TAP eNewsletter Original Story
Industry Perspectives: Making Food Sales Great
How do family fun centers, laser tag, bowling centers, and aquariums make their food sales great? Diverse venues nationwide share their tips.
At Laserport in Beaverton, Ore., new Owner Chad Cromwell, who took over the facility a year ago, has some strong opinions. “Currently our best-selling items are pizza, Taco Tuesday tacos, and traditional hamburgers and hot dogs. Fun and classic foods are what sell best.” But while his menu hasn’t changed in 2016, Cromwell plans to make extensive changes within the next year. “I’m looking to add to the food we offer and make the menu a little less fast-food, and healthier. We’re going to add some new salads, and look at food such as salmon, steaks, and filets.” Cromwell says he’s seeking to provide a “nice ambiance for adults, while still allowing the kids to enjoy themselves.”
To sell more food, Cromwell offers these tips: “Simplify your menu. Keep the top 10 traditional foods that kids love, but bring on some more cooks, quality cooks, so you can also offer items like demi-glazed salmon. That way parents can bring their kids to a fun center and still have a good dinner while the kids enjoy themselves.”
In Orem, Utah, Jim Muir, manager of Nickel City, said his best-selling food items are chicken barbecue pizza and a fully loaded Supreme pizza. “Pizza is pretty much all we sell, and it’s something our guests really love, and even come in specifically to eat,” he related. “We also do well with Cool Beads, which is ice cream similar to Dipping Dots.” His pizza selection includes plain cheese, pepperoni, and a meat-lovers combo pizza. Muir says to sell more of any food item, the key is serving freshly-made food. “We make our pizza to order. We don’t pre-make it and let it sit out for an hour and serve slices. We have just two sizes, personal and large. Made to order food is the way to sell more.” He also promotes the pizza on his Facebook page. There were no new items added to Muir’s menu in 2016. “Our idea is to keep it basic and do it well when it comes to food.”
Ann Colianno, manager of family-run Scooters in Bullhead City, Ariz., has more variety on her menu, but also calls pizza her best-seller. “We make our own sauce and our own dough. It’s not commercial, it’s made to order right here, and it doesn’t sit under a heat lamp,” she asserted. Another top seller are six-foot-long subs, which Scooters prepares for parties and groups. To sell more of these and other food items, Colianno advertises on her Facebook site and her website, and combines these food offerings with the games and activities the center offers. “We frequently offer combo packages such as a round of golf and a large one topping pizza, that type of thing. Combining food items in packages definitely increases food sales,” she reported. Colianno has not added any new menu items in 2016. “We’ve been consistent with our food items for the past ten years. What we offer sells well.”
Elsewhere in Arizona, at Glenfair Lanes in Glendale, Ariz., Marketing and General Manager Marissa Lucero and her mother, Owner Cindy Lucero, also post information about their food items on Facebook to improve sales and interest. “If we run specials, such as my mother’s homemade enchiladas, we do publicize that,” Lucero explained. “We promote all of our food in our facility as well, on menu boards and table toppers. That type of promotion works very well for us, because we already have people right here; we’re just informing them so they’ll be interested in what we serve.” Her best-selling items include pizza “because it’s really the easiest for families to share and eat, it’s a go-to item.” Other popular choices are a Philly cheese steak and a third-pound Bowler Burger with cheese. Mozzarella sticks are also a big hit. Lucero had no new menu items in 2016. “Classics do well for us,” she noted.
At the Downtown Aquarium in Houston, Texas, Kitchen Manager Jose Torres said the best way to sell more food items is to provide good food to guests. “Quality and good flavor are the best ways to sell more food. People will want to eat well-prepared food.”
Torres’ best-selling items are seafood. “We do very well with salmon, snapper, redfish, flounder, and grouper for adults. For the kids, we have a different menu with tilapia as well as more standard fare such as hot dogs, grilled chicken, and pizza.” In 2016, Torres did add new menu items. “We just recently added a New England menu that includes risotto, pasta, a salmon dish, and flounder. They’re all doing very well for us.”
Overall, keeping food fresh and offering options that adults and children alike enjoy are key to making and keeping food sales great.
A Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine eNewsletter Summary:
The September/October 2016 Issue
The September/October print edition of Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine contained major news on the start of the busy fall trade show season, including a look at some of the top industry vendors.
Also included: a special focus on waterparks, trampoline safety, and entertainment centers, as well as coverage of the Bowl Expo, and a new AAMA section on arcade trends.
The Amusement Park Report covered “Crowd Control – How to Keep Parks Safe and Well Organized – From Food to Rides,” discussing how parks stay organized through advanced guest services. A bonus sidebar offered “ Five Tips to Streamline Park Operations.”
In The Large Park Report the ways in which Disney and Universal are defining waterparks’ future was discussed in “What’s the Future of Waterparks in the Large Parks?”
The Waves section featured “Riding High – New Waterpark Attractions” that have been developed to impress and amaze guests at new resorts and renowned older locales.
“A Best Bet for Fun in Biloxi – Margaritaville’s Fun Center Offers the Cloud Coaster and Much More” was the subject of the Resort Profile, detailing family fun at Margaritaville in Biloxi, Miss.
In The Buzz Boyz section, “2016 Analysis: The First Six Months Concludes with a Successful Bowl Expo.” The story featured information on why the Bowl Expo was an industry direction-changing event.
The new AAMA Section included an introduction by AAMA’s Executive Vice President Peter Gustafson, with a feature on “Arcade Trends at Family Entertainment Centers” that covered popular games enjoyed at arcades nationwide.
The Entertainment Center Report covers “Bowling Centers: Getting Your Food and Beverage Sales on a Roll,” with information on how bowling centers around the country handle food service.
The location profile takes on the 49th state with “The Fun Is Extreme in Alaska” which looks at Wasilla’s Extreme Fun Center, the first FEC in Alaska.
The Laser Tag section feature covered “Staying Laser-Focused on Maintenance and Improvements at Laser Tag Arenas,” with maintenance and improvement priorities discussed.
In the Mini-Golf and Go-Karts section, an article exploring the benefits of electric go-karts covered “Why It Is Time to Go Electric for Go-Kart Tracks – A Gas to Electric Go-Kart Track Conversion Case Study.”
“Tips to Upsell Attractions” reported on how upselling, which can improve guest satisfaction and profits, is done at attractions.
Our Trampoline Parks piece covers “Tips to Keep Trampoline Parks Safe and Secure,” with tips and advice coming from park owners and managers.
In the Rental Devices section, “Trends for Party Rental Companies” discusses which rental devices are in demand.
The Street Beat section offered a piece on how clean and shiny machines with attractive items serve up a recipe for bulk vending success in “Quick Coin Profits – Keeping Bulk Vending and Redemption Machines Earning.”
The Food Service Spotlight for the issue discussed “Creating Crowd Pleasers – Food Trends at Waterparks and Stadiums” nationwide.
Continuing the subject of dining, “Making a Splash with the Right Food – Eatery Trends at Waterparks” covered ways in which waterparks are making a food splash; a Bonus Sidebar discussed “Top Selling New Food Items at Waterparks, Zoos, Aquariums and Museums.”
“Making the Fun Physical – Activities to Get Guests Moving” presents information on how zoos, aquariums and museums are engaging guests’ physically as well as intellectually. A Bonus Sidebar took “A Look at Luckey Climber Units.”
In the Amusement Rental/Inflatable News section, read about “Operating Right for Minimized Risk – Fail-Safe Inflatables,” featuring a look at operational practices to keep guests safe on inflatables.
And, last but not least, the Haunted Attractions feature is the timely “Countdown to the Busy Season: The Most Important Tasks,” offered tips on preparation for hectic October that start as early as January.
Around The Industry: News Topics
Laser Tag Product News
Bowlmor AMF Contracted Creative Works for Multiple Locations
Bowlmor AMF contracted Creative Works to install laser tag attractions at three locations across the Southeast: AMF Western Branch Lanes in Virginia, Bowlmor Lanes Strike Miami in Florida, and Bowlero Columbus in Georgia.
Creative Works designed the laser tag arenas at the Georgia and Florida locations to look like urban battle zones. While the arenas at these two locations are similar, Bowlmor Lanes Strike Miami has a local theme.
In keeping with industry trends, Bowlmor AMF is having Creative Works install laser tag at more centers in the future, with some opening later this year.
To learn more, visit www.thewoweffect.com.
Special Tourist Attractions & Parks Video Feature
In this video interview at the International Association of Trampoline Parks 4th Annual Conference and Trade Show at the Sheraton Music City in Nashville, Tenn., Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine President and Executive Editor Scott C. Borowsky discusses the industry and the magazine. The event was held September 13-15, 2016. Conducting the interview is industry expert Frank Seninsky. Seninsky is the president of the Alpha-Omega group of companies, a business that is based in East Brunswick, N.J.