Key Elements For A Successful Center
The "Rise of the Professional Laser Tag Operator" is now.
With this new reality, the most important question to ask is the following: "Are you prepared for the new challenges of competing with Professional Laser Tag Operators and their high-end entertainment facilities?"
First, let's start by describing the qualities of a "Professional Laser Tag Operator". A professional laser tag operator understands that doing it right the first time is the safest and most profitable way to go. They understand that the only way to dominate the market area for laser tag is to do it better than anyone else. Professional laser tag operators are fully committed to constant and never ending improvement in all facets of their business.
It is important to understand that the very best professional laser tag operators have the ability to put 90% of all the existing laser tag facilities out of business within 12 months of opening a new professional high-end laser tag center within the same market area.
It is also important to note that a successful laser tag center that developed a facility 80 to 90% right is just as vulnerable to a professional laser tag operator as a low-end center developed 50% right. In fact, professional laser tag operators prefer to open in markets that already have successful laser tag operations. When they see a laser tag facility that is successful but only done 80 to 90% right, they know the opportunity to make money and dominate the market area is virtually guaranteed. Unfortunately, the existing operator will most likely be financially crippled or put out of business. That is why it is so important to do it right the first time.
A professional laser tag operator knows there are 10 key elements that must be developed correctly from day one:
1. Professional Management and Operational Systems for managing their entertainment center
2. High Quality Location
3. Durable High-end Laser Tag Equipment
4. Large Multi-level Arena that is extremely durable (5,500 square feet or more)
5. Large Party Area (with the ability to seat 100+ guests)
6. Own 30+ Arcade Games with a Quality Redemption Counter
7. Quality Food and Beverage Service
8. High Quality Bathrooms
9. Great Guest Service
10. Ability to pull all the elements together with a great design, layout and flow for the entire facility
Key Element #1 - Professional Management and Operational Systems
The first key element is professional management and operational systems that help you manage and operate your center on a daily basis. Being a great manager in one type of profession does not guarantee that you will be a great manager of a laser tag facility. As in all professions there is a tremendous amount of know-how that is specific to the profession.
It may take a new laser tag operator a year or more to master the management and operational abilities of a Professional Laser Tag Operator. It is important to note that there are no guarantees. You may not have the capabilities to become a professional laser tag operator. There have been too many examples of failed laser tag facilities by well intentioned laser tag operators. You must have the persistence to learn, develop and secure all the resources and knowledge required to do it right from start to finish.
The most competitive laser tag operators are the ones who have already successfully developed and operated high-end professional laser tag facilities. The fastest growing and most successful segment of the laser tag market is the professional laser tag operators who are developing and opening multiple locations.
In order to insure your success, you must start off by learning as much as possible about managing and operating a successful laser tag facility. Don't make the mistake of thinking you already have it all figured out. We have been operating our LASERTRON laser tag center for over 27 years and we are still figuring out better ways to do it everyday.
To be a professional laser tag operator, you must begin to educate yourself on the best practices of the laser tag industry. A good way for you to do this is by attending one of our FREE Professional Laser Tag Operators' Conferences held four times per year. Our conference program gives you an up close look at the management and operational systems required to be successful.
Our company continues to develop Management and Operational software to assist existing and aspiring professional laser tag operators to professionally manage and operate multiple laser tag centers.
If you are unable to make it to one of our conferences, please schedule a FREE Visit to our LASERTRON "Interactive Entertainment Center" in Buffalo, New York.
Key Element #2 - High Quality Location
You know the saying location, location, location. If you pick a poor location to save money, a professional laser tag operator will see this weakness and exploit it by finding a high quality location. Make sure you have the patience and the resources to secure a quality location from day one.
The location you pick must have ceiling heights of at least 16 feet clear in order to provide enough space to build a multi-level laser tag arena. You must also be able to locate at least a 4300 square foot "footprint" for your multi-level arena in a rectangular shape.
The location must be in a strong demographic area. The most optimal population is 250,000 people or more in a 10 mile radius. Make sure your center is located in the nicer part of town with plenty of parking. If you locate in a low income market area your overall center will be impacted negatively.
Key Element #3 - Durable High-end Laser Tag Equipment
The professional laser tag operator understands the true value of owning a high quality professional laser tag system. They know reliability and durability is a necessity to insure a great guest experience every time. They understand that their guests are visiting their facilities to experience their laser tag attraction. If your guests aren't completely satisfied with their experience, you will not be able to generate the most important form of marketing - positive word of mouth.
Remember you get what you pay for and you can only charge your customers based on the quality of the experience you provide. Professional laser tag operators provide their guests with the best laser tag experience. By providing the best laser tag experience, professional laser tag operators are able to charge the highest admissions, maintain great positive word of mouth, and generate strong repeat visitation.
Key Element #4 - Large Multi-level Arena that is extremely durable (5,500 square feet or more)
A professional laser tag operator recognizes the true value of a large multi-level arena that is extremely durable.
First the size of the arena is directly proportional to the number of players who can participate in your attraction. A 5,500 square foot arena can hold up to 36 players at one time. Entertainment centers earn most of their income on the weekends and holidays. Based on this fact, it is important for your laser tag attraction to be able to generate the highest revenues possible during your peak demand.
Multi-level arenas are also significantly more appealing to players than single level arenas. If a player has the ability to choose between a single level arena and a multi-level arena with the same usable square footage, he or she will almost always choose the multi-level arena. You can save yourself a lot of time and worry by investing in a multi-level arena from day one. If you don't, you are leaving the door wide open for a professional laser tag operator to come into your market and open a high-end multi-level arena.
Make sure your arena is extremely durable. ( Click here to see why LASERTRON arenas are so durable.) Professional laser tag operators manage high volume facilities. They fully expect to be operating their laser tag attraction for well over 10 years. They understand the importance of investing in a quality laser tag arena from day one. Many laser tag arenas need heavy maintenance after only 2 or 3 years of utilization. These maintenance costs will negatively affect the appearance of your laser tag facility which will affect the perceived value of the attraction to your guests. The costs of maintaining your arena will be much greater over time. These additional costs will negatively impact your bottom line. Remember, the busier your laser tag attraction becomes the greater the abuse to your arena.
LASERTRON designs, manufactures and installs the most durable multi-level arenas available. We utilize steel columns, beams, framing and railings for our multi-level ramps and platforms. We design and manufacture highly durable arena components that look great for 10+ years. We provide you with the best long-term value by building it right from day one.
Key Element #5- Large Party Area (with the ability to seat 100+ guests)
Birthday parties and group parties are a significant percentage of the total revenue generated for a laser tag attraction. The revenue generated by parties is determined by several factors.
The two most important factors are the number of players who can play in the arena at one time and the maximum number of people you can seat in your party area.
Professional laser tag operators recognize the importance of having the ability to have up to 40 players in the arena at one time. In addition, they also realize the seating capacity in the party area is directly related to the maximum amount of revenue to be generated during peak party days. Peak party days are usually Saturdays and holidays.
The best service oriented entertainment centers provide party tables for up to 2 hours per party. Make sure you allocate party space for a minimum of 100 or more party guests. A large party area will allow you to maximize your party revenue.
Key Element #6 - Own 30+ Arcade Games with a Quality Redemption Counter
The arcade is very important to the overall profitability of your laser tag center. Professional laser tag operators understand that the arcade is to laser tag what the snack bar is to a movie theater. A professional movie theater operator would never open a theater without a snack bar and a professional laser tag operator would never open a laser tag facility without an arcade.
The arcade may only generate 25 to 35 percent of your gross sales, but the arcade can generate up to 50 percent of your profits.
Professional laser tag operators buy their own arcade games. They take the time to educate themselves on how to operate a quality arcade. They own their games because it significantly maximizes the profitability of their arcade over the long run.
Key Element #7 - Quality Food and Beverage Service
The quality of your food and beverage service is very important. Most party packages require food and beverage service, which means the quality of the food and beverage experience will significantly affect the overall party experience. The question is whether or not your food and beverage experience is good or bad? Professional laser tag operators work very hard to insure their guests receive a quality food and beverage experience.
The food and beverage service for corporate parties is significantly different than catering to birthday parties and youth groups. The most successful professional laser tag operators are now providing a selection of catered buffets as well as adult beverages such as beer and wine. The professional laser tag operator understands that 90 percent of all corporate functions are lost without the ability to provide adult beverages.
Professional laser tag operators understand the importance of a quality food and beverage experience. They understand that it must be done right and taken to the highest levels possible in order to fully maximize the revenue of the overall center.
Key Element #8 - High Quality Bathrooms
The quality of your bathrooms will dramatically affect your long-term profitability. This statement may sound strange at first, but don't underestimate the importance of high quality, well maintained bathrooms.
Most parties are booked by women and most parties last for 2 to 3 hours. The professional laser tag operator will always build bathrooms that are high quality and well maintained.
Key Element #9 - Great Guest Service
Once you build a professional laser tag center, the quality of your staff is the most important factor in providing great guest service. If you think minimum wage will get you great guest service, think again. You have to pay for greatness. The professional laser tag operator understands that paying well above minimum wage and constantly recruiting, training and retraining their staff is the only way to achieve great guest service.
Great guest service will lead to ever increasing sales and profits. Poor guest service will lead to failure. Don't ever assume you are providing great guest service. Make sure you constantly get guest feedback by surveying your guests everyday.
Key Element #10 - Ability to pull all the elements together with a great design, layout and flow for the entire facility
The design, layout, and flow for the entire facility are critical to making sure all the elements work together. This step will determine the size of the space you need to accomplish your ultimate goal. Your ultimate goal is to be successful for the long-term. The only way to insure your long-term success is to design a professional laser tag facility. If you don't do it right the first time, you leave the door wide open for a professional laser tag operator to show you how.
For additional information about LASERTRON, please contact Your Advisement Team.