60 seconds with...Jonah D. Sandler | Scene75 Entertainment Centers...4 months later

How was the re-opening of your business and how was it carried out in line with safety procedures put in place to allow social distancing?

Our operations team used the months we were closed to develop our reopening Stay Safe Together playbook, review all operating procedures, and develop comprehensive Scene75 standards.  Leaning on our comprehensive playbook, the reopening itself was a fairly smooth process. Certainly, there were challenges in sourcing products, challenges in bringing back team members, and challenges in informing our guests that we had reopened (and how we planned to do so safely), but overall, it was about as smooth as could have hoped for and our returning guests have been very respectful and very thankful of our efforts. Our guests have taken note of the depth of our planning to disinfect, to provide self service sanitation stations, and to adjust operating procedures that sacrifice volume and profitability for social distancing purposes. I believe that they recognize we are trying our absolute best during these challenging times.

How is the general feeling and feedback from your team members and your customers now the lockdown is over?

I believe that there is a general concern of team members and guests that we remain at mercy of the government.  Will regulations change that even further limit our ability to operate?  While we can continue to do everything we detailed in our reopening Stay Safe Together playbook, we can only follow these stringent protocols if the government allows our industry to continue to operate. 

That being said, our team members and guests have been so thankful to return to our venues.  Both audiences have been so appreciative of our reopening, with great appreciation for the efforts we have set forth to try to keep everyone as safe as we possibly can. 

I believe that our guests have found our protocols to exceed their expectations.  They have been amazed by the number of sanitation stations, the disinfectants procedures deployed after every attraction ride, and the social distancing measures in place limiting many of our attraction rides to one person/family/group per round. 

We have found that guests who are visiting are enjoying more, spending more, and appreciating more the services and products that we provide.  We just need more of them!

What market trends are you seeing since re-opening?

We have seen that traffic tends to ebb and flow with government regulations and the news/media cycle.  We have also seen that from a broad perspective, revenue has trended upward a bit each week as more guests learn that we have reopened and that we have fairly comprehensive safety requirements in place.

We are finding that companies are reluctant to book events with us and this segment of our revenue will likely face the biggest percentage decline in 2020.  While birthday parties have declined in number, we are finding that some parents still want their kids to celebrate – their events may not be as large in size as under normal circumstances, often restricted to the family or a few close friends, but many are still interested in celebrating in some way.

What positive lessons do we need to learn from what the industry has been through?

  1. Growth can’t come at the expense of security
  2. Diversification of products and services may be more critical than ever
  3. Communication builds community
  4. Industry competitors are also all very much on the same team

Date Published: 4th August 2020