Does cleanliness matter? It depends, does your business rely on customers? This particular topic has been researched to death, and the answer is yes.
I’ve been to 75 communities in 37 states as part of my career. I visit family entertainment centers and I can make an assessment fairly quickly these days. Here is one thing I know:
Older centers that are clean and friendly outperform new centers sometimes as much as 2 to 1. So what do you clean? Everything, let’s start with your entry way. Cigarette butts, faded or unnecessary window stickers, dirt in the corners, dirt in the entry rug, all set a bad first impression. And let’s talk about smells, mold, food, foot odor all score points against you.
Two years ago I was in a Florida community with six entertainment centers. Two were less than five years old, two were older than twenty years, and two fell right in the middle. I went looking around on a Tuesday night. Who did the best job? The oldest center in the poorest part of town. What did I see? Outdated games, an older laser tag system, bumper cars that didn’t have the latest features and lots of kids. By my estimation, the center was going to have an $8,000 to $10,000.00 night. Everything was immaculate. I saw a cyclone that was at least 15 years old, and it looked brand new.
Then I headed over to one of the brand new centers. You can guess where this is going but it was frustrating. This was easily a $10 million center. The bathroom smelled, the entrance had never been cleaned, the counter was cluttered and loaded with orphaned pieces of scotch tape, the staff wasn’t interested, and there were three people there.
The cost to keep your equipment clean is a fraction of the cost of replacing it. It still is a cost though. Can you afford that cost? Look at it a different way: can you afford not to spend the money on keeping your center looking spotless.
Who makes the decision on most visits? The better you understand that, then chances are the better you understand why cleanliness is one of the most important parts of your success.