AMC Embraces Dine-in Cinema

By Robert Marich
   March 13, 2014—AMC Theatres has quickly embraced in-auditorium dining with the opening of its 13th such movie house since 2011.
   “Upon arrival at AMC Southlands 16 [in Aurora Colorado], guests can place their dining, drink and (if at least 21 years old) beer, wine or cocktail order on a digital tablet, which provides descriptions and pictures of every menu item, and pay at the checkout area,” says an AMC press release. “Guests can then select from more than 120 different drink options at a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine and head to their reserved seats in the auditorium. “
   AMC, which is the second largest circuit in the USA, offers in-theater food via its Red Kitchen concept, which was developed in 2011 with consulting from restauranteur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Square Hospitality Group (USHG).
  “AMC Red Kitchen emphasizes freshness, speed and convenience,” says AMC’s annual 10K disclosure filing. “Customers place their orders at a central station and the order is delivered to our customers at their reserved seats.” The 10K adds that AMC aims to “generate incremental revenue (that) differentiates us from our peers and provides us with a competitive advantage.”
   The number of screens at a location with the Red Kitchen service varies, but at the AMC Dine-In Theatres Southland all 16 auditoriums are available for full dinners. AMC owns the Red Kitchen brand name, which is derived from the red lettering in the AMC corporate logo.
   AMC also offers two other in-theater dining experiences at 11 other locations: the casual food Fork and Screen, and also Cinema Suites, which delivers gourmet meals to patrons in plush mechanical recliner seats. “Today, Dine-In Theatres represent 3% of our total theatres but generated 9% of our circuit-wide food and beverage revenue,” AMC’s 10K filing states.
   Dine-in theaters concept offering full meals has been around for two decades and in other countries, particularly Australia. Other circuits in the USA incorporate meals including Alamo Drafthouse.
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