It is now 7 weeks since the stay at home orders have been issued in our state and it appears that pretty soon we will be allowed to be open which will be great, but how we open will be crucial. One thing for sure, it won’t ever be like it was.
So I thought I would address some issues that we all need to think about:
What new procedures will we need to put in place both for employees and customers? More importantly, how will we develop these processes?
Here’s what I suggest.
Gather as many employees as you can on a ZOOM conference and create areas of concern. Such areas could be:
- leagues for summer as short as they might be or as flexible as they can be; continuation of winter leagues, getting ready for Fall, etc
- How can you get your core group of diehard league bowlers to act as sales people for you to build new leagues
- Think outside of the box. How would you run your business if you didn’t have a winter league and summer leagues, but just leagues of different lengths, sizes and flexible starting times? Just think about it
- Open play programs, I don’t think it’s going to be about pricing whether its 99 cents or $2. It’s going to be all about safety.
- Try to figure out how to get every open play bowler a bowling ball so they will feel comfortable not using a house ball. I have some ideas on that if you’re interested and the ball or the idea won’t cost you anything. Just call me (516) 359-4874
- Digital marketing communications
- The media. Rest assured that when you open, the media will be at your door wanting to know how you are keeping the public safe. Know that all it takes is one reporter to create a bad story for you. Go to the BPAA website and read about media relations.
- Sanitizing and cleaning the entire center– what will you specifically do that you can demonstrate to the customer; daily or after every lane is used and post on Facebook?
- House balls and rental shoes maintenance- Jayhawk is developing a bowling ball cleaner and even if you don’t want to buy that, think about how you will you keep those finger holes clean (maybe spray the holes after every party leaves the lanes and a new party starts).
- Food and beverage safe practices – delivery to the lanes only?
- Full menu, limited menu to start. Take orders when people check in so you don’t have to handle cash or credit cards twice.
- EXAMINE EVERY TOUCH POINT IN THE CENTER and how you can eliminate or “make safe” every one of those points
- Employee safety masks, gloves, how often to change gloves or masks
- Money handling (cash payments?)
- Hours of operation – when you first open to align with your new staffing parameters.
- Back end requirements – cleanliness and sanitizing tools and equipment
- Customer entry requirements – sanitizing stations; you don’t want to have sanitizing wipes on the settee area because they will get all over the floor and create slippery situations. Further, where will you source some of these new sanitizing products? Go to www.bpaa.com and check out the products they have sourced for the Smart Buy program
- Bathroom maintenance; installation of electric hand dryers?
I would then suggest that you assign each of the aforementioned areas to a small group of 2 to 3 people; some people may be on two or even three of these modules, and ask them to develop ideas and processes on how to meet these challenges.
Then regroup and go over each one, deciding on which of their “best practice” suggestions would work best for your center. Of course, there will be changes as you go along, get more information and receive feedback from customers.
It is better to start preparing now, so when YOU decide to open, your processes and procedures will be in place and you won’t have to invent them on the fly.
No doubt you could develop other areas of concern as well. Just be as specific as you can and remember, your number one job is to make the customer feel safe