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Company Updates

The Acute Cost of No Shows

Posted by ROLLER Software on June 1, 2020

As businesses begin to open up around the world, they are having to do so in a way that ensures appropriate health and safety measures are in place, whilst also being financially sustainable.  The challenge for attractions, bars and restaurants, retail stores, hair & beauty salons and other location based entertainment and service companies - where their revenue is dependent on physical visitation - is particularly acute. 

By and large, social distancing guidance around reopening has focused on regular sanitation and ensuring there is an appropriate level of physical distance maintained between visitors. Government agencies and industry bodies have provided an approximate capacity rule of thumb of 1 person per 4 square meters (or one per 36 square feet). 

In pre-COVID times, the business model for these types of venues was to maximise visitation to its fullest extent. Now however, this is understandably discouraged and businesses need to adapt. We have previously written about how this can be done, through ‘Flattening the (Visitation) Curve’, but there is one important prerequisite for this to be a viable approach - customers need to commit to paying in advance if they want to book out one of your precious seats. 

The simple reason is that if you have a 20 person capacity venue, and you are providing a service that lasts for 60 minutes (beit a dinner, trampoline park visit, personalised retail experience, or haircut), a no show of a group of 4 is a 20% hit to your revenue, at an already challenging time. The cost of a no show is also not something that you can fill with a walk in off the street, or offset through the previously normal larger levels of visitation. 

For many industries, this is a different way of doing things. Restaurants used to tolerate unpaid pre-bookings, but that is no longer the case. Bars and cafes were used to a regular and predictable crowd that could come when they pleased, but due to capacity constraints, that is also no longer the case. Retailers used to provide customers with open ended freedom to come and shop as they pleased, but now they need to strictly manage entry, avoid queues and ensure their visitors are following social distancing and hygiene guidelines. 

The good news is that through all of this, customers have become even more digitally savvy. They are well accustomed to buying things online and also want surety that businesses that they do visit are being proactive and responsible in the way they operate. ROLLER’s visitation management platform allows location centric business to manage this new normal; customers can book a time and pay in advance, sign a waiver or acknowledgement form on entry, use contactless payment and check-in capabilities, and capture customer details should contact need to be made. 

What’s more, we have been providing this very capability for years to a range of iconic global brands such as CircusTrix, Chipmunks, AirHop and Skyline. Commenting on their experience and plans for the future, Scenic World’s IT Manager, Christopher Pike said that;


 "We have used ROLLER's time ticketing functionality during our busiest times, and it has worked really well to create an even flow of guests. Utilisation of this capability will be key to the way we re-engage with our customers when we reopen."

If your business is looking to manage capacity, provide new experiences and engage with your customers in a safe and sustainable way, ROLLER is here to help. Please contact us to learn more about our capabilities and how we can help!


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