by Beth Standlee, TrainerTainment founder and CEO
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February 2016

Party Professor

Being the Best in the New Year

Steps to Take Right Now to Make It Happen




Beth StandleeWhat will you do this year to invest in having the best? Are you interested in providing the best guest experience, the best birthday party, the best group event, the best drink, the best food offering in your space, the best attractions experience, the best…(You get my drift)?

Okay, maybe you won’t be the “best” at everything, but could you decide this year that you are going to be the absolute “best” in one thing. Is there one thing you would like to be known for? I believe it’s worth the time and energy to talk with your staff and your leadership team and make the decision that in 2016 your facility is going to be the best at ______________________.

What if you decided that your guest service is going to be second to none? You decide to invest in the training, and the work necessary in order to create a family entertainment center that boasts the greatest guest service in the universe! RePlay Magazine is writing an article about how great the service is in your center. Others are visiting your location in order to learn how they, too, can create the “best” guest service environment. The picture is clear. Obviously, you’d need to take some specific steps to begin to make this dream a reality. You might start with the following steps listed below.

1. Check out the people who are the best. Find out what they do.

2. Create your own definition of what the “best guest experience” looks and feels like in your center.

3. Enhance the definition by making a list of words or examples to describe what the “best guest experience” looks like and what it doesn’t look like.

4. Find the people who are interested in delivering this type of service and make sure they are working on your team.

5. Get rid of all the people who don’t get it!

6. Talk about and recognize the people who are delivering this great guest experience daily. Give examples of how and what they did in order to create the great experience.

7. Take a no-compromise attitude about when the service isn’t delivered in the way you’ve determined “best” is.

8. Talk about any service failure immediately. It won’t get better by itself. Hope is not a strategy. Performance happens consistently (good or bad). Correct it when it’s not the best; acknowledge it when it’s on track. Do this every day in a consistent way and you will get the best results. I promise.

What do you think would happen if you followed these simple steps? I know it sounds and looks easy here in print. Accountability is difficult. Consistency is key. Real buy-in must happen at the top and then sprinkled throughout the center. I know it can be frustrating to feel like you need to commend someone when they do the job that you expect them to do. However, getting what you want and coaching the best team takes practice ... and a lot of it. Think of yourself as the coach of a team and that the positive reinforcement is simply the drills you run at practice. You are trying to get your team to repeat the same great service plays over and over again. That happens when their service muscle gets more and more developed, and as the coach you lead the charge. You start the best players, you call the plays, and you give them the pat on the back when they win.

If you want to be the best at something, you must first decide and then commit to doing whatever it takes in order to make that happen. Listen, I’m talking about just one thing in this new year. In my mind this could be one of the most significant decisions you could make for your business.

There is a lot of talk about culture; and I happen to believe it’s the one thing that makes your experience as a business owner or manager fun or not. Whether it’s stated or not, the culture in your center is alive and well. What I mean is that your team is being the best at something already. It might be holding up the wall (leaning not cleaning). It could be apathy (they just don’t care, it’s just a job). And maybe it is already being the very best at “guest experience.” Regardless, something is going on at your center today. You are already the best in some way. Why not decide that there’s something big that you could create this year that would take your business to the next level.

What will you determine to be the best at this year? What one thing do you think could improve your business? Do you already have the best birthday party in town? Is your service already top notch? Take a minute right now and decide. And then go tell your team immediately. Get them involved. After all, it is the team is who will take you to the top.

Beth Standlee is the CSO and founder of Trainertainment, a sales training company dedicated to great guest service, party development, and ultimately bringing more money to your bottom line. Beth can be reached by email at

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