Category Archives: BES X

PROPERLY POSITIONING POST PANDEMIC PRICING

Restrictions are loosening as more of the population becomes fully vaccinated.  Centers are evaluating their policies on physical distancing, mask requirements, vaccine mandates, hiring and recruiting. 

However, one of the biggest concerns (and perhaps opportunity) that has emerged from the pandemic is the rising cost of doing business.  Higher prices are everywhere you turn! 

It’s all over the news.  It started with toilet paper shortages, now it is lumber shortages, fuel shortages, chicken shortages, car shortages, appliance shortages, staffing shortages, all resulting in supply and demand price increases.   AND, Consumers are faced with the same challenges on a personal basis therefore, they are anticipating that businesses will need to adjust pricing accordingly.

So, what about your center?  Have you evaluated your current pricing strategy and taken into account the rising labor costs, higher inventory costs, higher operating costs, higher EVERYTHING?   There is no better time to take a deep dive into the budget and make corrections where necessary before it’s too late.  Every center needs to be rethinking their long-term strategy.  

Some centers have opted to absorb the rising costs to avoid what they perceive will be push back from customers.   However, this can’t be a long term solution with the anticipated continuance of rising prices and shortages.  If your costs are increasing and your prices aren’t, then it is actually like you are implementing a price cut.

Positioning a price increase properly is crucial to consumer acceptance.  Here’s a few things to keep in mind when increasing prices:  

Emphasize the FUN and value instead of the cost/fees.

Price becomes secondary if the experience meets or exceeds expectations.  Utilize system games and features to kick the fun up a notch and increase the perceived value of the experience.   See idea below.

Show genuine appreciation and gratitude.

Feeling appreciated nurtures loyalty.

Be transparent

Candidly share the impact of rising costs to the overall experience.

Promote exceptional service that goes the extra mile

Make sure to deliver exceptional service to every single customer, every single visit.  Weave this into your DNA. 

Focus on convenience.

Customers expect it to be easy to do business with the center and don’t mind paying for it.  If it is difficult to do business with the center, they will simply stop doing so.

Promote quality over quantity.

Spotlight the quality of your restaurant and bar items and talk less about size and quantity, especially if these have decreased.

When price increases are determined and it’s time to put them into effect, another key factor is share with the team the key elements that need to be focused on for the most successful acceptance of the new pricing. 

Another area to look at when evaluating pricing is what is being given away for free…coupons, specials, deals and freebies.  Are they still necessary?  Have you tried to get rid of these things in the past but got push back?  Now might be the perfect time to reduce what you give away and put more money in the register.

When evaluating pricing, you should also take a deep dive into lane utilization and make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table.   Are you offering bowling by time?  Offering time based experiences provides a better guest experience, as very clear expectations are set.  If the center is running a waiting list and lanes are in game option, the undetermined lane turnover time can be a huge disappointment for guests waiting to bowl.  Plus, if 5 people on 1 lane take 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours to bowl a game, you are missing out on ¼ – ½ hour per lane of revenue if sold by time rather than game.  Why should you lose revenue when customers choose to stop bowling so they can take a 10 minute call for work or go take their child to play a video game?  The pandemic has made it easy to introduce time based experiences and is an easier way to control the circumstances and offer more efficient and more relaxed experiences while providing the best way to maximize your dollars per lane.  

Keep delivering exceptional experiences and adjust pricing when necessary so you can continue serving your customers for years to come.  Bowling is back and is here to stay!

IDEA:  Want to add a little more fun for customers?  Try routinely running Lucky Train during peak times. This graphically appealing feature is engaging for all ages and is a great way to get a little user generated advertising.   It’s simple, Go Live, Get Lucky!  If a customer gets chosen as a Lucky Train winner while streaming live, they get an additional prize or larger prize.

Go Live, Get Lucky Point of Sale Display  

Best Birthday Parties in Town

Birthday parties are big business!  They’re probably the number one group event that the center hosts, year in and year out.  Does your center have the reputation for having the best birthday parties in town?  Are your birthday parties exceeding expectations?  Is the experience your center is offering making it to social media for all the right reasons?  If not, it’s time to make it happen!  

With BES X, you can create a unique and personalized experience that customers are willing to pay top dollar.  However, you need to make sure your staff is aware of expectations and are executing parties properly.  Make sure you deliver the true value of your parties by showcasing the features you have at your fingertips!

To deliver an exceptional experience for all your birthday guests consistently, you need to start by creating the right offerings.  Make sure party packages are inclusive, easy to understand and offered at the right price point.  Shop around.  What are other birthday party venues offering?  What are they charging?  What are their reviews?  Be mindful of how limitations and restrictions are positioned, as a list of negatives is an immediate turn off. Remember that small celebrations are popular as a result of Covid-19 restrictions so don’t forget to have options for everyone’s needs.  Many centers have started offering an option for parties to be shared and recorded on zoom to allow for restrictions or concerns of some guests.  Definitely something to consider for additional revenue.

Staff is another key element to delivering an exceptional birthday experience.  Hiring the right candidates to delight your guests is always important but birthday party host or hostess, or as we prefer to call them, an Ambassador of Fun, plays a key role in the party success.  Personality should definitely be considered.  The best candidates should be fun, spunky and have the patients to serve children, all while being attentive to parents or party organizers whose expectations are to have the perfect party for their child.  Candidates should fully understand their job responsibilities and commit to delivering exceptional experiences.  This is a critical role in the center.  Be clear with expectations and provide the Ambassadors of Fun with the tools they need to deliver an over the top experience.

A child’s birthday is a very special day for the parent/grandparent/party organizer and if the experience is what they expected or better yet…better than what they expected price is secondary.  It’s all about the experience from beginning to the end.  They want only the best for their child.  By having a dedicated host or hostess, or Ambassador of Fun as we prefer to call them, allows the party organize to relax and enjoy the party too, while every single detail is being handled by the Ambassador of Fun.

Encourage host or hostess to come up with a signature touch they can add to the parties they deliver.  For example, balloon animals, a special game or their own birthday song.  With social media being such a great way to get exposure, how about having each Ambassador of Fun make a photo frame (of course including the center name and website) and offer to take a group photo of the party guests or a special frame for the guest of honor?  Parents LOVE sharing pictures on social media and this is a fun way to remind them to share the party with their friends.  How about a fun game of Bingo?  Encourage Ambassadors of Fun to create their own cards using elements of the party or even ways to get to know party guests.  Need a little help with ideas?  See our “Get To Know You” bingo cards and instructions below.  Use these as a source of inspiration or add your logo and you’ve got an additional activity for party guests and an ongoing reminder for guests of the great party they attended.

As you can see, there are many things that go into delivering a great experience.  What elements can be added from the lanes?  BES X has many features to help you create WOW Birthdays.  These unique features will generate awesome word of mouth advertising AND ways to increase party revenue, get spin off parties and increase open play by getting guests and families back to the center.  Little things add up to make a BIG difference. 

Birthday Welcome Screens – Personalized welcome screens set the tone for a great event.  Welcome screens can be a photo of the guests of honor or customized with one of 12 birthday backgrounds available in the BES X Marketing Kits. This is one of the must-haves for a great party. 

LED Color Effects – Are you using this feature for your birthday parties?  Especially when you have multiple parties at once, you can easily differentiate between parties by giving each one a different color.  It is also a great way to direct guests to the correct party.   

Birthday Photo Capture – This feature is available with Oceano, Fairy Tales, Prehistorica, Birthday, and Bowlopolis environments.  Take a picture of the birthday child and insert them into the fun.  The kids love being part of the party!  This is a feature that adds value to birthday parties and should be showcased on the marketing material.  This personalized service creates a unique selling point for your center and great photo opportunity for the parent to share on social media with their friends.  In fact, the Ambassador of Fun should remind the parent to be on the lookout for their child’s picture and even suggest the tagline.  My child made it to the big screen at (name of center) or something clever they can post with the image.

Monster Factory – Incorporate this feature into the last 15 or 20 minutes of party time (time may vary depending on how quickly the guests are bowling.  Allow enough time for each guest to build a monster.  At the end of the party, present each child with their take-home creation!  Character Factory can be incorporated into parties in the same manner for older children or adults.  Be sure to print each and distribute at the end!

Birthday Wheel – Keep the party lively by adding a little fun with Birthday Wheel.  This visually captivating feature chooses a lucky person at random to be a winner.  Prizes can be provided by party organizer or provided by center.  A nice “congratulation” bounce back voucher is always well received.

People don’t outgrow the desire to feel celebrated or special on their birthday.  Don’t forget to offer party options for all ages.  Everyone likes to have fun on their special day and bowling is the perfect activity that can be enjoyed by all.  Actively market birthday parties and make the experience one that will earn your center the reputation of having the best parties in town.  Take a look at your birthday party program…do you have room for improvement? 

We’re here to help.  If you need assistance revamping your party program, our customized Virtual Marketing Manager Program might the answer you’ve been looking for.  For more information on the program, send an email to VMM@QubicaAMF.com and let us get you on the road to securing your reputation of having the best parties in town!!

Get to Know You Bingo Cards and Instructions

This fun activity is executed by the AOF and is a great way for guests to learn a little more about each other and keep them entertained while waiting to bowl.  Selection of 4 cards and instructions are provided.

Ambassador of Fun Acknowledgement

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