Upselling attractions can improve guest satisfaction and profits. At mini-golf, go-kart, and family fun centers with these attractions, owners and managers offer their tips for successful upselling, and describe their most popular attractions.
At Wilsonville Family Fun Center & Bullwinkle’s Restaurant in Wilsonville, Ore., Shift Manager Audra Harley said her staff is trained to give guests the best option or package based on their group size or their group’s ages. “It’s all about what would be the best fit for the customer. We want to exceed our guests’ expectations and give them the best deal.” Harley notes that to buy two separate attractions is more expensive at an individual price than as part of an upgraded package.
“We have our extreme pass and we have an upsell for that at $5.95, so when we’re explaining to guests, we tell them if they upgrade for just $5.95, then the attractions are unlimited. Most of the time guests do want to choose that option because our attractions are really fun and both are appealing to them,” Harley explained. “With our extreme pass, the base price for it is $33.95 and we explain to guests what comes with the pass. It comes with go-kart, bumper boats, miniature golf, rock climbing, sky trail, and a few more attractions including a $5 credit for the arcade. Then we say, ‘If you like, we also have the add-on for $5.95 and you get XD Dark Rider unlimited as well. Would you like to upgrade now?’” Harley notes that sometimes guests say no, and at that point, she or her staff members let guests know they can always upgrade later if they change their mind.
“Sometimes for birthday parties we have extra options available like special deals on arcades, such as paying $5 to receive $7.25 in credit,” she asserted. Other party add-ons include ice cream sundaes at a discounted price.
Harley’s most popular attractions to upsell are the fun center’s XD Dark Ride virtual roller coaster, and their zipline. “They’re our two newer attractions, and are most commonly the rides people haven’t been on. That makes them eager to try these rides because they think they look fun.”
In Cleveland, Ohio, Mike Pelton, manager at Airport Go-Karts said his staff is trained to present special offers rather than additional attractions. “We have give-aways that tie in to the fact that we’re owned by Car Parts Warehouse. Monday through Thursday, if our guests bring in a receipt from any Warehouse store, I’ll double their ride tickets for free. We also set up special occasions, such as a Mario Brothers night dress-up, where guests dress like one of the game’s characters and then receive a free ticket to ride and a free entry to win a Wii Mario cart bundle.”
Pelton and his staff encourage customers to take part in the special offers, and also upsell additional go-kart rides. “We’re just a go-kart operation with two different kinds of cars available depending on customer ages. So what we’re upselling are additional rides and the best way to do that is for our employees to look like they’re having a good time. That’s what works, and that’s our atmosphere.” Pelton’s park is open just five months a year, and last year’s visitation was roughly 11,000 guests. This year, with over a month to go in his season, the park is already at 12,857 guests.
Kendall Sanders, manager of Golf and Games Family Park in Memphis, Tenn., bases the upselling she and her staff perform on saving money for guests. “We sell all of our attractions at $8 each. We try to find out if our guests want to enjoy more than one attraction, because then we can save them money by selling them attraction passes, which are the best fit. To encourage upselling, we offer incentives for our employees as well,” she stated. “We have employee of the month, which offers a staff member a $50 ticket and free drinks for the month, for example.”
Sanders said each staff member has his own process for upselling. “I personally listen to what the customers are talking about amongst themselves, and if I hear them discussing different deals, I’ll try to offer them a discount on both. Most days we offer Putt Putt mini-golf for $8, but sometimes we have specials like unlimited Putt Putt golf and food and game room money for $7.50. I’ll try to sell that and the guests are usually pretty pleased,” she attested. “Guests usually do end up getting upsold, probably about eight times out of 10.” Sanders’ most popular attraction to upsell is go-karts. “We’re one of about three go-kart spots in Memphis. Our wristbands cost $35, and for that amount, guests receive four go-kart rides, unlimited mini-golf, bumper boats, unlimited spin zone time, $10 in game room money, and 10 minutes on our ropes course.” With a deal this inclusive, the wristbands are among the 40-acre Golf and Games Family Park’s more popular items.
At All Star Bowling & Entertainment in Tooele, Utah, Suzi Summer, director of sales, and General Manager Stephen Molloy train employees to upsell throughout their on-boarding training process. According to Summer, “We sell package pricing and individual pricing. When guests walk in through our front door, everyone knows how to upsell from their training and staff meetings. They present enthusiasm and excitement for the products we have. Over the phone our call center staff here in the sales department are also thoroughly trained on packages, and how to upsell them.” Summer noted. “Packages will save guests money over individual purchases, and they’ll end up having more fun for a longer time at a more reasonable cost.”
Apart from bowling and mini-golf, the main attractions that appeal to guests at All Star are laser tag and arcade games. “To upsell these other attractions, it’s basically about interacting with guests and finding out what they’re interested in doing,” Summer said.
In San Jose, Calif., General Manager Dan Kenny trains his employees at Golfland to talk about whatever product they’re trying to upsell. “And we offer incentives to both the customer and the employee, which motivates our staff to try and sell. Whoever upsells the most over a certain time period gets to choose from prizes like park tickets, movies passes, or Starbucks gift cards,” he related. “Upselling is usually always done at the point of sale. At any of the department registers, staff members can upsell food items, souvenir cups, or different attraction packages to help the guest experience be more successful. We’re a miniature golf water park so if they come in and purchase golf, our staff upsells the water park and vice versa. They can also upsell the arcade or the snack bar. We can convince them to get a one day package instead of a single round of golf as another option.”
With so many choices, Kenny trains his staff not to bombard guests with multiple upsells, but rather to pick one to sell to each consumer. “Our most common upsell is an arcade package. We offer discounted arcade credits with the purchase of games, and that’s probably the most frequently upsold, followed by a second round of mini golf.”
Overall, across the United States, upselling at mini-golf and go-kart facilities leads to bargains and fun for guests, and a higher profit margin for owners and operators.