Let's take a look at a situation that we’ve seen happen time and time again, and one that can easily be avoided! A new Laser Tag centre opens and is a hit! The owners chose a good location, well designed arena and had a strong launch. However, a few months after opening, numbers start to stagnate, then drop. In most instances this is due to a failure to recognize and appreciate the intricacies of a Laser Tag Centre’s customer base. As well as build systems in a way that encourages repeat business.
By acknowledging the different requirements of the diverse groups that frequent Laser Tag centres, you can plan to meet each and everyone of those groups before you even start to build the centre! It’s far easier and more cost-effective to plan in advance and avoid the six month slump, completely than try to rectify the situation as income and profits start to slide.
Imagine this scenario; your laser tag business is open. Customers hear about your new centre far and wide, a great success! Customers book weeks in advance, they love the game, they love your centre! Great stuff! You made all the right decisions, good location, well designed arena and had a strong launch. However, a few months after opening, numbers start to stagnate, then drop. You expected a slight decline, but not this much! 16 months later, booking numbers have dropped drastically as have your profits! So what happened?
Alas income drop off is very common in new entertainment businesses, once the hype dies down, so do the incoming customers. But this trend can be mitigated and avoided. Let's do a quick comparison between two hypothetical 18 vest sites after 16 months of operation, one who implemented a successful growth and retention strategy for the long term, the other, who didn’t, and focused too much on the right now.
Now to understand how to avoid or mitigate income drop-off you need to know your customers, there are two main groups of diversification within Laser Tag customers that successful centres should cater to. Ensuring that neither group of customers ‘give up’ on the Laser Tag Centre. A successful centre ensures that it continues to generate word of mouth marketing, from happy, soon to be repeat customers. This is by far the most effective force of marketing, how much more do you trust the coffee shop your friend recommended, over the one a pre roll ad on Youtube told you too?
Family Entertainment Centres normally have two groups of customers, weekend and weekday. It is imperative that you are catering to both these groups in your centres to ensure that after the launch hype fades away you still have steady customers and income.
The best way to ensure operations continue to succeed months after launch is to create dedicated repeat players. These customers will then return during the weekday afternoons and evenings when it is quieter.
Beneath, we've highlighted the average, non holiday foot fall at centres, which clearly highlights the increase in foot fall across the back half of the week. This should be a clear indicator of why you should need to put effort into the Monday-Friday trade, if you can double that footfall, while keeping your weekend up, your revenue will increase dramatically!
The majority of business for Family Entertainment Centres occurs in the weekends. Having a great pre-booking system such Roller POS will allow for your staff to prepare ahead and be ready for the day. It is key that while you are at your busiest that the Laser Tag attraction still runs smoothly and efficiently.
There are multiple scenarios that commonly occur on the weekend, including:
pre-booked birthday parties.
customers walking in to play Laser Tag
customers already in the Entertainment Centre choosing to add Laser Tag to their planned day.
Customers entering the Entertainment Centre and choosing to play Laser Tag due to a combo deal with another attraction.
Weekend Birthday Parties
Birthday parties are a key income maker for Laser Tag Centres and can be up to 60% of your customers. These can be in combination with other attractions in the Entertainment Centre, or for Laser Tag by itself.
Normally birthday parties are pre-booked with a few options for the customer to choose from. These options can include: how many games are played, catering, birthday cake, party bags, and party rooms. Within a Family Entertainment Centre you have the ability to make combo birthday options or add-ons of other attractions for discounts on the day.
Weekday customers are your dedicated Laser tag players. They normally are between 16-30 years old, have their own transport, have played many times before, and want to improve their skills of the game. These players respond well to events as well as a membership system and leagues. It is important that you have a variety of game options available for them, to ensure that they are not playing the same game over again and again.