No one could have predicted what 2020 had in store. You’ve pivoted — and then pivoted again — to survive the pandemic and keep customers coming back for more. But what comes next? With the new year on the horizon, now’s the time to stay on top of family entertainment center trends in 2021.
The number one thing guests will be looking for from FECs in 2021 is transparent safety protocols from the family entertainment industry. Ensure you are sharing your cleaning and sanitization procedures with your audience, both online and in your physical location. Keep your guests feeling comfortable and taken care of by reminding them that their safety is your number one priority.
In addition to being open and honest about your sanitization protocols, give guests lots of room inside your facility to ensure social distancing regulations can be adhered to. Limit the number of guests inside and space out attractions appropriately so that groups can enjoy a carefree time together, without thinking about the group next to them.
People are still craving unique, Instagram-worthy experiences but now they are also ensuring these experiences are safe. Your FEC can provide them with both!
As friends and family stay in tight-knit circles, a great idea for family entertainment centers in 2021 is giving consumers incentive to bring their “bubble” or “pod” in for a safe, group gathering outside of their home. Provide discounts for group gatherings and offer food and drink specials for groups of a certain size to keep guests staying and playing longer.
Another trend for FECs moving into the new year relates to where activities can take place. With outdoor activities safer than indoor, look at utilizing outdoor space in new ways. Rooftop, parking lots, patios, and terraces can be transformed into a year-round entertainment oasis. Add some heaters, warm drinks, and appealing attractions to keep guests excited even in the cold winter months.
Invest in indoor/outdoor attractions that will last for many years, allowing you to take advantage of the hype of new equipment for years to come. Street Curling rinks can be enjoyed in any atmosphere. Whether it’s a high-end rooftop terrace or patio party, you can play Street Curling while social distancing inside or outside.
In order to adhere to social distancing protocols, you may be required to have fewer patrons in your facility at one time. A great idea for FECs is to take advantage of historical “off-peak” times to bring guests in at different times by providing daytime specials. Highlight discounts, lunch offerings, or other daytime activities to bring in people throughout the day.
Weeknight evenings can sometimes be slow. Add in a league to fill the time slot and bring in patrons week after week. Leagues often run for 4-8 weeks on weeknights or weekends and their recurring nature of leagues keeps your audience coming back and enjoying your food & beverage offerings. Consider your audience when choosing leagues and look for opportunities to pair the leagues with a theme night or an exclusive offering like Thirsty Thursdays, Wing & Curling Nights, drink specials, or other fun themes.
In addition to weekly leagues, look for opportunities to create one-of-a-kind experiences, including themed nights, special events, group rentals, and birthday parties. Add to the experience of your Family Entertainment Center by bringing in unique food options, musical offerings, and other one-night-only events.
Above all, 2021 will be about continuing to pivot and stay nimble. Having engaging attractions that excite guests will ensure you are set up for success. A low-risk option with high returns is a great way to begin updating your FEC for 2021. A high-quality product like Street Curling will keep guests coming back for more.