Win-win. Saving money while improving quality
CASE 1. SESSION BASED ATTRACTIONS
We changed the schedule of racing track, 5D-theatre and lasertag to session-based. Instructors no longer had to be present at these locations throughout their shifts, because we set up countdown timers for every one of these attractions. They open and close according to the renewed, automated schedule.
Before that, the Guest flow was constant, so instructors always had to be present on the platform. But in the post-lockdown period, attendance dropped, and that was not a necessity anymore.
Let’s take one of our most popular attraction as an example: Q-Zar (lasertag). One session lasts 20 minutes. The maximum amount of people on the platform is 40. These days, there are few people, and it is not reasonable to hold a session for just four or six participants. It is, after all, boring!
So, we made lasertag session based. A new session starts every hour. Guests arrive at a scheduled hour, and the match begins with a decent amount of participants. If there are newcomers by the end of that session, the instructor starts another match. Otherwise, he or she sets the time of the next session and leaves the platform for anywhere they’re needed more. The same goes for our racing track and 5D-theater.
Win-win: Guests don’t have to wait in line, and can spend their time somewhere until the start of the session.
Economy: this approach doesn’t save a lot of money, just a few dozen thousand rubles, but it is still a nice contribution to the whole reduction strategy.
CASE 2. AUTOMATED CASH REGISTERS
We bought some automated cash registers with functionality allowing Guests to make orders through the terminal. You’ve totally seen these things in McDonald’s, but they’re severely underused in entertainment industry. In an amusement park, these terminals are designed to sell entry tickets and food.
An automated cash register minimizes expenses on a second cashier. It’s a long time investment that is guaranteed to pay off.
Win-win: the terminals show a better record of additional sales than the cashiers. This is because a cashier can make a mistake in the script of the sale, while a machine will not.
The terminal also relieves the remaining cashiers and bartenders, and the Guests don’t have to wait in lines for too long.
Economy: one good automated register costs about a million rubles. One cashier costs the company about 80 thousand rubles per month. The math is simple: one year is enough to justify the expenses.
CASE 3. PERSONAL APPROACH
After the quarantine, our week-end attendance has remained pretty much the same, while dropping considerably on working days. We used to entertain about 500–700 people on working days; now we only have 150–200. This amounts to about 35–60 groups of 3–4 people having fun throughout the day.
During periods of low attendance, we’re leaving only 4–5 instructors instead of 12, but they are tasked with an additional responsibility: meeting Guests personally at the entry. The employee leads Guests into the playground, and if they’re first time comers, the employee will show the around the place, leave a phone number, and then return to the entry to meet the next Guests.
When there are few attendees, five instructors are enough to meet them all. If there’s an unexpected surge of Guests, the instructor signal about it in the corporate chat, and office employees take off their seats to help.
Win-win: previously, Guests would look around the center all by themselves on arriving. Now, it’s been substituted for personal approach. Thanks to that, Guests get acquainted with all attractions and special offers faster and better, and leave content with that kind of service. And we don’t have to pay for redundant instructors.
Employees have begun working with Guests closely. Prior to that, employees would often get caught up on the phone while Guests were waiting at the reception desk. Waiting for the employee to greet them, smile, answer their questions or something like this.
With personal approach, an employee gets to know Guests better. When contact has been established, it is less probable that employee will get distracted. When showing Guests around, employees always «high five» each other on the go, charging Guests with the feelings of hospitality, comfort and joy. It’s like saying: «We’re all friends here, and you can be our friends too!» The Guests are happy, as well as linear employees, because they’re having a much better time compared to routine.
Economy: I realize that in some cases, information about savings doubles, but that’s fine. To understand every separate case, I will be offering my calculations anyway.
We used to have 3 shifts of 12 employees each. Now, it’s 3 shift of just 5. The payroll budget of linear employees has decreased by over 100%, or by approximately a million rubles per month.
CASE 4. SELF-SERVING GUESTS
Some of our attractions (pool, roller skating track, bowling) are now based on self-service. Prior to that, Guests would have to wait in line to get, say, shoes for bowling. When the line dragged, Guests were discontent.
Now, they can do that on their own. We sorted the pairs of shoes by their size and just left them for Guests to grab. The same goes for the roller skating track and even pool; the balls and cues are just resting on the tables, waiting for Guests to take them up and begin the game.
Of course, self-service is not without fault: things are sometimes lost, broken or stolen. We use pointers and plaques with requests to remind Guests to bring the shoes and other paraphernalia back to their places. Every hour one of our employees checks if something’s wrong at all three of these attractions. Stolen balls and broken cues cost us less than having to pay additional employees (on which we used to spend 70–80 thousand rubles per month).
We abandoned two play zones — VR and shooting range — because they cannot be switched to self-service, and they’re too expensive for us to maintain.
Self-service at the shooting range is impossible as this is a hazardous attraction that demands the presence of a qualified instructor. Expenses are quite considerable as well: lead bullets cost us 25–30 thousand rubles per month. The VR is also expensive to maintain because of costly expendable materials and constant presence of an instructor. Moreover, only one or two Guests can be entertained at the same time.
Win-win: Guests pick up the necessary equipment and begin playing, which is empowering, neat and fast. Less expenses for us, more entertainment for Guests!
Economy: 210–240 thousand rubles per month on qualified instructors, plus 25 thousand on bullets, and another 10 thousand on expendable materials for VR equipment. Total amount of money saved: 245–275 thousand rubles per month.
Full list of related materials:
- 6 cases on wage fund reduction
- Sharing profit among employees
- Cutting expenses on food & beverages
- Total reduction. Series of cases on cutting expenses
- Changing work schedule
- Reducing costs for the equipment rental and purchase
- Reducing costs for maintenance and administrative expenses
- Ways to increase revenue