Ronan Cunningham, Managing Director at Virtual Reality Gaming Limited, has over a decade of experience running leisure and attractions venues. Ronan was first inspired to bring the Zero Latency concept to Ireland after visiting a venue in Japan.
In 2019, he decided to buy into the franchise and now owns and operates Zero Latency Dublin. Offering a range of experiences, including virtual reality arena games, escape rooms, corporate packages, and kids' parties, Zero Latency is at the forefront of virtual reality entertainment.
In implementing ROLLER, we got rid of so much friction.
From manual sales to seamless operations
Ronan recalls the challenges during the first nine months of opening the venue, where they grappled with a custom in-house booking tool that proved unfit for purpose. Ronan emphasizes the stress and frustration of managing sales manually over the phone and email. “We spent the first nine months of our existence closing sales manually; it was absolutely bonkers. There would be an email thread of 20, 30, 40 emails to organize an event. We were also taking up to 60 calls a day from people wanting to book a birthday party or corporate event, and the only way they could do it was by calling us or emailing us.”
Not only was this wasting valuable time, but it was limiting sales volume. “Trying to close sales over email is difficult; it’s this protracted back and forth. We weren’t able to close sales quickly enough, whereas ROLLER has definitely allowed us to do that,” comments Ronan. The discovery of ROLLER marked a turning point, allowing Zero Latency Dublin to sell all experiences and attractions online to decrease booking time, improve the guest experience, and increase online sales. Ronan notes, "In implementing ROLLER, we got rid of so much friction. You know what it’s like, you go online, you just want to get booked and be done, but our previous booking system didn’t allow it."
50% revenue growth in 12 months
After just a year of using ROLLER, Zero Latency Dublin has increased revenue by more than 50%. Ronan attributes this revenue growth to a number of factors, including hiring an in-house marketing executive, upgrading their game technology, and the revenue opportunities that ROLLER has unlocked – with higher average spend per guest and increased online sales.
Guests can add food and drinks, an extra session, or an escape room. It’s allowed us to increase our average revenue per guest fairly seamlessly.
ROLLER’s online checkout makes it easy for guests to customize their experiences with add-on products, which are served up contextually as part of the checkout flow. This has translated to an increase in average spend per guest. “Guests can add food and drinks, an extra session, or an escape room,” notes Ronan. “It’s allowed us to increase our average revenue per guest fairly seamlessly.”
Zero Latency Dublin has also seen a spike in sales numbers since moving bookings online. “We saw a big increase in our self-service revenue, which was one thing we wanted to see,” comments Ronan. Ronan knew the investment in ROLLER had paid off as soon as they received their first corporate event booking online – a group of 40 guests. “They loaded on the add-ons, the drinks, they really just went to town. The total value of their booking came to €2,500, and they paid in full online. That was the moment that I was like, yes, finally! Finally, we can sell online, without any phone calls, without protracted emails, without the back and forth,” he says.
With growth plans to expand across the UK, Ronan aims to open another venue in Swords in 2024 and is actively exploring sites in Belfast and Glasgow. Ronan envisions growing the business to at least five venues, with annual revenue targets of €1.5-2 million per venue.
Reflecting on his journey, Ronan notes the importance of finding the right venue management platform from the beginning. "I would say day one, partner with a proper booking engine," he says, emphasizing the importance of a robust platform like ROLLER for the success of leisure and attractions businesses.
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