While we don’t yet know the broader implications of the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s certainly had a deep impact on the world as well as our industry. Amusement leaders like Betson, Andamiro, Dave & Buster’s and many others have been taking it seriously, and sharing with customers their response to the coronavirus.
In mid-March, Betson restricted all non-essential travel, including trade shows, open houses and customer visits. It also restricted customer visits to any of their 13 offices until further notice. “We have been preparing for the last few weeks and have plans in place to ensure business continuity,” Betson wrote. “You should not see any difference from how you normally communicate with our teams.”
Dave & Buster’s is taking preventative measures to address COVID-19, the company said, working to exceed the guidelines of the CDC and local health authorities. “We have further enhanced our already strict cleaning procedures, which well exceed CDC standard guidelines,” they wrote, “We spend between 5-6 hours every day cleaning our stores before we open, disinfecting all surfaces, including every game, typically with EPA-approved, high grade sanitizer. We have intensified our cleaning protocols in the hours we are open for business as well.”
Andamiro shared a similar sentiment, with its USA President Drew Maniscalco writing, “As the situation … continues to evolve, we are doing everything we can to provide maximum flexibility to our customers. As we brace for the situation’s short- and long-term economic impact on the industry, everyone’s wellbeing and the health of the world economy are foremost on our minds.”
They noted their service, parts, sales and accounting departments can continue to be reached by phone during normal business hours and by email anytime, and that their Gardena, Calif., warehouse will continue to receive new products and ship orders. Andamiro is also subsidizing and deferring payments (90 days) on a new lease program for their Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom game.
Maniscalco closed both with a link to the CDC for tips on how to keep amusement equipment clean and a final remark: “At Andamiro, we believe it is during challenging times like these that the power of amusements is needed most of all.”
Two Bit Circus in Los Angeles, at this writing, was open for business, but it may be that they have since closed in accordance with new California and city guidelines issued yesterday (3/15). They have implemented thermal cameras to check the temperatures of employees and guests. “Anyone with a deviation from normal temperatures will kindly be asked to return home,” they wrote. “We are following the executive orders from the governor of California limiting groups to 250. That means we will be limiting our park capacity.” Like D&B, they noted enhanced cleaning protocols as well.
Alpha-Omega Amusements noted it is “actively monitoring the rapid concern in relation to the coronavirus.” As of now, their office schedule remains the same as usual – sales, parts, service and merchandise teams available 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern time. You can also reach them at [email protected] or [email protected].
Smart Industries’ Jim Dupree put a positive spin on what companies can do in light of the cancellations and quarantines: “This would be a great time to develop digital conferencing methods you haven’t used or fully explored such as Skype, WeChat and Facebook. People can communicate using digital means, so you don’t have to feel like you’re all cobbled up. Take advantage of the digital world and continue to get ‘face time’ with people you want to see and visit with. Most people have these technologies at their disposal and just haven’t used them.”
As the situation continues to evolve, stay tuned to Instant RePlay for how the industry is responding.