The Family/Indoor Entertainment Center (FEC) market is experiencing intense growth right now and it’s not expected to slow down anytime soon. As an affordable entertainment option, as disposable incomes rise, guests are flocking to FEC’s in their spare time. In fact, the compound annual growth for the FEC industry is currently projected to average between 10% - 12% over the next 15 years.
What does this mean for FEC owners? First, it means the FEC industry is growing, which could mean great things for amusement centers across the country. Second, it means there’s more competition than ever before and small businesses need to maximize family fun and provide diverse activities in order to stay competitive.
However, in order to fund these new experiences and upgrades, you’ll need to increase your revenue. This can feel like a catch-22 where you need to make money to make money, but there are plenty of ways to not only grow but double your revenue without a large capital investment. We’ve compiled a list of 8 tips on how to double your revenue and set your amusement center apart from the competition.
1. Adding Upsell and Add-On Options to the Checkout
One powerful feature of online ticket sales is the upsell. Offering add-ons and upsells at checkout leads to higher average sales, often as high as an 80% increase. The best time to offer an upsell or add-on option is when your guests are checking out.
An add-on can be anything that’s added on to a ticket purchase. Some things to consider offering as add-ons are: a bucket of tokens, adding on an additional attraction, a pizza and pop combo, or a limited edition t-shirt. An upsell is when you encourage your guest to spend a bit more money to purchase an upgraded or premium version of what’s in their cart, thereby upselling their purchase. An example of an upsell would be upgrading from a standard ticket to a VIP admission ticket where the experience offered is a bit more expensive but offers a number of perks.
2. Offer Bundled Tickets
Offering ticket bundles could potentially be a huge moneymaker for your amusement center. There’s an endless amount of possible combinations you can offer with bundled tickets but it’s important to note that a bundle is different from an a la carte purchase. It allows guests to purchase multiple tickets to multiple attractions or add in food/drink combos to their purchase at a discounted price rather than purchasing each ticket or item separately.
The greatest advantage to offering bundled tickets is the increased revenue it brings in. Even though you’re offering your guests a discount, bundles encourage larger purchases and guests end up spending more on average than if they buy everything a la carte. Not to mention the increased traffic it can push towards some of your less popular attractions. Most guests won’t want to ‘waste’ money and will go to each attraction in the bundle which can help you spread out the crowds and allow guests to experience attractions they may not otherwise have chosen.
3. Offer Group Tickets
FEC’s are becoming more of a destination than a stop along the way. A great way to capitalize on this fact is by offering group tickets. Encourage large groups of guests to come in and book out your space. Host a ‘Kids Night’ or ‘Girl Scout Night’ to celebrate different groups in your area. You can even offer a slightly discounted rate for large groups.
A group sale is different from just purchasing 10 tickets at once since it allows you to offer a discount on a purchase of x amount of tickets or allow a group to book an entire time slot. This ensures everyone in the group can participate in each activity together, not to mention the incentive of a discount.
If you’re not sure how to set up group sales within Passage, here’s a help doc to get you started:
4. Use Subscriptions to Offer Annual/Monthly Passes
The fun doesn’t have to end when the day is over. Creating subscriptions for your guests extends the fun a while longer. If Passage is your ticketing provider, you have the option to create a subscription, flex pass, or annual pass. This affords you assurance that your guests will be returning as well as affords your guests the opportunity to keep coming back to work on their mini golf game or break the high score in laser tag.
In the case of an adventure park, subscriptions could be annual or monthly and will essentially be either a one-time or monthly fee your guest pays in exchange for unfettered access to your attractions. You can set whatever stipulations you want - such as subscribers are allowed 1 visit per week, can bring one guest, and are given access to all attractions.
5. VIP Upgrades/Upgraded Experiences
Who doesn’t love being considered and treated like a VIP? There are plenty of perks that you can offer your guests in exchange for a slightly higher ticket price. For example, you could offer VIP guests a reserved table next to the snack counter or a reserved bowling lane right next to the soda machine. Maybe a VIP package at your FEC includes extras like a bucket of 50 tokens for the arcade as well as pizza and drinks. Lastly, if you offer timed ticketing, you could offer VIP admission which allows guests to arrive at any time and have increased flexibility. Whatever perks you choose to offer, guests love to receive special treatment and are often willing to spend a little more on a truly unique experience.
6. Utilize Social Media Discounts
This feature isn’t offered by all ticketing providers (Passage does allow you to take advantage of it, however), but can be a powerful marketing tool. Essentially, it’s a way to encourage your guests to share your FEC on their social media platforms in exchange for an immediate discount on their ticket purchase. On your end, every share is a marketing boost that broadens your audience. On their end, they just earned themselves a small discount on their purchase; and we know how impactful a discount can be.
If you’re looking for more information about social media discounts, look no further than this blog post:
7. Sell Tickets Online and In-Person
For many families, an outing anywhere can be somewhat stressful to coordinate and plan out on top of getting all the kids dressed and in the car in a timely manner. In this case, being able to purchase tickets online allows guests to plan out their trip from the comfort of their own home and with less distractions. It also gives them the peace of mind that they have a guaranteed spot so they don’t show up and all the bowling lanes are full or they have to wait half an hour to start a round of mini golf.
Offering online and at-the-door payments is key - offering in-person sales gives guests more flexibility and online sales can be a lot easier to manage. Giving guests the option allows them to plan their trip ahead or buy tickets for their older kids in advance so they don’t have to handle cash, or allows guests to just show up and make their purchase at the door. The fact is, if you’re not selling tickets online you’re leaving money on the table.
8. Start Selling Merch
The fact is; if you don’t sell it, your guests can’t buy it. In the same way that most guests like to purchase mementos at amusement parks or on vacation to remember the fun times they had, they may want to do the same to memorialize the fun they had at your fun center.
This is a great potential revenue source for you. Not only do you receive the cost of the item, it’s also a marketing tool which may bring in even more business. If someone sees your guest wearing a t-shirt with your logo on it chances are higher that they’ll think of you next time they’re looking for something to do than if they didn’t see your name plastered on a t-shirt or cup or sticker somewhere.
That’s All Folks!
There are plenty of great strategies for creating a successful family entertainment center, but at the center of each one is creating an unforgettable experience. Not to mention the fact that much of those strategies have to do with what your ticketing platform is offering you - something we take very seriously.
Wondering if Passage may be the right platform for your family entertainment center? Take a few minutes to speak with our onboarding team to find out if we’re the right fit for you.