Getting your pricing right is one of those things that everyone struggles with at some point. You do and I do. Are we charging too little? Are we charging too much? What is the guy down the street charging? We constantly ask these questions, but the real question we should be asking is: “what is the value of our product in relation to other entertainment options that are available?”
So with that in mind and the holidays coming I want to share some thoughts with you about pricing
- I like to raise my prices this time of the year, right before Christmas week; on the weekend that the kids get out of school. My reasoning is: demand is high, supply is limited and Economics 101 says to raise prices. Not dramatically, but maybe $14.95 for comic bowling to $15.95 and then I include a $5 bounce back coupon which I email to them after getting their email (more data base names!) for their next visit if they bring 3 other people -4 people on a lane – or I give them a coupon for a free pizza if they bring 4 MORE people – thus 5 people on a lane.
- I also like to run the Kids Bowl Free 12 days of Christmas program which offers a free game with a paid game (BOGO) to my KBF summer kids and I don’t have to do anything. KBF does all the marketing for me. I do this for several reasons. The first reason is I want to grow my market share. There are only so many kids out there and I want more of them to come to my center than going to other competitive entertainment options. Second, I want fresh faces in so I can have an opportunity to sell them on a have a ball 8 week program in January. Third, I know if the kids come in, so will the parents and I will have another opportunity for immediate sales and the chance to sell the parents on an adult short season league starting in January or an adult child have a ball program.
- I raise my food prices by 25 cents to 50 cents where appropriate. Maybe hamburgers, chicken wings and other items that have a skinnier margin. I might raise my French Fries by 25 cents or add a supersize French Fries bundle in a popcorn tub and call it “Family Fries” for about $9.95
- If I haven’t raised my shoe rental prices in a while, I’ll look at and if appropriate raise that by 25 cents to 50 cents per pair.
- I will also develop an “All You Can Bowl” night program and charge $10 per person, sometimes including shoes and sometimes not, depending on the market. Usually I run this in the Sunday to Thursday 9pm to close time period and promote the hell out of it via social media against a 15 to 35 yr. old market.
- I also look for opportunities to raise my “family pack prices” which include 2 hours of bowling, shoe rental, a large pizza and a pitcher of Pepsi. If I’m at $49.95, I’ll look at $54.95 and then give the customer a $5 coupon to come back. Most of them don’t use it, but it soothes over any ruffled feathers. Those that do come back, well, I get another visit and a chance to sell them on an adult child January program.
These are not ideas that are cemented in stone, but if they stimulate you to think about your center’s pricing strategy for maximum revenue, than I have done my job.
Happy Holidays to all