Funtopia is a group of four family entertainment centers in Australia, providing state-of-the-art indoor rock climbing arenas and thrilling indoor adventure playgrounds.
Hemal Patel, the franchise owner of Funtopia Maribyrnong, took over the business in 2018 with a vision of branching out into something new from his background in hospitality and banking. Hemal saw the potential of the business to bring joy to families. "Our kids used to go here for parties, and we thought, what a great business. It’s always pumping, and guests are always smiling,” says Hemal.
Funtopia switched from an in-house solution to ROLLER to provide guests and staff with a more streamlined and modern experience. Hemal emphasized, "ROLLER is what we need in the 21st century." With a weekly footfall of around 1,000 guests, the center required a dynamic platform to streamline operations, save time, and reduce costs.
Streamlined operations and more upsell opportunities
ROLLER's cloud-based, all-in-one solution allowed Funtopia to consolidate venue management systems.
We used to do our cafe sales and ticket sales on two different systems. In ROLLER, it’s easier because it’s a single system.
ROLLER’s product and stock management capabilities help Hemal control inventory in the cafe. "I can say I only have ten mango smoothies left and then stop selling after ten," he explained. Keeping the cafe running smoothly is critical for Funtopia’s bottom line. Hemal stated that his revenue would be halved without the cafe because he would lose the opportunity to increase spend per head, especially for parents and spectators. “The cafe generates around the same amount of money that we generate from the playcenter. If you come here with your kids and play for a couple of hours, it’s only natural that you’re going to buy something from the cafe," says Hemal.
Lightning-fast gift card management
One of the immediate benefits Funtopia experienced after the switch to ROLLER was the simplicity it brought to gift card management. Hemal expressed, "It used to take me about 10 minutes to create a gift card. Now it takes me literally 15 seconds. In ROLLER, it’s just a click of a button." This efficiency proved invaluable during the challenges brought by COVID. The ability to quickly issue store credits with gift cards streamlined the process of managing cancellations and maintaining guest satisfaction. This feature alone saves Hemal hours of administrative work each month.
It used to take me about 10 minutes to create a gift card. Now it takes me literally 15 seconds.
Saving time for staff and guests
ROLLER has also proven to be a game-changer in staff management at Funtopia. Hemal shared how the platform has made a noticeable impact on his team's workflow, stating, "It’s made our life easier from a staffing perspective. Staff are much happier with ROLLER."
ROLLER's user-friendly, intuitive design is perfect for a casual workforce – the interface is not only simple, but it’s consistent with other modern software tools and apps that users would be familiar with in their day-to-day lives. This has minimized the learning curve for new staff members at Funtopia, enabling them to adapt to the system quickly.
This ease of use has also translated into smoother operations, allowing staff to focus more on delivering exceptional service rather than navigating complex processes. Hemal himself has also saved time managing back-end admin and reporting because he can log in to the ROLLER platform from anywhere. “I’m looking at the reports right now without any headaches, which would’ve been very hard to do in the old system,’ he states.
One of the top reasons his staff love ROLLER is the ease of attaching notes to guest records. Hemal mentioned, "We log guest calls to record our party notes, which makes it so much easier for us to have consistent communication with the customer." With multiple staff members involved in a single booking, shared notes allow any team member to seamlessly pick up where others left off to provide a frictionless guest experience. “On a weekday, I have seven different staff members working, and any one of them can take that booking or talk to a customer at any point in time,” says Hemal.
Moving party bookings online
COVID also prompted Funtopia to maximize the benefits of online bookings. This has proven incredibly impactful for streamlining party bookings to alleviate pressure on staff during the busy weekend when most parties occur. Hemal pointed out, "Online bookings are now our norm. We recommend people book online, and a majority of our party bookings are done online." Funtopia has also increased online conversion rates by selling to guests through their social media channels. They can provide direct links for their guests to purchase a specific product or package, which helps them effectively market products through Facebook.
Hemal praised ROLLER's flexibility in editing the online checkout layout, making adding products, and customizing the experience for guests easier. “One of the benefits of ROLLER is that it’s customizable,” he states.
Advice from Hemal
Reflecting on Funtopia's journey with ROLLER, Hemal advised fellow franchise owners: "Take your time to set it up. Take full advantage of your onboarding period, where you have hand-holding from the ROLLER team." This guidance underscores the importance of utilizing ROLLER’s onboarding resources and leveraging ROLLER’s responsive, 24/7 support.
Hemal’s experience highlights how ROLLER's venue management platform has significantly improved operational efficiency, enhanced guest experiences, and ultimately contributed to Funtopia’s success in the dynamic family entertainment industry.
Get a demo to see how ROLLER can help you take your venue to the next level.