How Green Acres Bowl streamlined the check-in process through Partywirks
Green Acres Bowl
Family owned and operated for more than five decades, Green Acres Bowl in Tyler Texas offers 32-lanes, a fully stocked snack bar, a drink bar plus games, entertainment and a pro shop.
Andrew Turner, General Manager
The Challenge: waiting times
After observing the check-in process of their customers, they found that a check-in line was discouraging for new and returning guests. With this in mind, they wanted to streamline the process.
They also noticed that there were long lines at the snack bar, which discouraged impulse food orders, because long lines often meant that people had to make a choice between food and bowling.
In terms of preparing food for their customers, they worked from historical data to decide how many pepperoni pizzas vs. sausage vs. cheese pizzas they should prepare. When an unexpected group showed up, that put a huge strain on their kitchen, plus it kept the guests waiting.
The available times for lanes or parties are all spaced apart through the admin area of the system, so that guests arrive at different times rather than arriving all at once.
Customers arriving that have booked a special event online don’t need to wait in line as long, because they’ve already paid a deposit.
Since customers have to fill out a custom-made questionnaire based on the information that we need from them, once they arrive, we already know who they are, how may are in their party, when they’ll arrive, what food and beverages they want and if they need any special attention like lane bumpers, for example.
To better coordinate with walk-ins and phone reservations, they require a one-day notice for online lane reservations. Partywirks tracks booking and constantly adjusts itself based on orders. Walk-in guests are free to book any of the lanes that are available.
Including food add-ons to their packages allows customers to pre-order food, which saves time and boosts sales. Customers can choose the options that appeal to them based on the pictures and written descriptions that are provided. It makes it easy and convenient for customers to do all their entertainment shopping in one place at one time.
They are notified immediately via email. Online order confirmations are automatically routed to all the necessary people. The orders are then entered into their Steltronics lane management system for use by staff familiar with that process.
“Our sales office is never closed. Get them to the website, that’s where the money is! Our guests love this option. They get the information they need and we get information we need about them plus their deposit.
“We see orders coming in at all hours of the day and every day of the week. Our phone simply could not keep up. Everybody wins when guests book online.”
“Advance information means that they can make sure that they have enough staff on hand to service the guest.”
“We don’t take phone reservations for credit card security reasons. We explain this to callers and encourage them to visit our website and book online. Because of the results we’ve seen, our goal is to encourage more customers to use our online system.”
“Food sales have eclipsed all other departments so much, we had to expand and are now looking at more pizza ovens!”
“With Partywirks, we know in advance what food has been ordered so we can prep for those orders. The results – less food waste, food ready faster and our clients spending more.”
“Customers love being able to book online! They were anxiously waiting for us to catch up with the rest of the world. Turns out many customers were disgusted, yes, that’s the right word, that our center was so out of step with the rest of the world. Turns out they were ready and waiting for us to get with it.
“Also, we know not every customer knows how to use online software or have an Internet connected device. I don’t mind that at all, when people call for help it’s our chance to make them feel special, to give them that VIP treatment, and they love that and so do we.”
“Corporate customers value saving time. Convenience is a huge benefit of Partywirks and a big competitive advantage for us with business customers. If we can get them in once, by being easy to deal with, chances are good we will have a repeat customer.”
“Advance visibility into customer orders means I can allocate staff more efficiently. Before Partywirks we were reactive, waiting to see who walks in the door. Now, with Partywirks, we know who to expect, and when, and can staff accordingly.
“Another benefit – this advance information also allows us to create 30-day employee schedules with a higher level of certainty. Better scheduling leads to happier employees.”
“We don’t have to hunt for orders. We’re never blindsided. We review every order as they come in. If we spot any issues, we are proactive which increases customer confidence. We are now in better tune with our customers’ orders and expectations.
“Customers arrive with a better sense of trust. When orders are processed & followed up on promptly our customers arrive with a sense that their order is going to be right.
“All orders are reviewed by a staff person. If the order does not include food, we call to inquire about their food plans. When we explain food can be delivered lane side, this leads to customers adding more. We have found consistency is critical and having all orders flow through one person has eliminated issues we had when too many hands touched an order.”
“One of the most powerful features PartyWirks offers is the ability to “ask” questions of your clients who are booking online. A series of questions are asked (your choice of questions), depending on the event being booked. The answers provided to us by our customers help us prepare for their event.
“Two questions that stand out are: 1. Have you been here before? – when we see a new customer has booked, we alert our staff. This is our chance to give that new customer a great first impression. 2. How did you hear about us? This helps us know if we are spending our ad dollars in the right places.”
“I knew within 90 days that PartyWirks was a winner based on online sales and customer feedback. I recommend a separate bank account for online business. This way, for safety, all online transactions are separated and you also get a truer picture of online sales. It takes one season to compare how we used to do it, to how we do it now.”