I’m getting older, and like many guys with gray hair, I don’t like to learn about new stuff (like the things my smart phone does which I don’t know about, or, honestly, don’t care to know about). But, I do admire Apple, Samsung, and the rest for coming out with these breakthroughs. My angst is caused by the new business lingo that came with it all, like using the word “solutions” as in saying “currency solutions” instead of “slug rejectors.”
The other night, I was walking through a Target store when I was stopped by an end-of-aisle display of brilliantly-packaged “Solutions.” That’s what it said on the packages, and try as I may (though I don’t have much patience), I couldn’t easily figure out what was inside those boxes. But I knew it wasn’t eyewash. I also have problems with the newly popular use of the word “space” in place of “business,” as in saying “crane space” instead of . . . well, you know. Another “newbiz” word people in my world hear is “partner” when used by folks who submit stories or ads to us and call us their “media partner.”
One legitimate use of the word “partner” that’s very, very important, however, applies to the relationship between route operator and location owner. The guy may not own half your pool table, but he does own half the money that goes into it when collections are made. Same goes for the jukebox, though that “partnership” may be more of a third these days. Any way you slice it up, however, the people who run the stores where you place machines should know, and act, like your partners, and do whatever they can to coax players over to the goods.
Remember red quarters? Maybe they bring back mixed emotions, but the idea was a sound one and got a ton of music going and pinball being played between bartender and patron. Talk to your accounts about this “partnership” of yours and maybe they’ll talk up a tad more play you can divide up between yourselves over on the corner table (or should I say the “financial space?”).
We asked a bunch of route operators about partner interaction inside this edition (see Route Q). Apart from such promotions as the bar reward apps (e.g. from TouchTunes) and the never-often-enough bartender/customer pool table challenge, the rubber really meets the road when it comes to league night at the gin joint. . .the greatest “hand shake” between operator and bar owner there is. Takes work? Oh, yeah. But in the sage words of Indiana vet Doug Diltz: “If you can get a bar and its employees on board, you can take a C location to an A location in no time.”