Chipmunks Playground and Café is a multinational indoor playground franchise consisting of 49 venues across New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia.
Chipmunks caters to children aged between 1 and 11 years. They offer modern multi-story playground facilities with engaging and interactive equipment, birthday party rooms and onsite cafes.
We spoke to Lance Spence (Owner/Co-Founder), Kerri Spence (Owner/Co-Founder) and Daniel Marr (IT and Marketing Manager) to learn what initially led them to ROLLER and discuss ROLLER's impact on the franchise.
“Back in 2017, we hired a digital consultant to overview our IT systems and advise how we could implement new technology to streamline our business processes, improve operational efficiency at our stores and use technology to grow our business”, Lance said.
“One of the biggest initial challenges we had was trying to find a way to streamline our party bookings. Things, like managing payments, bookings, ticketing and communicating with customers, was a hugely laborious undertaking”, Daniel added.
“It required a lot of manual phone calls, bank transfers and store visits to ensure deposits were received and we had all the correct information to host a child’s party and provide a great experience”.
“We undertook a thorough research process to see which software platform was best for us. Based on our research, the best software platform in the market was ROLLER”.
ROLLER as a whole-of-business solution
ROLLER’s all-in-one solution has since been embedded into the Chipmunks franchise.
“Our franchise owners and store managers use the Venue Manager (VM) to manage bookings, view sales reports, manage schedules, take payments and communicate with customers”, Kerri said.
“Our operational staff use the Point of Sale (PoS) to sell entry tickets, check-in customers, book parties, track gift cards and concession tickets as well as make cafe sales. They also track shifts in the time tracker software.”
“Our marketing department uses ROLLER Mail to create promotions, segment customers into mailing lists and send campaigns. They have also implemented the online booking widgets and track analytics and sales data across all of our venues through ROLLER”.
“Our accounting department uses the VM to run sales reports for franchise fees, business analysis and for financial reviews”, Kerri said.
ROLLER's modern cloud based offering
In addition to ROLLER’s whole-of-business solution, Chipmunks are benefiting from ROLLER’s modern cloud-based offering.
“The cloud accessibility is critical to our business. I can’t stress how critical remote accessibility is. Daniel accesses ROLLER and runs campaigns remotely. My son accesses ROLLER remotely. We log onto our franchisee’s portal and upload promos for them. We can see figures, sales, store turnovers from anywhere we desire”, Kerri said.
ROLLER’s cloud accessibility also enables the Chipmunks team to prepare for the next day and provide remote support to its franchisees.
“A lot of the store owners log onto ROLLER at night and confirm party bookings, send emails and distribute confirmations and invoices. For a franchise business like ours, we can provide support from head office and go online and do things for them”, Kerri said.
In a competitive industry, it is critical that things are done efficiently and effectively. We asked Daniel whether ROLLER has brought any productivity gains to Chipmunks.
“We have definitely been able to considerably decrease the amount of time spent on managing party bookings and collecting payments. Obviously, that is a huge saving to us. Additionally, we are experiencing higher monthly online booking sales for the stores that have adopted ROLLER.”
When asked her favorite feature of ROLLER, Kerri found it hard to choose.
“The calendar view is amazing. Oh, I love it! I can’t stress how amazing it is. I love the calendar view because you can see what’s coming up quickly. I also love online party bookings - a lot of customers are choosing to book online, it is growing in terms of convenience and traffic. I love the concession cards, the loyalty program and wristbands. I love the email. For many businesses, sales are moving towards digital channels - I really love the digital side.”
ROLLER partnership to continue over the long term
The Chipmunks franchise is continuing to expand. They will soon open seven new venues in Ohio, USA.
As ROLLER is a multinational software platform, it can support its partners as they grow and emerge into new markets. Lance sees ROLLER as being a part of their long-term plans.
“We are really keen to build a long-term relationship with ROLLER. We’d like to get ROLLER into our U.S and Indonesian venues as we grow. We really appreciate what you have done with us. ROLLER is in our picture long term and we want to be a part of it”.
ROLLER is driving Chipmunks to success
When asked how using ROLLER compares to the way they did things previously, Kerri is deliberate with her words.
“Using ROLLER is like driving an Audi or a Mercedes as opposed to a Daihatsu or Ford Cortina Mark 2. There is no comparison”.
To see how ROLLER’s all-in-one solution can help your venue, download our free eBook by clicking the image below.