Cashless technology provider Intercard is planning for a series of tips on its website that will help arcade operators survive the COVID-19 crisis, the company says. The first article is from a Jersey Shore arcade expert Todd DeMott of ShoreCade and Go Play Retro Arcade:
A Jersey Shore Arcade Expert’s Tips on Restoring Revenue During COVID-19
By Todd DeMott
I grew up in New Jersey beating all the arcade games on “the Shore.” I turned my love of games into a career in the amusement industry as an Intercard sales rep, manager, consultant and owner of my own arcades. I know the arcade business inside out so I want to share a few tactics I’m recommending to my customers as well as doing at my own arcades to ride out the COVID-19 crisis.
To help survive the pandemic every family entertainment center should be selling something online. I recently opened a new arcade with retro games in a prime Shore location but less than a month later was forced to close down because of COVID-19. The first thing I did was set up an online store that has helped me tremendously to bring in some revenue to help with expenses.
I feverishly promoted sales of a season pass good for unlimited gaming from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2020. I also added a promotional code for additional discounts during April and that worked well too.
Too many family entertainment centers are not utilizing membership programs. Not because they do not want to but just because they have never had the time to catch their breath and think about it. Most of the cashless technology systems out there have membership programs built right into the software. Now is the time to learn them and use them!
Here are additional promotional ideas that have worked well for me in the past:
Monday Madness = Unlimited video gameplay for $9.99. Depending on how many video games the location has it works very well.
Double Ticket Tuesdays = All redemption games pay out double
“Happy Hour” Pricing = Set it to be automatic everyday Monday-Friday. From 4pm -8 pm all games are half price
“VIP” Pricing = Charge $10 for a VIP membership and give the member 10% off all game play for a year. This is great because it turns the purchase into its own revenue stream!
One of the most overlooked parts of an arcade is the redemption counter or store. 80% of most arcade revenue is merchandise-based whether it is from a crane machine or redemption counter. I’m telling all my customers to utilize this time to totally redo and reorganize their redemption space. Once you are able to reopen you want to showcase the new eye candy you created. If you have any cashflow at all you might be able to take advantage of discount pricing from merchandise vendors. Stock up on discounted merchandise to increase your bottom line once we are again open to guests.
One thing I know for sure is our industry is not going anywhere. Families will now more than ever want to go out and create new memories at the arcades that they will cherish forever. Get ready for them and stay safe.
Todd DeMott is the owner of ShoreCade & Go Play Retro Arcade in New Jersey and is an
Intercard sales representative for North America. Learn more at www.intercardinc.com.