Business Strategies: The Importance of Uniforms at Leisure Entertainment Facilities

October 17, 2011 No Comments

Like most employers, owners and operators of many leisure entertainment facilities support the unique characteristics of everyone who works for them. However, when it comes to attire, they favor a bit less individuality and, accordingly, mandate that staff members wear uniforms. While some employees may balk at the prospect of donning the same clothing as their co-workers, uniforms are an important component of amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, museums and similar operations because of the benefits they offer on a number of levels.
From a practical standpoint, uniforms can eliminate the risk that employees will wear to work clothing that they themselves consider appropriate or in compliance with a set dress code, but does not really fit the bill, pointed out Jerry Combs of Chestnut Identity Apparel. This is particularly helpful when it comes to younger (teenage) personnel, whose ideas about what constitutes, for example, “revealing” attire may differ from those of adults and, most significantly, guests.
Additionally, said Robin Hale, chief operating officer of the Toronto Zoo in Toronto, Ontario, uniforms can help to support a leisure entertainment facility’s overall identity and distinctive brand. Two years ago, the zoo replaced its previous employee attire with beige pants and olive-colored polo and long-sleeved shirts, plus three-in-one jackets in the darker color. Combined with work boots, these pieces lend the clothing “a ‘safari’ feel that supports the zoo’s safari-oriented brand identity, Hale noted.
Taking this one step farther, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., uses uniforms as an important tool for reinforcing the distinctly different identity of each area of the park, says Spokesperson Jennifer Blazey. For instance, employees staffing the “Camp Snoopy” area, which has a camp theme, morph into “camp directors” via their uniform of khaki pants and short-sleeved, button-down khaki “camp shirts.” Those assigned to the “Ghost Town,” a replica of a deserted town of the Old West, wear a uniform comprising pioneer-style garb. “We think of the park like a play, and the uniforms have a part in setting the scene,” Blazey stated.

“When employees feel comfortable and look crisp, they are more ‘sparkling’ in their attitude and approach to visitors.”
– Kathie Nirschl, vice president of human resources, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Calif.

Uniforms worn by staff members at leisure entertainment facilities also play a role in enhancing the overall guest experience. Kathie Nirschl, vice president of human resources at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., believes being dressed in uniform instills in employees a spark of enthusiasm about the aquarium, its facilities and its mission. Employees wear facility-issued, customized navy blue polo shirts; versions specific to men and women are available. Staff members pair the polo shirts with their own stone-colored bottoms; the latter range from skirts, slacks and trousers to shorts and Capri pants. Short skirts and shorts are not permitted, but employees who work in the “life support” area are allowed to replace stone-colored bottoms with darker ones because stone tends to readily show, rather than conceal, grease stains.
“When employees feel comfortable and look crisp, they are more ‘sparkling’ in their attitude and approach to visitors,” Nirschl asserted. She added that the scope of Aquarium of the Pacific employees who wear uniforms is very extensive. It includes all individuals who come into contact with guests, including those who work in the education, husbandry, detail, security, housekeeping and audiovisual departments; and those whom guests may notice, among them persons from the life support and facilities departments. Some administrative personnel also opt to wear the uniform.
In addition to enhancing the demeanor of employees whom they encounter, uniforms improve the guest experience by making staff easier to identify and approach. “We don’t want to force visitors to be inconvenienced because they can’t tell the difference between other visitors and our staff members,” Blazey said. “With the uniforms, we do not have that concern.”
Nirschl agreed, noting that uniforms convey to guests the message that we are here for them, we want to give them the best service and we are serious about this place. For us, the uniforms really are less about constraining employees and more about reminding guests that our priority is to serve them. That’s especially true for our first-time visitors, whom I think are immediately more comfortable when they see uniformed employees and know that someone is there who can handle their questions and concerns.”
Nirschl shared a caveat for leisure entertainment facility operators who are in the midst of selecting employee uniforms: consider comfort and color. “Employees aren’t going to be happy if they’re constrained by a uniform or it isn’t flattering,” she concluded. “Let’s face it, there are some colors, chartreuse, for example, that only a limited number of people can wear. We chose the navy because it’s a great color for almost everyone. A little thought here goes a long way.”

Industry News

International Laser Tag Association Names Ryan McQuillen Executive Director

The board of the International Laser Tag Association, the developer and operator association for the laser tag industry, has named Ryan McQuillen the new Executive Director.

McQuillen, who had previously been vice president of Sales and Marketing for Laserforce USA, will be in charge of managing the ILTA’s staff and operations. The ILTA, which has over 550 members in 42 countries, will expand its efforts to increase membership sales and benefits, and McQuillen will spearhead this drive. A letter from McQuillen to the membership and to the readership of Tourist Attractions & Parks magazine appears in the November, 2011 edition of the publication.

Industry News

KeyLime Cove Promotes Sam Zada to Director of Rooms

KeyLime Cove®, the popular Chicagoland indoor waterpark resort, has promoted Sam Zada to director of rooms.

In his new role, Zada oversees the housekeeping and entertainment departments. Previously, Zada was the director of guest services. Prior to joining KeyLime Cove, he held manager level positions at Chicago area hotels, including the Holiday Inn O’Hare, Wyndam Glenview Suites and Radisson Hotel Northbrook.

Zada earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi, Pakistan. He brings more than 26 years of experience in the hospitality industry to KeyLime Cove.

Back

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Sponsors

Belson Manufacturing Co.

Park and recreation outdoor furniture and equipment.

Brunswick Bowling

Entertainment bowling center developer and manufacturer of bowling equipment and entertainment products.

Friedman Group Ins.

Insurance for amusement devices.

Harris Miniature Golf Course

Design and construction of miniature golf courses and water rides.

Xtreme Inflatables

Repair and service for all inflatable products.

Amusement Entertainment Management (AEM)

Premier entertainment consultants.

Tube Pro

Waterpark tubes.

Ride Development Corp.

Electric floor, gas and battery-powered bumper cars.

Berk Paper & Supply

Concession supplies.

Family Fun Corp.

Waterpark walls for rivers, bumper boat and splash down pools.

Sacoa

Designed and manufactures PlayCard, the rechargeable debit card system.

Wapello Fabrications

Inflatables and portable amusements.

Store on Wheels

Importer and distributor of quality toys, lighting and novelties. Cater to the amusement, retail and entertainment industries.

Water Wars (T&D Enterprises of Brainerd)

Water Wars water balloon game, portable or startionary.

Namco

Namco America is a premier manufacturer of coin-op arcade attractions, ranging from the hottest titles like Crazy Typhoon and Jumpin’ Jackpot to classic game-room experiences such as the Pac-Man 25th Anniversary upright that features Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. Specialized pieces such as Wonka Sweetland and Flamin Finger are favorites too! For arcade gaming fun, Namco America is your answer.

Barron Games

Redemption air hockey games.

Fast Corp Vending

Frozen food vending machines

Deltronic Labs Inc.

Ticket dispensers.

Wisdom Industries, Ltd.

Amusement ride manufacturer, new and used rides.

Adventure Golf

Miniature golf courses, consultants, architecture and design.

Spectrum Sports

Climbing walls, ropes courses, go-karts and more.

Klopp International, Inc. (Playmeter)

Quality coin counters and sorters.

Tear Repair

Tear-Aid industrial strength patches to repair holes and tears.

SnowMasters

Evaporative snow systems.

Omega Carpets

Printed carpeting for all your facility needs.

Challenger Industries

Sports surfaces, carpets and mini-golf surfaces.

Precision Dynamics (PDC)

Wristbands with no hidden costs, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Wristband System.

Birthday University

Concept development, training and birthday party touring seminars.

See Coast Manufacturing Co., Inc.

Coin-operated binoculars and telescopes.

Price Chopper, Inc. Wristbands

Admission, financial equipment and wristbands.

Center Edge Software

Facility Management Software Solutions

Thomco Insurance (Fun Pro)

Fun Pro is an insurance program especially designed for party planners and party rental businesses.

Beckman Insurance Agency

Amusement attractions insurance.

Jane Farrell Turf and Carpets, Inc.

Commercial carpet, printed and decorative patterns, loop and cut-pile construction. Wall coverings in fluorescents, Class A fire rated. Colored turf, both traditional and neon colors.

GloCones

Flashing cotton candy cones.

Playsmart

Patented soft play design, soft playgrounds.

Quik N\’ Crispy (QNC)

Quik n’ Crispy greaseless fryer.

Splashtacular

Manufacturer of waterslides

Safari Ltd.

Leading manufacturer of innovative educational toys.

Chestnut Identity Apparel

Uniform supply, embroidered apparel and flag manufacturing.

West Coast Netting, Inc.

Experienced netting manufacturer on the leading edge of innovation.

Weldon, Williams & Lick

Admission systems and wristband ticketing.

International Special Events (ISERA)

Risk purchasing group, a better way to purchase liability insurance, specializing in inflatables and much more.

Gold Medal Products Co.

Concession equipment, foods and beverages, popcorn, pretzels and snack foods.

Gerber Manufacturing, Ltd.

Outdoor furniture, benches, picnic tables and grills.

Formula K Raceways

Go-karts, kiddie cars and bumper boats, go-kart parts and tires.

National Rock & Sculpture

Dedicated to the conceptual design and development of themed environments.

Knight Equipment

Drive cables for ferris wheels, Tilt-A-Whirls, Rock-O-Planes and many others.

Spectrum
LMap Powered by Silvercrest
Extreme Engineering
Funovation
Rebound Unlimted, Inc.
Embed
LAIGames