With the holiday season upon us, it's important to make the most of the influx of customers you’ll realize at your family entertainment center.
While there will be more potential customers, there will likely be stronger competition from your competitors. This means you’ll need to develop a FEC business plan and prepare opportunities to maximize your venue’s success over the holiday period.
Here’s a guide on how to make the most out of the holidays and increase your bookings and sales.
1. Start Early
The holiday season is busy enough as it is, you don’t need any extra work to do piling up and taking you away from managing the business.
So, start as early as possible. If you have any free days, or some slow ones take time out.
You can hand out pamphlets around the community or put up banners letting people know your open hours across the Christmas period or any special deals you’ve got running.
If you can find anything you can do early look at some smaller tasks, even if it is something as little as prepping Christmas decorations or making a holiday themed music playlist, then do it.
While it may seem a little pedantic to be focusing on preparing even the most minute tasks prior to the actual period, you’ll be extremely thankful that you did do that little bit of extra work when you are in the middle of the holidays.
2. Stay Active on Social Media
You won’t be the only one busy in the holiday period, everyone is.
That can mean that potential customers may forget about your business, even if the opportunity for them to go presents itself. Don’t let this happen.
Stay in the minds of your customers and social media audience. Keep them up to date on any deals, show them any developments at your venue or just wish them Happy Holidays!
One way you can prepare even better with your social media is planning and scheduling your social media posts.
There are plenty of types of software which will assist you in creating and scheduling a social media plan to make this task a lot simpler.
Having your social media planned out will mean that you can remain focused on running your business while being consistently present on your social media platforms.
3. Create Offers for Your Products
Spread the holiday cheer by offering specials and bundles.
The holidays are often a very competitive time for business given the extra free time, with all trying to draw in as many customers as possible. It is important to give the customers an added reason to want to go to your venue as opposed to competitors.
Given the holidays have a family focus a good idea is to create bundles and deals around families, allowing them to make the most of their time together.
Having a ‘one kid plays free for each adult’ is a perfect way to attract families and enhance the value compared to what they usually would receive.
4. Stay in Touch with Customers
Keeping present in the customer’s mind is always useful for a family entertainment center, particularly in the busiest times.
As previously noted, everyone will be busy within the holiday period and your customers won’t have your entertainment center at the forefront of their minds. Wishing them a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays can go a long way to filling up your venue come the holiday period.
There are plenty of ways to keep in touch with customers, whether it be through email, social media or any way in between. When contacting customers, however, it is important that you don’t sacrifice a personal touch just in an effort to save time.
Automation of initial contact is great as you can quickly create a channel of contact with a wide range of people whilst still being able to maintain a personal aspect.
However, automation may not work as well through other lines of contact or even to replies on emails, creating a colder, less responsive brand image.
5. Offer and Promote Gift Cards
There isn’t a better time to promote gift cards to your customers. It is a perfect last-minute gift and will likely lead to more revenue than what was purchased on the card.
Selling the gift cards as the customers are still at your venue is also an excellent strategy as customers will have a ‘recency bias’ and feel as if your venue is better than any previous experience.
However, you should also have gift cards available digitally through online websites to ensure that everyone will have access to it.
To build on an online store for gift cards, it is important that you have a marketing campaign or strategies in place to build awareness and promote the benefits of the gift cards.
6. Create Christmas Themed Prizes
The prize room is a great allure to kids (and maybe even some adults) to keep them working towards a goal in your arcade room. Having great prizes set with a high enough ticket cost will keep customers chasing the dream of getting enough tickets, yet make sure they continue to spend time and money at your venue.
Through having ‘limited time’ Christmas themed prizes, people may feel the urge to attend during the holiday time to get their hands on the special prizes.
To ensure that this can happen, it is important to promote your new prizes through social media and any other types of streams you can communicate with your customers through, such as newsletters or emails.
7. Send out Cards With Holiday Coupons
A great way to stay in touch with customers, as well as wish them happy holidays, is through sending out Christmas cards.
You can couple these with coupons to give added incentive to the customer to return to your venue. The card will create warming and lasting attitudes about your business, especially for kids, and give them a reminder to come down to your venue.
To make sure that you can do things like this, it is paramount to develop and manage a database of your customers, having access to their names, numbers and most importantly in this case, their address.
If you aren’t already, setting up membership or loyalty programs, or just asking for customer’s details with their purchases, is a great way to do this.
8. Christmas Themed Food
When you think of Christmas and the holidays, you think of the food.
If you do serve food at your venue it can be a fun idea to incorporate Christmas/holiday-themed foods, not only further embrace the holidays, but give your customers new, unique experiences.
Bringing in completely new foods, especially if it is on a big scale, can be costly and difficult to source.
However, there are plenty of smaller, easily accessible products such as candy canes or Christmas themed cookies, which whilst small, add to the overall customer experience.
9. Extended Store Hours
With everyone trying to make the most of their time off, extending the opening hours is a great idea to attract as many customers as possible to your venue.
Having the wider ranges of times for your customers to choose from will give them greater flexibility and help you maximize the potential revenue from the holiday period.
One thing you can do to maximize the effectiveness of these extended opening hours is through having special events.
Events allow you to draw more people in and can be really useful when they are run through non-peak times of the day.
As an example, you could run Christmas Eve bowling nights or New Year’s Eve parties. These events also are better at bringing in new people to your venue then just regular promotions.
10. Embrace the Holiday Spirit
What’s the point of having a holiday season if you don’t have some fun? There are countless ways to embrace the holiday spirit and try to create a different appeal to the customer.
For example, you can play Christmas carols, put up a Christmas tree or hang tinsel and decorations on the wall. It might not seem like a lot, but to a customer, it creates a new refreshing experience.
Another way to embrace the festivities is through the employees. Getting them to wear Christmas themed clothes or just putting on Santa’s hat can be another way to welcome the festivities.
You should also acknowledge that your employees are giving up their holidays to work in a stressful time. Keeping them enthused and happy might take a bit more, so maybe think about giving them little bonuses, extra breaks or a free lunch.
Wrap it Up!
The holidays will be a hectic time and it is important that you keep your focus on your customers and business. This is a lot easier said than done in a time with so much going on and so many distractions.
Here at Embed we can provide solutions to simplify your business whilst adding to the overall customer experience.
Our emONE self-service kiosk is a great way to minimize pressures on your staff and keep customers happy with great automated service. At your busiest of times customers will be able to be served seamlessly by emONE whilst also offering upsells and increasing revenue.
In the holidays or any peak times, the emONE kiosk can make all the difference to your ability to keep the business running smoothly whilst maximizing your revenue.