Tag Archives: Lucky Train

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  

Is Your Field Trip Program Working?

Bowling or Bust 1

A great way to reach families is through daycare or school field trips.  Field trips offer a unique opportunity to introduce bowling to children in a fun environment and generates enthusiasm that will have Mom and Dad wanting to go bowling to see what it’s all about.

Wouldn’t it be nice to take the traditionally slow times and have them booked weeks in advance?  Wouldn’t you like to have a waiting list within an hour of opening for business during the summer?  Wouldn’t you love to have as many kids and families as you have during Spring Break all year long?  Field Trips can help you make that dream a reality.

Field trips programs work best for all involved when structured around time bowling and are most often priced per child.  It’s always a good idea to have options available that include a snack and a drink or a meal and a drink to help boost food and beverage sales AND to expose the kiddos to the great food available so they can go home and share with Mom and Dad, and even have a healthy option available to satisfy that health conscious parent.  Keep your offerings simple, yet have something to fit everyone’s needs and budget.

Infuse BES X into your field tip program and create an offering that will set you apart from your competitors.  For example, create a theme field trip program and make it routine to change the theme twice a year.  Create a monster theme, utilizing Monster Factory and create a field trip where it’s okay to be a little monster. The kids will be so excited to show their parents the monster they created which will most likely be granted a prime spot on the refrigerator art gallery.   Or how about an underwater adventure? Utilize Oceano and offer a fish stick basket for lunch or Goldfish snacks and “ocean water” (blue raspberry Kool-Aide) for a snack.  Don’t think field trips are just for little kids though.  Let those older kids shake, rattle and roll with YouToons and watch as they laugh so hard they don’t even notice how many pins they knock down.  Don’t forget to provide a group photo at the end so the group coordinator can post at the school or make copies and send home with the kids.


  • Keep it simple. Offer 1 or 1 ½ hours of bowling and have snack and/or meal options available.
  • Drive business where you need it most. Some centers offer a slightly lower price for morning sessions versus afternoon sessions in the summer time since mornings are typically slower open play times.
  • Make sure to give each child a print out of their scores or crazy monster/characters.
  • Provide a bounce back coupon for each guest. Make sure to promote it in all marketing material as an added value.  Remember, kids can be very persuasive and they can’t drive themselves to the center, you will likely get at least 2 shoe rentals and 1 additional bowling revenue for parent.
  • Create a fun atmosphere.
  • Play “safe” or “mom approved” music.
  • Utilize Lucky Train during field trips to generate additional excitement.
  • Select appropriate staff to work during field trips. The staff should have fun too…if they aren’t having fun, how can you expect the customers to have fun?  If an employee is bored, disinterested or disgruntled, it shows in their actions, body language and tone of voice.  If they’re enthusiastic and excited, the customers will be too.
  • Promote your field trips to childcare facilities, public and private schools, mother’s day out programs, homeschool programs, scouting organizations, summer camps, YMCA’s, karate studios, gymnastic studios and other organizations catering to children. Data on these types of groups can often be obtained from simple sources such as an internet search, going online to schools in the area or marketing lists can be purchased by Standard Industry Code (SIC).
  • Don’t forget that often times, field trips are planned for outdoors and in inclement weather, organizers are frantically looking for alternatives at the last minute. In your field trip marketing plan, be sure to include a Rainy Day promotion so organizers will never have to worry about a rainy day again.  Click here for Rain Check email.

By hosting fun, memorable events for kids, they will become your biggest promoters and best form of advertisement.  They will convince their parents to take them bowling more often.

Real success means giving ALL your guests a reason to return. Provide them with a unique, personalized experience that will have them sharing their excitement with family and friends and wanting to return again soon.  Provide great service, a fun atmosphere, a clean, well maintained facility, a smile and a heartfelt thank you and the customer will remember that their expectations were fulfilled or better yet, exceeded!  That amazing experience will have guests staying longer and stopping in more often and the positive word of mouth advertising will have others doing the same thing.  So, don’t forget to give your all your guests a reason to return!

Are you ready to turn empty lanes into cash in your register?  Then start promoting field trips and watch as more bookings come in and more families discover your center.

Not sure where to start?  QubicaAMF’s Virtual Marketing Manager program offers a full line of field trip programs and a variety of other promotions and programs complete with customized deliverables just for your center.  For more information contact VMM@QubicaAMF.com and ask about your free center mini assessment.


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