Today’s interview with CenterEdge client, Zach Johnson of Rev’d Up Fun, will give you terrific insights to help you decide if building a membership program is right for you.
As we discussed in Part One of this blog series, membership programs could have the potential to bring in a brand new revenue stream for your facility. But do they actually work?
We decided the best way to illustrate program benefits would be to let a CenterEdge operator like you share his results.
Rev’d Up Fun is a 30,000 square foot state-of-the-art family entertainment center in Woodhaven, Michigan. This family-owned and operated venue features multiple attraction offerings, including Ballocity, axe throwing, laser tag, a ropes course, an XD Dark Ride, bumper cars, and a game zone, as well as a full-service food and beverage offering.
We sat down with Zach Johnson, Owner, and asked him to share his experience with membership programs and his plans to make memberships a key component of Rev’d Up Fun’s offering.
Question 1: What made you decide to offer memberships?
Zach: The idea of recurring revenue was appealing, and it especially is now. In thinking about the average person visiting a family entertainment center only twice a year, we wanted a way to encourage them to commit to coming more often.
We launched memberships in March of 2020, just before the COVID-19 shut down, and exceeded our sales goals in the first week. We closed until October, and then again in November until after Christmas. So we were thrilled that, right after we reopened in January, they immediately started taking off again.
It was good to see the community excited and wanting to come out. We originally had a goal of selling just five per week, but in actuality, we’re selling 10-15 per week, so we’ve raised the goal. So far, they’re doing better than we had imagined.
Question 2: What type of memberships do you offer?
Zach: We market our memberships as kids’ memberships with the option for parents to add one on when purchasing a child’s. The most popular that we sell are:
- Ballocity - It’s $8.99 per month and includes unlimited Ballocity. Members also receive a VIP membership card which gives them a discount of 10% off games and the opportunity to take advantage of some members’ only deals throughout the year.
- Luxury - It’s 29.99 per month and includes unlimited Ballocity, laser tag, ropes course, Spin Zone, VR coaster, and 10% off merchandise and games.
- Platinum - It’s 34.99 per month and includes everything listed in the other packages, plus a free kids’ meal, and grants them $100 off a birthday party. This is our most popular package, by far, and many members opt to pay for the year upfront versus paying monthly.
Question 3: What do you think is the key to a profitable program?
Zach: I think the most important thing is to include attractions or rides in your membership, but not upsells, like game cards and food. Our Ballocity attraction is typically $10 per play, but our Ballocity membership is $9, so guests immediately see the value. When they visit, they’re not just coming for Ballocity. They’re buying a game card, food, and accompanying parents also purchase food, drinks, game cards, and their own attractions. Plus, when you think about the average guest only visiting twice a year, we’re almost guaranteeing at least 12 visits.
Let me give you a few examples of this. One day last week, I saw one of our Ballocity members’ parents spend over 20 minutes at our DC Pusher game at $2 per play, which adds up quickly.
Our Platinum membership does include a kids’ meal, but it still works because it’s a low-cost item and, more importantly, kids aren’t eating by themselves. Parents are buying drinks and food throughout their entire visit.
Another father often brings his son and always purchases game cards for his son and himself, and buys at least three drinks every visit. We haven’t begun digging into lifecycle spend. But anecdotally I can tell you that guests are visiting more often, spending more time in our facility, and adding on other items while they’re here.
Question 4: How do you market your memberships?
Zach: So far, for marketing, our staff does a good job inviting guests at the point of sale to upgrade to a membership. We outline and offer memberships on our website, have signage in the facility, and team members will engage with guests they recognize out on the floor and suggest them. Also, we’re learning that our members bring their friends, and that sells memberships, too.
Now that the program is picking up momentum, we plan to start sending targeted marketing offers just to members using visit and purchase data from our [CenterEdge Software.]
Question 5: What’s next for Rev’d Up Fun’s memberships?
Zach: Besides the marketing we want to do, I’m looking forward to getting the new Membership Portal and have begun that process. Allowing guests to purchase and manage their memberships online is going to be huge.
I also want to get more into the data and begin to fine-tune the program. For example, we currently offer four memberships but we may cut the least-popular one to streamline what we’re offering. But at the end of the day, I believe that memberships are going to be the key to our success going forward.
Thanks to Zach and the Rev’d Up team, for sharing some terrific insights into implementing a membership program that’s meaningful for guests and businesses.
Be sure to check out part three of our membership series where we’ll be discussing the steps to building, rolling out, and maximizing a membership program for your facility.