SSA and Denver Zoo Offer Guests a New and Safer Way to Shop and Dine

Due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, consumer expectations have shifted and evolved. A recent survey conducted by Shekel, shows that 87% of shoppers prefer to shop in stores with touchless shopping options and more than 70% of shoppers are using touchless shopping options when given the choice.

“With our cultural attraction partners beginning to reopen, we knew we had to make a comprehensive change to how we operate our food and retail locations to ensure we’re satisfying customers’ needs for safety and convenience. Our goal was to remove as many human touchpoints across the end-to-end customer shopping experience as possible. We know by introducing touchless shopping, we are offering our customers a more efficient and streamlined experience now and in the future. And, with SSA’s strategic focus on technology and innovation, this was a natural fit for our expertise.” Travis Kight, Chief Culinary Officer for SSA Group.

SSA Group (SSA), historically known as KM Concessions, Inc. was able to utilize existing technology to quickly launch a touchless retail shopping and dining experience at one of its long-standing partner locations, Denver Zoo. Currently this is the only institution in SSA’s portfolio to offer this dual experience.

The two organizations have leaned on one another for over 40 years to curate, activate and evolve the guest experience and today it’s no different. As a pillar in the community and after weeks without visitors, Denver Zoo’s reopening strategy focused on ensuring that all food and retail experiences were safe, smart, innovative and powered by technology.

Guests can access mobile ordering and shopping through the Denver Zoo mobile app or by scanning QR codes that are displayed throughout the Zoo. This service is available at all four restaurants as well as the gift shop. Ordering starts with the scan of a QR code to allow customers to quickly access online stores and menus. Items are selected and paid for through an online system and the customer receives a text message notification when their order is ready for pick up. Items are picked up in a designated, isolated location with limited human contact. This new shopping experience extends safety precautions to not only customers but also employees working at food and retail locations.

“As we planned our reopening, we had to reimagine every aspect of our operations, from how tickets are purchased to the on-site guest experience,” said Amber Christopher, Senior Vice President for Guest Experience and Campus Management for Denver Zoo. “We relied heavily on SSA and our other trusted partners to help us create a safe, healthy environment for our employees, guests and animals, and we’re grateful for their efforts through this process.”

“We are excited about the initial traction we are seeing with touchless shopping at Denver Zoo. In just one week, adoption of mobile ordering for food and beverage sales increased from 33% to 40%. At the end of the day, we know we can’t grow unless we evolve, and as a privately-owned company, we are nimble and quick in driving forward what comes next in guest experience.” Stephanie Turner, General Manager for SSA Group at Denver Zoo.

Touchless shopping is just one way SSA has put safety at the forefront for our partners, guests and employees. SSA has created a dedicated group – the SSAfetyFirst Taskforce – responsible for ensuring the safety of guests and employees across all aspects of SSA’s business. To learn more about the steps SSA is taking to ensure the safety of partners, guests and employees visit our safety page.

Touchless Shopping