As we settle into our new normal, there is a new set of rules to follow. You can no longer open the door and expect things to be “business as usual.” Research has shown that a new type of guest is emerging from the pandemic; they are more conscious about virus transmission and will not go to any businesses perceived as unsafe. While the family entertainment industry's overall foundation remains the same, many aspects of your business operations and service offerings can be reevaluated and streamlined.
As a business owner, your focus is how to save your business and restore its pre-COVID glory. There’s never been a better time to invest your time, energy, and attention into efforts that drive continuous improvement and operational efficiency in your business. Although each business model is unique, there are some key strategies centered around hygiene, safety, and communication that any FEC should use to move toward future proofing their business:
- Manage Cashflow: Improve your cashflow by controlling your costs, implementing cost-cutting strategies when necessary, and monitoring inventory of your kitchen and redemption station. During crisis, you can also reevaluate and negotiate your payment terms with your vendors, suppliers, and landlords, plus take advantage of any assistance offered to your business. Preserving your cash flow is the key to success in the new normal.
- Embrace Automation: Combat operational oversights with real-time reporting so that you can make necessary adjustments immediately instead of wasting an extended period collecting and analyzing data through manual processes. The automation of business reports is useful to operators because it highlights the path to success and informed strategic decisions in your overall business plan. Automation isn’t just a time-saver; it can keep money in your pocket.
- Streamline Communication: Being efficient and knowledgeable in the way how you interact with guests is one of the most important things you can do, not only for operational efficiency but also to build brand awareness and guest loyalty. You can easily market without an in-house marketing team by utilizing no-cost social media campaigns, on-site signage, and free industry-resources.
- Focus on Low Touch Experiences: Attractions like laser tag, bowling, and arcade games require players to touch items such as bowling balls, guns, and joysticks to interact with the games. While FEC's will never eliminate the hands-on environment entirely, each operator must investigate ways to reduce exposure in high-touch areas. Something as simple as changing to contactless gameplay and payment transactions can significantly reduce exposure throughout your entire location.
- Leverage Technology: Implementing an integrated business solution in your business offers countless features that help manage your business, control business costs, expand sales opportunities, and dramatically improve your guests’ experience and loyalty. Having holistic and in-depth visibility allows you to make business decisions that build your business, like fine-tuning guest packages, game options, and membership programs that deliver a better guest experience, driving return visits, higher average guest spend, and futureproofing your business.
- Prioritize Hygiene: More than ever, your cleaning procedures have taken center stage and our industry is investing more resources into elevated cleaning protocols than ever before (and cleaning more than ever before.) Creating a cleaning schedule can help streamline your hygiene regime and knowing what’s in your cleaning products can help keep your business from going up in flames (literally). Using non-toxic cleaning products, free of a myriad of toxic chemicals, can provide a longer-lasting, safer alternative for your guests, employees, and community.
To lead in the new normal, amid the constant flux and uncertainty, you are challenged to prepare for a future that is unknown (with unclear recovery time, although it’s certain that this cannot and will not go on forever). The COVID-19 pandemic will change the way we do business, the way FEC's operate - and Embed wants to help you lead the way so you can future-proof your business, today.
At Embed, we offer multiple solutions that can help your business thrive in the new normal. From contactless gameplay options to free creative toolkits that help communicate (via signage and more) the measures you are taking.
The opportunity is here and now. Don’t wait.