Are You Ready?
The presence of COVID-19 is still there but the focus is shifting to a more positive note. There is light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel. As the federal government and various states start to unveil protocols for reopening, centers are shifting their focus to preparing the center for a successful and well thought out plan to resume business.
COVID-19 has forced centers to look at many areas of the business that often get put on auto-pilot, such as preventative maintenance, deep cleaning, staff evaluation, customer experience, business procedures, marketing, etc. Today, we need to focus on delivering an outstanding experience and getting customers back into the center. Customers will want to know what standards and protocols are in place for their safety. We need to earn their confidence and reassure them that every effort possible is being made to maintain a safe and fun environment for them.
As restrictions are loosened and businesses begin to slowly reopen, it leaves centers with many agonizing decisions. Owners are struggling with state, local, and federal guidelines and economic impact versus physical well-being. Centers are torn between what they feel is the right thing to do for their business and how the public will respond to that decision.
As the preparation continues to welcome guests back to the centers, it is important to stay connected, watch what others are doing, follow social media and learn from the best practices and mistakes of others. Timing and messaging is extremely important to avoid negative backlash.
Some centers are emailing reopening surveys to customers using their feedback to form their decision on the proper time to open. A message of concern for the safety and well-being of customers should become a common thread in all communication. Don’t take it for granted that guests will know all the measures you are taking to provide a safe environment. Even when the center reopens, the customer is going to want to be reassured the center is safe and clean. Make it obvious. Post guidelines and reminders of social distancing, handwashing and other CDC recommended signs throughout the center.
It is important that the cleaning and operations standards are known by everyone on the team and the importance of adhering to them. Customer expectations are going to be high and an outstanding guest experience is crucial. If you are hiring new staff or bringing back existing employees, it is important that they all are fully trained to provide customers with a safe and outstanding experience.
As reopening is fast approaching, now is the perfect time to take care of some of the details that will make it less stressful.
- Train staff. Outstanding service and attention to cleanliness will be expected.
- Post guidelines and reminders of social distancing, handwashing and other CDC recommended signage throughout the center. Purchase or have printed. Order social distancing floor stickers, if using. Check CDC, OSHA and local guideline.
- Communicate with customers. Consider getting feedback on reopening to minimize backlash. Be sure to post opening and new procedures on the center website and all social media channels.
- Be prepared to address questions and inquiries from customers. Especially those on Social Media. Keep in mind responses should be timely, authentic, and consistent. And be prepared for any negative publicity regarding opening and have a plan in place to reply.
“Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude”
Be sure to visit the QubicaAMF Customer Resource Page and join our Beyond the Frame Facebook group for the latest discussions and resources. The Facebook group includes recorded webinars and recordings of the live shows featuring proprietors from across the nation candidly sharing their ideas, tips, challenges and best practices to help their fellow proprietors.
Here’s a few reopening best practices we’ve recently heard:
- If face masks are needed, consider purchasing customized ones with center logo. https://24hourwristbands.com/custom-face-masks
- Purchase sanitizer and wipes as soon as possible. Keep in mind these are in demand items and might be out of stock with some vendors. Be sure to keep a proper inventory on hand, as these product will likely be difficult to obtain for a while.
- Prepare your food and beverage operations. Find the latest OSHA resources related to COVID-19 https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
- Remember to check dates on draft beer and have lines cleaned prior to opening.
Be patient and remain positive. Bowling reimagined will be better than ever before and will be available soon! Have questions you are struggling with? Post them on Beyond the Frame where others can provide feedback and ideas.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there”
~ Theodore Roosevelt