramark is the first concessionaire to pilot this fully-automated experience, which combines Mashgin’s AI-powered self-checkout kiosk and CLEAR’s biometric identity platform to create a truly frictionless fan experience. Making a purchase is as simple as:
- Choosing your items
- Putting them on the Mashgin unit for scanning
- Placing your fingers on the fingerprint reader
- CLEAR charges the items selected to the credit card on file, and you’re on your way
When items placed on the unit also include an alcoholic beverage, CLEAR simultaneously verifies that the member is of legal drinking age before completing the transaction. The combined experience allows fans to get what they need quickly and easily while providing venue and concession operators with a more reliable and secure way to do age-verification. (Note: An Aramark customer service representative will continue to be stationed at the stand to assist guests and enforce service policies.)
“As an industry leader, we’re continually researching innovative ways to utilize digital technology to create a more streamlined, convenient and frictionless process that allows fans to purchase food faster and get back to their seats,” said Carl Mittleman, President of Aramark’s Sports & Entertainment Division. “The fully-automated self-checkout we’re testing with the Mets, CLEAR and Mashgin is just the latest example of us working to transform the in-venue dining experience and delivering solutions that meet the needs and preferences of our clients and guests.”
“Enhancing the game experience for our fans remains a priority, and this innovative solution will help further their experience while at Citi Field,” said Mets Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer Lou DePaoli. “We appreciate the innovation, flexibility, and partnership which will allow us to be the first ballpark utilizing these digital technologies across the ticketing, security, and concession platforms for our fans.”
Located behind Section 130, the fully-automated Walk Thru Bru is available to CLEAR members at all remaining home games this regular season. For fans who are not members, CLEAR Ambassadors will be onsite to assist with free enrollment, which can be used immediately.
“The New York Mets are terrific partners because they are committed to enhancing every aspect of the fan experience, from gate-to-seat and beyond,” said Ed O’Brien, CLEAR’s Head of Sports. “We’re excited to be working with the Mets, Aramark, and Mashgin to reimagine the concessions experience so fans get what they want quickly and easily and get back to their seats without missing any of the action on the field.”
CLEAR is changing the way consumers experience the world by transforming the cards in their wallets, as well as other forms of identification and payment, into a single biometric ID. Earlier this season, CLEAR and the Mets began to pilot an all-in-one entry experience at the Jackie Robinson Rotunda gate that enables members to enter Citi Field using their face as their ticket and move through physical security screening while barely breaking stride. The combined solution provides fans with a faster, less intrusive, and secure way into the ballpark. With the introduction of the CLEAR-powered self-checkout kiosk, Citi Field is the first ballpark to provide fans with a completely frictionless gate-to-seat experience.
“Aramark and the Mets are constantly innovating to push the fan experience forward for the loyal fans at Citi Field so we are excited to partner with them to launch this combined offering for the first time in all of sports,” said Ben Miller, Mashgin’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Integrating CLEAR’s best-in-class capabilities into the Mashgin automated kiosk adds tremendous value to round out the next-generation experience we are building and offers unparalleled speed and convenience to the fans.”
The integration of CLEAR’s and Mashgin’s innovative biometric and Artificial Intelligence technologies, respectively, brings together two proven, user-friendly options already in use at Citi Field. At the start of the MLB season, Aramark deployed Mashgin units across its ballpark portfolio, including Citi Field, as part of a new grab-and-go beverage market concept.
CLEAR initially launched biometric concessions at CenturyLink Field and T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, which marked the first time that a person’s biometrics replaced both ID for age validation and a credit card for payment in the United States. The company also won a SXSW Interactive Innovation Award for the experience, which according to the judges, is “redefining the exchange of goods and services.”