Small changes to how your team interacts with your guests can make a big difference in how they feel, how long they'll stay, and how often they return to your family entertainment venue.
Whether you're opening a brand-new entertainment venue or expanding your offering, it makes sense to consider not just the attractions and design, but also the systems and capabilities you'll need to support your business now and in the future.
Your point of sale touches every guest and every dollar, so it’s a critical component of your success. That's why we're sharing these five scenarios that might suggest you need a robust facility management solution.
No. 1: Highlight compelling packages.
You already know that bundling attractions, food, gameplay, etc., is one of the best ways to enhance a guest’s experience. Guests who buy combos and exciting bundles feel like they’re getting more for their money, which can boost their mood and give them more reason to return. But selling those packages consistently doesn’t happen by chance.
It’s a good idea to routinely refresh in-store and digital signage, menu boards, and social media promotions to highlight featured items. You can create buzz around menu items and products you offer simply by moving them out in front of your customers.
No. 2: Approach upselling consistently.
Along with marketing, you’ll need a consistent upselling practice. Train frontline staff to offer a combo or bundle upsell every time. To do this successfully, it’s critical that the team understands the difference between each of your offerings and the benefits to your guests. I call this product fluency.
Besides product fluency, they’ll need the correct language in guest interactions. Prepare them with the best upselling verbiage. For example:
- “Hey, did you know you could save $5 if you upgraded to our All Access pass?” - low pressure, high perception of value
- “You could upgrade to our unlimited pass for only $8 more, which gets you $10 more in gameplay.” - helps them see the possibilities in a new way
- “I can add a laser tag mission for just $9” - assumes the sale, adds value, suggests only a small bump in price
- “Are you thinking you want food and fun today or just fun?” - highlights a secondary offering or feature and asks them to consider more time with you
Once team members know what to offer and how to begin conversations, remember that habit is key. Consider habit stacking to solidify the practice. For instance, combining the habit of discussing daily features, upselling goals, and target language with established routines like pre-shift huddles and team member check-ins can help make the new practice stick.
Give team members something specific to offer or upsell each day or shift. Think of it like “priming the pump for sales.” Bonuses, giveaways, and contests can be great incentives to show the team that you’re committed to celebrating their hard work.
No. 3: Invite repeat guests to become members.
Repeat guests love to be remembered and acknowledged. In the recent IAAPA Expo EDUSession, Building Powerful Membership Programs, Rev’d Up Fun’s Zach Johnson mentioned that his team members will remember repeat guests, interact with them, and invite them to become members. This approach to guest interaction means that his team makes it a habit to stay engaged with the people they encounter.
You might think it’s impossible to remember who you’ve seen before and when, but it just takes focus. As an example, I moved to San Antonio only a few months ago. When I travel out of the San Antonio airport, I park at a local favorite lot, Airport Security Parking. Recently I made two trips within a short time and, as I was pulling into the lot the second time, the attendant commented, “back again already?” It’s important to note that I’m not a member of a rewards program with the company (they don’t have one, a point which makes me sad,) and you don’t pay until you leave. So, the attendant had simply remembered something unique about me; whether it was my (nondescript) navy blue SUV, my cheery attitude, or the fact that I tend to jump the curb pulling in, I’ll never know. The point is that I felt elated that he had remembered me. And when I returned from that trip 10 days later and the staff jump my dead battery, I felt so connected and grateful that I ordered pizza for everyone in their office as a thank you. There’s power in making your guests feel like you care about them.
Even if you find it difficult to remember faces or names, that’s ok. If you validate waivers at the time of purchase or check-in, check for the guests’ last visit and welcome them back, perhaps mentioning that they might benefit from joining your membership program. These small interactions with guests can make a big difference.
No. 4: Put the game back in ‘game room.’
At the most recent Foundations Entertainment University in Dallas this fall, I had the opportunity to hear arcade expert, Nick DiMatteo, discuss ways to increase revenue in your arcade.
He mentioned teaching staff to think of the game room (or facility, for that matter) like it’s your own home. When friends visit, what do you want? You want them to have a good time. You offer them food and drinks, show them around, hang out with them and make sure they’re enjoying themselves. Take those same objectives into your role as facility ambassadors.
Train staff to be on the lookout for fun to be had in the game room or at attractions where it makes sense. Think about when you watch or play sports or video games with friends. Friends don’t let friends play boring games of skee ball by themselves! Have fun, and maybe talk a little smack to create some fun competition. When guests are laughing and having a good time, they’re creating memories and increasing their overall visit spending.
No. 5: Get personal in food service.
My husband and I dine out frequently, and we’ll often slip into a busy restaurant and sit at the bar so we don’t have to wait for a table. In a bar setting, it’s easy to strike up a conversation with bartenders and other patrons.
I love seeing and hearing about what others are ordering, and I’ll often be asked about my choices. Often, those conversations lead to trying new appetizers, craft beers, or entrees - or vowing to try something new next time.
Your staff should be intimately acquainted with your menu to offer upgrades or enhancements to make the experience better. It’s not about changing the menu (chefs, don’t hate me). Rather, it’s about affirming that guests are making a good choice on an item and offering your personal suggestions where they make sense. This could be as simple as suggesting ranch to accompany sweet potato fries (obviously), or to try the blackened chicken because it adds a little spice, or to choose a chocolate martini made with peppermint vodka for a seasonal twist, for example. The more connected you are with the guest and their overall good time, the better they’ll feel, the longer they’ll stay, and the more they’ll ultimately spend - a win for everyone.
What small changes to your staff interactions make a difference for your guests? Share them in the comments!