What's Hot and Trending

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Operators, Suppliers, & Industry Experts Share the Latest Trends What’s For Bowling & Family Entertainment Centers HOT & TRENDING For Progressive Operations PRODUCT & RESOURCE GUIDE An exclusive Publication of


For Bowling & Family Entertainment Centers

Even before the nasty pandemic entered the picture, there were significant changes brewing in bowling centers around the world. Consumer behavior is a finicky and ever-changing phenomenon that can leave business operators hanging on by their fingernails. One minute what you offer is hot, the next minute it’s not.

Technology and automation are moving at lightning speed, people of all ages are embracing and even expecting streamlined ways of doing business, and if your center isn’t providing a dynamic, memorable experience it is unlikely to benefit from repeat guest visits. As you all know more than anyone, that’s a lot to keep up with.

Time and money are the highest priorities to most consumers today. Economic conditions are forcing many folks to pull back on recreational and entertainment expenditures. If you want people’s time and money you’ve got to pull out all the stops to draw them in, keep them in, and get them coming back as often as possible. The pressure is real!

How often have you commented to your children that life today is very different than it was when you grew up? Entertainment is easily accessible 24 hours a day on people’s phones, tablets, and gaming and streaming devices at home.

What do potential customers expect from their experience at your center?

Why should consumers ditch their comfortable homes to head to your facility?

What might draw people in, and then make them want to come back for more?

How can you provide an exceptional experience with fewer staff?

How can you entice guests to spend more money with you?

How can you maximize revenue and offset costs?

How are you sharing information with your community (and how often)?

IBI looked to prominent companies in the industry who are specialists in their sector of business for direction. These industry suppliers devote time and resources to provide helpful, economical solutions that can keep your business running smoothly and profitably.

What’s HOT & TRENDING is a unique annual Product and Resource Guide designed for progressive operators. The following pages are filled with valuable information shared by innovative suppliers to the industry, operators who have used their product or service, along with other experts.•

IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 2
Attractions 5 Attractions 6 Cashless Technology 9 Cashless Technology 10 Design 11 Finance and Accounting 12 Guest Experience 13 Insurance and Loss Prevention 15 Lane Maintenance 16 Adult League Building 4 Marketing 17 Operations 18 Sound and Lighting 21 Training 22 Websites 23 Contents Behind the Bar 7 Redemption 19 Guest Experience 14 Bowling Capital Equipment 8 Redemption 20 IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 3


in Adult League Building



Consumer demand for interactive social experiences is at an all-time high. People are looking for entertainment options and are willing to part with their hard-earned cash to have it. But wait! There are expectations from these generous folks who are looking to eat, drink, and recreate. They want their friends to join them, have an easy signup process, and are looking for a simple way to invite their friends to join affordable fun.

Research shows that social groups are regularly competing in leagues of all types, from pinball to darts to volleyball, and countless others.

Savvy marketers understand the importance of staying current with today’s trends and meeting consumers in a way that fits their lifestyles. Enter the picture: www.funbowlingleagues.com

This fresh new league-building program was tested in centers throughout 2022 and has been churning out bowlers to fill time slots that frequently have open inventory, mostly on weekday evenings.

A new, sophisticated software program developed by BBBI is the foundation for finding, recruiting, and flooring new league customers.

This innovative system makes it easy for consumers to notify their friends of the opportunity to socialize and gets them to sign up without any interaction from the center.

If you’re looking for the delivery of new league bowlers to your center, contact Andy Vasko at 877.841.4590 andy.vasko@bowlingbusinessbuilders.com or visit www.bowlingbusinessbuilders.com/fun

What People Are Saying

Rick and Bo Goergen

Lanes in Michigan floored over 300 new adult league bowlers in a ninemonth period.

“We had bowlers in time slots where we never had started a league before!

Between the bowlers and their friends who came in to watch them, our bar business was outstanding,” said Bo.

Brooklyn Thaut, from The Summit Windsor in Colorado was thrilled with their experience.

“We were handed a league ready to go! We had a great turnout; two leagues every other week in the same time slot with over 80 new league bowling customers. Sign up was easy for the customers which made the process smooth. Thanks again for delivering a league in a spot where I needed some help”.

Review from an actual Fun League customer from The Summit Windsor, Colorado

Had the pleasure of participating in the Rum Bucket League - SOOOO much fun! It was great to have a night out for fun without the pressure of actually being good at bowling. This was a GREAT league to just enjoy yourself. Can’t wait to join it again. Definitely will be recommending this to friends!

Thank you, Summit, for a great evening for a few weeks.

of Northern
• 95% of these customers have
before • Above average bowling fees are collected • Strong beverage sales
never bowled in a league
Bo Goergen
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 4


in Attractions


Now is the perfect time for bowling centers to market themselves as comprehensive family entertainment centers and attract more customers.

Arcades have proven to be a profitable investment to FECs for years, bringing new customers through the doors, increasing repeat visit opportunities, and branding themselves as a complete entertainment option.


As one of the many attractions Betson offers, operators must remember that marketing any game is still critical. In Betson’s words, “Buying a new game without plans to promote it is like a tree falling in the woods; does it make a sound?”

What People Are Saying

In a world where consumers spend billions of dollars on games that fit right in their pocket, out-of-home games have had to raise the bar to stay competitive. FECs and arcades have done that by creating experiences you cannot replicate in the home. Betson, a global supplier of location-based attractions, says marketing your games, just like you would a new ride or movie, is a guaranteed track to higher traffic.

Promotions geared toward specific attractions are a great way to drive foot traffic. Potential customers want to know what’s new and different at your facility. Prior guests need a reason to pull back into your parking lot and load their cards for more gameplay. Good news: many manufacturers create engaging content that can be repurposed for online advertising, social media, and your website. A good example is Raw Thrills’ King Kong of Skull Island™ VR. The game has supersized our beloved ape to huge proportions in a cinematic, interactive VR experience. It weaves dazzling 3-D visual effects, exciting motion seat action, cutting-edge VR displays, and movie-style excitement into an unattended cabinet.

“We had used multiple game providers on a previous project at our other center, and Betson was one of those providers. Through that experience, we decided they could deliver the whole package when setting up our new game zone. They delivered when it came to figuring out the right game mix and the games’ layout and had things done promptly.”

“The game room has been, by far, the leading revenue generator of our new renovation. The Betson staff did an outstanding job of game selection and room layout. Our customers have been giving rave reviews. Betson staff has continued to visit our business to review game sales and make recommendations on how to increase game revenues. It’s the kind of service we have come to really appreciate from the Betson staff.”

Richards, Owner, Stardust Entertainment Center

If you market it, they will come, but first, reach out to Betson and see what the future of attractions has in store for your center! Contact Betson Sales at sales@betson.com

Gary Cory Cory Krauss
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 5


in Attractions

Problem: With advancements in technology, in-home entertainment such as gaming consoles and streaming services are more popular than ever. Consumers can find high-definition TVs and sound systems at reasonable prices, and streaming services have even started offering movie premiers. You might be accustomed to earning revenue by competing with other businesses, but now you’ve got to beat consumers’ living rooms too! People around the world are looking for any reason to get out of their homes following the past couple of years, and location-based attractions have been reeling guests back in.

Solution: LAI Game’s location-based attractions have been enticing consumers off their couches and into centers around the nation. LAI offers entertainment that isn’t available at home, with everything from the hottest pushers like Rick and Morty: Blips and Chitz, to top drivers like Asphalt 9 Legends Arcade, to immersive VR experiences such as Virtual Rabbids: Ultra HD. There are plenty of options to outfit your center without the need for entire bumper car arenas or room-sized VR setups. Attractions can be as small as a coin-op game if they provide a thrilling and immersive experience for guests. Virtual Rabbids, the top unattended VR attraction in the industry, has a footprint of only 50 square feet. State-of-the-art attractions will not only boost the rest of your center by bringing in traffic that would otherwise stay home, but they also lead to secondary spending on food and beverage, other attractions including bowling, and elevate repeat spending. Operators love the replayability of games for repeat guest visits, as well as the top-of-the-line hardware used to impress crowds.


What People Are Saying

“150 of our locations have at least one or more LAI Game products. With their new pusher line, we not only see repeat play, but we also see repeat visits to play build the guest ticket balance. The pushers and Asphalt 9 draw people to play, over and over, to achieve better points earned and rankings.”

Steven Veach, Vice President of Games Operations for Bowlero

“As operators of close to 100 Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride arcade games by LAI, we truly know the value of these premium products. It has proven itself to be a very popular, family-friendly attraction in all our seven countries of operation. The new 5K resolution headset, more powerful graphics, and the updated, next-gen D-BOX motion hardware create an unmatched magical and memorable experience.”

Ron Mroz, Global Group Product Team Manager, The Entertainment and Education Group (TEEG)

Call Chris or Anthony at LAI Games for a free phone consultation and find out how LAI Games can level up your center. Call 469.541.0555; email us at sales@laigames.com; or visit laigames.com

Steven Veach
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 6


Behind The Bar


Most anthropologists agree that some of the first words written on cave walls by humans were, “It’s five o’clock somewhere!” Sometimes considered medicinal, sometimes regarded as strictly social, people have always found a reason to imbibe a delicious drink.

Many bowling and FEC operators report that food and beverage sales account for increasingly more revenue; some facilities are at 50% or more. You may have had one too many cocktails if you’re ignoring a revenue stream that large!

While alcoholic drinks of bygone days mainly were flat malts that tasted like watered-down sour syrup, they’ve come a long way. It’s not uncommon to see bar menus offering beautifully crafted cocktails by local mixologists; the upsell premium charged for these unique flavors is even more impressive. Thankfully you don’t need to hire an expert mixologist to level up your bar. Middleton Mixology has done it for you with the original SmokeTop, allowing nonprofessionals to add any flavor of smoke to their cocktails!

Created by mixologist and firefighter James Middleton, the SmokeTop provides a fail-proof and cost-effective way to add new dimensions of flavor, sight, and scent to your creations with an upsell charge that patrons are willing to pay for.


Even when the bar is busy, you take the coaster-sized device to the top of your drink, add your favorite flavor of wood chips, and torch it for a few seconds. This creates a dazzling show of light smoke and embers, with distinct toasty aromas that fill the area.

Middleton estimates it costs operators about a quarter per cocktail to add

this smokey depth. Around the country, patrons are already spending an extra $2-$3 per cocktail to heighten their bar experience.

You can even take the show on the road up and down the lanes. Because SmokeTop doesn’t produce much smoke outside of the drink, it can also safely be served tableside.

The attention-grabbing smoke show will have delicious scents wafting down the concourse, making guests within six lanes wonder why they aren’t holding a smoked Ol’ Fashioned right now. Reading about it makes us wonder why we aren’t holding one.

What People Are Saying

“This product creates a unique & dazzling experience for guests and when other customers see it, they quickly order them as well. Patrons absolutely love our tableside smokey old fashion and compliment us on how fun and interactive it is. If you are trying to upgrade & elevate your bar or tableside service, I highly recommend this product!

General Manager at NW Steakhouse El Guacho Tacoma

To entice guests and add new dimensions to your cocktails, head to MiddletonMixology.com

Reach out to Travis@MiddletonMixology.com for wholesale pricing.

IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 7


in Bowling Capital Equipment


While they certainly aren’t new, string pin spotting machines have seen a steady rise in popularity in recent years due to their simplicity and lower operating costs versus free-fall pin spotting machines. Not content to let this growing sector of the sport remain stuck in its origins, QubicaAMF revolutionized the technology and design of string machines with its EDGE String pin spotter, taking string machines to a new level of operational simplicity, low-cost operation, and reliability.

EDGE String pin spotters were developed with today’s busy, staff-stretched centers in mind. While not entirely “set it and forget it,” EDGE String is simple enough that any employee you would hire for your center can learn to operate it and be comfortable doing so. Moreover, EDGE String does not require dedicated staff to operate and maintain it.

EDGE String is the only string machine that staff truly never need to think about, thanks to Tech Wizard, an innovative operational support expert system packaged in a smartphone app. Through Tech Wizard, EDGE String alerts staff to know when it needs operational attention or servicing and shows what is needed and how to do it through a combination of written instruction and how-to video guidance. Additionally, the how-to videos and written instruction resources within Tech Wizard are great for training new staff, something extremely useful for centers that struggle with high staff turnover.

Besides keeping guests happy with less downtime, EDGE String pin spotters

If you’re ready to bring a new kind of string bowling to your center, visit www.qubicaamf.com/edgestring for more information.

are proven cost savers in many areas. They use lower-voltage, efficient DC-drive technology and industrial gear motors that reduce energy costs. They also help as a future-forward investment, requiring significantly less labor to maintain and fewer replacement parts compared to traditional free-fall machines.

Owners using the EDGE String system report an overall better center environment. Staff is happier and less frazzled, and customers are delighted with fewer breakdowns during busy periods.

QubicaAMF’s center-friendly approach starts at delivery, with a comprehensive, two-day training and setup process.

What People Are Saying

couldn’t find the right help. Our bowlers really like EDGE String’s speed reliability. Our 50-person men’s league

“EDGE String has been a complete game-changer for my business from day one. My employees are happier, my lanes are always up and running, and the overall bowling and guest experience is better as a result.”

Anthony DeCotis, Townline Tenpin Luxury Lanes, Malden, MA
“Keeping our Model A pinsetters running reliably was a struggle. We simply
is finishing about 20 minutes faster.”
Robin Bailey, Bailey’s Tiger Bowl, Battleground, WA Anthony DeCotis Robin Bailey
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 8


in Cashless Technology


How would you describe the perfect employee in a world where staff shortages and high turnover is a constant concern for center owners?

How about one that never calls in sick, always upsells the way you want, is consistent with messaging and helps maximize revenue with every transaction?

Well, that’s precisely what you’ll get with the Embed KIOSK+, a self-service stand designed to increase ROI, help guests get the most value from their purchases, and encourage repeat visits; plus, guests love it!

Embed’s newest machines are about evolving every facet of the pay-and-play experience. They help drive additional revenue from the first point of sale, with multiple pricing slots encouraging higher-than-average card amounts for greater value. They also offer pricing structures with new-card fees kept separate from what goes on the card, letting customers feel like they’re getting the most bang for their buck.

But where the KIOSK+ truly shines is its ability to integrate into the look and feel of your center. Facilities spend lots of money and effort establishing consistent branding, logos, and color schemes, and the newly slimmed-down kiosks are designed to maintain aesthetic flow.

Customized skins and on-screen logos match your surrounding environment and extend to cards, wristbands, and reader imagery. Combined with extra-large screens with dynamic, responsive displays, it helps create an upscale experience that will keep guests coming back.

Some operators who use KIOSK+ are seeing arcade revenue exceeding food and beverage. Additionally, the KIOSK+ allows centers to offer guests more entertainment options when wait times are longer than usual.

What People Are Saying

“We’ve experienced cost savings with less manpower. We don’t need to station more staff in areas where guests usually need more assistance because our KIOSK+ units act as additional employees. They are great with upselling, too, thanks to their large screens and customizable display. We also customized the kiosks’ base with our “Tilted Ten” logo, brand colors, and custom graphics for the RFID tap and printer spaces.”

“Embed’s kiosk user interface has been great to use! It has a ton of options for customization. The new design for the kiosks is very sleek and modern looking. It has a much larger touch screen for guests to interact with while taking up less space overall. Very excited to get these in our new Myrtle Beach location.”

Director of Arcade Operations, Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Centers

Wearable options like wristbands and lanyards, party integration packages, and redemption plus-ups lead to more frequent and repeat business across the board.

To learn more about upgrading your kiosk experience, call 469.521.8000 or email sales@embedcard.com

Patrick Kelly, Kevin Jordan, Nickels & Dimes, Sioux City, IA
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 9

What’s HOT & TRENDING in Cashless Technology


The latest big trend in cashless payment is the substantial growth of credit card use at bowling centers and FECs. It’s no surprise that operators report that consumers spend more using credit cards both in the center and online. Now, guests looking for a few quick games can swipe credit cards with a reader right at their favorite games.

In the arcade area, impulse players traditionally reach for back-pocket cash to get a game in while waiting on food or another attraction. However, as centers have been swiftly moving from coin-op to cashless technology and swipe cards, the beloved couch money has lost its value to the world.

Intercard, the world leader in cashless technology, has finally solved this issue by introducing a card reader that accepts credit cards directly at the game. With this system, there is no barrier between impulse players and their desire to play right away.

The iReader Impulse accepts credit cards as well as stored-value play cards. Operators have wanted to accept credit cards at games for years, but other manufacturers couldn’t meet the strict security standards of the financial industry. Now Intercard has made it possible by deploying a dedicated team of more than six software engineers who worked on the project for a year.

In testing at arcades, the iReader Impulse has increased overall game revenue by more than 20% while giving proprietors all the benefits of cashless technology. The new Impulse technology also reaps revenue from a parent or guardian who can easily play a few games themselves while waiting for the kids to finish their own playtime. Not only is this method ideal for FEC gamers on the go, but route operators also love Impulse for providing a new revenue stream.

What People Are Saying

“We have been using the iReader Impulse and have had great results. We are excited about the new revenue stream it creates, and its potential to connect equipment outside the game area, which is more convenient for guests. This allows us to promote our proprietary game cards throughout a property to immediately accept a credit card for continued play. We plan to incorporate more of these readers into our centers.”

David L. Bishop, Chief Executive Officer, CTM Group, Inc.

Capturing the impulse gamer is exciting for FEC and route operators and Intercard sweetens the deal by offering the lowest card processing fees through an amazing partnership with FEC Financial. If you’d like more information on capturing impulse players who use credit cards for last-minute gratification, contact Bill Allen at: ballen@intercardinc.com or visit www.intercardinc.com

David L. Bishop
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 10

What’s HOT & TRENDING in



In a family entertainment center, guests always look for something new to try that will make each visit unique and memorable. What if we told you that you could create new, memorable experiences without changing the attractions and profit centers you already have in your center? It’s possible!

By merging attractions, you can create a unique experience that draws people in and back. So, what exactly does it mean to merge attractions?

It means that one attraction seamlessly leads into or becomes part of another. For instance, you may have a ropes course and a laser tag arena in your center — but instead of two separate profit centers, what if you had the ropes course climb over the laser tag? Suddenly, those on the ropes course become the laser tag game props. And those playing laser tag may realize how much fun the ropes course can be.

Or what if you put a gravity coaster in your facility and designed the track to fly through the rest of your center, looking down on mini golf, an arcade, bowling lanes, and more? The most forward-thinking proprietors will see multiple benefits to such a design. First, your center will stand out from the crowd. You will no longer have a laser tag arena like other centers in your area; you have the only one that allows users to shoot over the arcade. And that creates memories and social-media-worthy photo opportunities.

It’s the type of unique experience that will lead to your customers returning more often, likely bringing their friends and family along with them.

But there’s more! Merging attractions also means your customers will get a bird’s-eye view of all that your facility has to offer. Perhaps they just wanted to ride the coaster, but once they see the mini golf course from above, they may head there next. It’s much more interactive and effective than a map on the wall.

Finally, merging attractions allows you to change the experience time and again. If your ropes course can’t physically change too often (as that’s not costeffective or practical), you can change the colors, layout, and sounds of your laser tag arena – which makes the ropes course an ever-changing experience.

Merging attractions is easy, cost-effective, and saves space in your center, making it a popular trend around the globe. Dynamic Designs has successfully merged attractions for many family entertainment centers, creating a dynamic experience for guests in a cost-efficient manner for operators.

Want help merging your attractions? Dynamic Designs is here for you! Call 866.644.5892 or email info@dynamicdesignsinc.net to learn more.

IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 11

What’s HOT & TRENDING in Finance and Accounting



Center owners have a lot to deal with these days. A turnover-prone labor market makes staffing a chore. Competition for entertainment options pops up seemingly every day. Rising inflation adds a new level of stress to the day-to-day cost of business. And on top of everything else, it can be tricky to properly manage your finances without an accounting degree. That’s where First Frame Bowling comes in. A consulting and management firm designed for the specific needs of bowling and family entertainment centers run by people from the bowling industry, they offer in-depth training and assistance to help make managing the financial side of the business simpler.

First Frame works with a software application tailored to center operations that translate information from your POS systems and imports it to QuickBooks for hassle-free, comprehensive automation of your daily books. Additionally, it helps operators save money by identifying common concerns that can lead to hiccups in revenue tracking. From mislabeling commissions from lottery sales to properly inventorying your costs and goods, First Frame helps you avoid pitfalls that can become headaches come tax season. Instead of paying tens of thousands to an accountant who only works when it’s time to file, you can save by taking hold of your finances.

First Frame understands that while the industry faces shared issues, each center is unique. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Some businesses can raise prices to cover losses or address inflationrelated problems; for others, it’s a surefire way to lose customers. That’s why First Frame tailors its programs and training specifically for the needs of each of its clients. Their process starts with a

personalized, thorough financial review for a detailed understanding of your current situation and the story being told by your numbers.

The First Frame team offers on-site training for a grasp of the software system, how to do daily accounting entries, and how to shift resources and improve lagging areas. Other financial management firms lack basic knowledge of the bowling industry. First Frame brings firsthand knowledge and care that only comes from people with bowling in their blood.

What People Are Saying

Ready to take control of your books? Travis Harper and the First Frame Bowling team can help! Call Travis at 844.923.2695 or email travis@firstframebowling.com for more information.

“Implementing DassleWeb across our entire organization has likely been one of the most effective decisions we have ever made to improve our operations. This versatile technology truly delivers a solution that improves the efficiency and accuracy of our reporting, while remaining user-friendly for both the operations and finance teams.”
Kevin Taylor, Chief Financial Officer of Station 300 Group
Kevin Taylor
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 12

What’s HOT & TRENDING in Guest Experience


Today’s consumers aren’t just comfortable taking things into their own hands; they’ve come to expect it. And when given an extra level of control, they spend more, play more, and return for repeat business. Even pre-pandemic, guests embraced everything from buying plane tickets from their phones to ordering food from a counter screen at every chain under the sun.

Brunswick’s Sync Service kiosk takes that principle and improves on it, allowing folks to manage all aspects of their visits, including bowling, food and beverage, game cards, and other attractions. Selfservice is at the core of Brunswick’s mission to help owners operate smarter and more efficiently, and it’s what drives the innovations behind their Sync Service Kiosks and OrderNow interactive menus.

Center operators save time and labor while keeping customers happier throughout the process. These techsavvy kiosks prove extra helpful in a tight job market, letting centers retain critical, multifunctional staff who are less stressed, better able to do important work, and not get burned out and pressured to upsell since that crucial feature is built into the Sync Service kiosk. That approach extends to the OrderNow system, built right into Sync scoring tablets, letting guests order and reorder from an interactive menu with striking visuals. Customers are averaging $27 per ticket when using Sync Service Kiosk, up from $17 when ordering from a server or counter setup. The uptick in sales can be due to three factors: customers aren’t forced to choose an item in a time crunch; they do not face judgment about what they’re picking or adding to their food; they can see every item in delicious detail on the screens which lead to larger orders.


What People Are Saying

“So glad we purchased Brunswick Sync kiosks! They do half the work for our servers so they can spend more time taking care of guests. Guests win with quick service, servers’ time is leveraged, tips go up, sales go up, and the back-office menu build is easily leveraged to OrderNow with almost no extra work!”

Melanie Coleman, Holiday Lanes, Bossier City, LA To experience Sync Service Kiosk or OrderNow, visit www.brunswickbowling.com/kioskdemo
“Sync kiosks have been a game changer in this tight labor market. They allow us to continue selling our products to customers when shortstaffed and eliminate lines during peak times. Customers are immediately engaged by the sharp menu display and user-friendly interface and can easily make a purchase. It has been a win-win situation.”
Jennifer Davis-Korn, 48 Bowl Inc, Lincoln, NE Jennifer Davis-Korn
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 13

What’s HOT & TRENDING in

Guest Experience


Today’s consumers prioritize efficiency. People are busy juggling full-time jobs, rowdy kids, and other daily drudgery. Planning a fun night should be simple and streamlined if you want to get them through your doors.

It’s no easy feat to maintain a busy facility, often with fewer bodies than normally desired to steer the ship. The front desk often gets backed up battling customer service issues and last-minute incoming parties, while other guests wave coupon codes from the 1970s, claiming they’re still redeemable.

However, guests aren’t concerned with your staffing issues or other dilemmas. They want an enjoyable experience, not a frustrating one. A bad customer experience can feel like stepping on Lego blocks; painful and not something you’d want to do again. These challenges are why QubicaAMF Worldwide created the Conqueror Kiosk and Conqueror Web. Guests are given the opportunity to participate in the experience at all levels of the transaction via their phone or at your center’s kiosk.

Today’s guests enjoy and often expect to be in control of their entertainment journey. QubicaAMF believes in creating the Ultimate Consumer Journey that starts where guests can reserve lanes or attractions online and check in at a kiosk that shares your center’s offers and specials once they arrive.

QubicaAMF’s Conqueror management system allows you to feature your center’s promotions in these tech-forward touchpoints. If you’ve ever waited an hour for a dinner table, just for the server to spend an eternity going over a list of the day’s specials, you can see the value in this approach.

With the Conqueror Web & Kiosk, guests have the proper time and visuals to decide which of your promotions work best for them, boosting revenue, freeing up staff, and reducing payroll costs for your center.

What People Are Saying

“Technology is changing, and the labor market continues to be a major challenge. My Conqueror Kiosks help address those issues. My customers expect modern conveniences when coming to my facility, and the kiosk delivers on that expectation. Besides being easy to use, its automation makes it convenient for my guests to do what they want to do without a staff person, thus allowing my already-busy staff to focus on other parts of the guest experience.

“Guests find the kiosks intriguing and user-friendly. We were one of the first centers to get the kiosks and we bought 6 of them. We have found QubicaAMF to be very responsive to our needs and listens to their customers in the field.”

Buster, Coconut Bowl, Sparks, NV

To learn more about how QubicaAMF can streamline your center and boost guest experience, visit www.qubicaamf.com

John Losito, Sun Valley Lanes & Games, Lincoln, NE John Losito
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 14


in Insurance and Loss Prevention


With inflation driving up the cost of everything, including insurance, properly handling customer injury claims can not only lower your rates but can also generate superior customer service by how you managed the incident.

That’s the goal of a new claims-handling training program being pioneered by Western Bowling Proprietors Insurance (WBPI), offered free of charge to their clients. This comprehensive program is designed to minimize losses, understand and manage risk, and help staff develop the skills required to handle specific incidents faced by bowling alleys and family entertainment centers. Even the most common occurrences from wellmeaning customers can escalate into claim scenarios. That’s why Cameron Linder, CEO of WBPI, stresses the importance of proper training. How can you prevent problems before they happen? What do you do if a fight breaks out in your center? Do you understand your legal duties when issues arise? How can you stay out of trouble by avoiding saying the wrong things? And what are those wrong things anyway?

Essentially, WBPI’s training sessions are less about developing an exhaustive knowledge of the law and more about mastering the finer points of customer service. Linder emphasizes that bowling is an industry built on establishing and maintaining good customer relationships. If you show that you care for guests’ wellbeing and reassure them in emotionally heightened situations, you’re more likely to develop and keep a patron for life. And satisfied, repeat customers only mean more revenue and less insecurity for your business.

You can’t avoid every claim, but you can navigate them with the right partners. Driven to continually help their clients keep up and keep ahead, WBPI is launching a website with additional training videos that will routinely refresh with new content.

What People Are Saying

WBPI has specialized in the bowling industry’s particular needs for decades and stands ready to help your business. More information can be found at wbpiprogram.com

If you’re ready to provide extra protection for your business, call WBPI at 800.200.9998 or email contact@wbpiprogram.com.

“I have had WBPI as my insurance provider for several years and they are far more than an insurance agency, they are more like a business partner. They look out for me like most vendors never do and I am very thankful to be working with them every day.
Jason Hoff,
Evergreen Lanes, Everett, WA
Jason Hoff
“WBPI has been meeting our insurance needs for seven years. Cameron is the most responsible agent we’ve ever had. But it’s more than just insurance; Cameron spent countless hours helping the Illinois Bowling Proprietors navigate red tape during COVID.”
Patty Paul,
Channahon Lanes, and Mini Golf, Channahon, IL
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 15
Cameron Linder, WBPI


in Lane Maintenance



Today’s bowling center operators need flexible solutions to maximize all aspects of the business, including getting the most out of their staff’s time. In 2023 automation and technology have become an operator’s best friend by providing economical solutions to common problems and everyday headaches.


What was considered a luxury expenditure is now becoming more of a necessity.

With today’s rising wages and the challenges of finding and retaining key staffers, innovative resources like automated lane-walking machines can help fill the gaps.

Imagine a 24-lane bowling center that oils its lanes 12 times per week. That means a staff member spends 8.8 hours per week, or 31.76 hours per month, conditioning lanes. That’s almost an entire week per month that could be devoted to something else, like pinsetter maintenance. Think about the potential of your pinsetters after experiencing an extra 380 hours of love!

As for cost savings, consider this: at a base rate of $15 per hour and oiling once per day, even an 8-lane center can save an estimated $6,600 over five years, which more than pays for the walking function on a lane machine.



Kegel released their first lane walking machine in 1991 and has seen enormous shifts in the industry. There has been quite an increase in smaller centers purchasing automated lane machines over the past few years. Busy proprietors like the multitasking convenience of a walking lane machine that allows them to condition the lanes while finishing payroll, taking care of banking, repairing a maintenance issue, or handling other necessary responsibilities.

For owners on a tighter


budget, Kegel offers different models that deliver top-tier performance without extra features. You can access a labor calculator on their site that shows how much you’ll save over a month or year.

What People Are Saying

Kegel has been perfecting automation technology for lane conditioning for three decades and is committed to helping operators find the right machine for their operation.

Visit www.kegel.net to learn more, or contact your local Kegel Authorized Distributor.

“The full benefit of our walking lane machine was not realized until post-2020. As a small center with limited staff, this machine allows me to greet league bowlers and answer questions, work on any pinsetter issues I may have, or complete office work. You truly don’t realize how much more you can accomplish when an hour of your time per day is instantly given back to you.”
Scott Smithson, Manager, Millsboro Lanes, Millsboro, DE
Scott Smithson
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 16


in Marketing


People spend more time on their phones with little evidence of slowing down. Even while at your center, guests are busy snapping pics, checking social media, and texting right from the lanes, arcade, or bar. Plus, social bowlers love hopping on their phones between turns, allowing them to block out the previous chain of gutter balls and focus on anything else!

Most operators know how phone-addicted guests are and provide free Wi-Fi as a standard service, but why let your Wi-Fi router sit as an expense when it can generate revenue?

Think about this; you’ve probably gone to grab lunch sometime and connected to the Wi-Fi wherever you are. It’s common to enter your email and DOB, or you’re prompted to connect to your social media.

Businesses aren’t asking for this to send you Christmas presents; they’re collecting your data for more robust marketing purposes.

Putting your Wi-Fi to work can turn your free internet resource into an automated marketing asset that collects guest data which can be used for future targeted marketing campaigns.

Data collected at the center level is precious because you’re grabbing real-time, accurate data from people who already like your center. Unfortunately, collecting data has been a longstanding conundrum for many short-staffed operations. Now operators can capture meaningful data automatically, making marketing campaigns more productive and easier to implement.

Since guests are using their phones on your network, you can capture information to promote offers like birthday parties, league bowling opportunities, and special events, or even if guests haven’t returned in 30 days and need a little push to get them back to your center.

What People Are Saying

upgrade our Wi-Fi network all across our building, which came with a cost, so we had to decide, at what cost is this network enhancement worth it? After a brief discussion with Zach at Bowling Marketing Solutions, it was obvious that a data capture on our guest’s Wi-Fi was the way to go.

We have collected a large amount of guest data with this hands-free way to manage and see many of our bounce-back email offers coming in. The number of positive reviews we’ve gotten from the automated emails after each visit is also substantial; over 1,000 currrently on Google, and more come in almost daily.”

You can turn your router into an automated marketing machine, 100% hands-off for the operator!

If you want to generate more revenue without lifting a finger, contact Bowling Marketing Solutions and speak to Zach or Darin at 844.468.4144.

“We decided to
Ryan Orvis, Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley, Green Bay, WI Ryan Orvis
PUTTING YOUR WI-FI TO WORK IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 17


in Operations


Creating innovative new ways to improve guest experience has been happening since, well, business or trade ever existed! In that time, there has not been a shortage of new ideas or concepts; the most significant constraint has been the technological capabilities of the era.

Thankfully technology has advanced dramatically in the last few years with consumers embracing it in all aspects of life. Today’s consumers expect fast service, a quality experience, and a pristine environment to boot. Lately, customer service has been under fire in all types of businesses partially because of staff shortages. Guests often report their disappointments in online reviews, giving operators headaches and angst.

Fast forward to 2023 when a team of dedicated robotic staff roll on the scene to support their human colleagues. These finely tuned additions to a center’s workforce are specifically designed for the entertainment industry and are offered by the professionals at BowlMarc Robotics who have over 40 years of experience in the bowling industry.

BowlMarc Robotics’ robots aren’t meant to replace staff but instead are used as supplementary helpers who serve as a fascinating attraction that provides exceptional customer service. Instead of pulling your hair out combatting bad guest reviews, you’ll be basking in a slew of upbeat, positive ones.

BowlMarc Robotics offers five unique robots that are designed for different jobs and programmed to provide different experiences, so you may have to have them fill out resumes. It could be CC1 who crawls out of the Batcave at night to clean your floors, HolaBot who zooms over to help buss tables or Bella who finishes off shoe and food deliveries while singing “Happy Birthday” to a young party guest.

What People Are Saying

“Our two BellaBots have saved us an average of 25 hours of labor each week, equating to over $15,000 in payroll costs a year. To us, their biggest value is in the enhanced customer experience they provide. We have people come to our center just to see the food delivery robots! I think it’s important to implement unique ways to set your business apart; our BellaBots have certainly done that for us.”

Ducat, Cypress Lanes, Winter Haven, FL

The BowlMarc Robotics robots are excellent multitaskers; they are friends of guests and assistants to staff. Never miss, and always score with BowlMarc Robotics, the rolling robot team who is fast, efficient, and easy to train.

For more information call 239.302.2152, email sales@bowlmarc.com or visit their website www.bowlmarc.com

Chelsea Chelsea Ducat
“Since “Bella” came on board we have seen a sharp increase of repeat families who are bringing others just to have the Bella experience”.
Jerry Hudson,
Bowland Port Charlotte, Port Charlotte, FL
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 18


in Redemption


After a long day of booming speakers, flashing lights, card swipes, and Skee-ball fails, guests want to leave your arcade feeling rewarded. When a family decides to spend their free time and hard-earned money at your center, they can either walk out of your doors empty-handed or like a successful champion wielding a fluffy unicorn trophy. Rewarding the masses is a challenging endeavor. There are different demographics to please, guests follow unique trends with various tastes in prizes, and it’s crucial to fill the different reward tiers.

Finding the right trending prizes is just the first step in the world of redemption. It’s followed by ongoing inventory cycles, tracking stock, estimating shipping times, and making sure there’s no gap in prizes on the shelves. If it sounds like a lot, you’re right! Thankfully for your sanity and bank account, BMI Merchandise, the leader in the amusement industry for over 30 years, offers a complete, full-service redemption management system that handles every stage of the redemption process.

Whether you’re looking to update your current store or are launching a brand new one, BMI’s team will incorporate their state-of-the-art plan-o-gram technology to lay out your redemption center and provide you with a digital rendering before the build. Once your space is ready, BMI’s merchandise team will travel to your location to get you set up and ready to go. When your merch arrives, you’ll appreciate that barcoding and ticketing are already done for you, a huge time and labor savings!

Integrating seamlessly with your POS system, BMI’s analytics team knows how much inventory to send you, ensuring that your center is always in-stock but never over-stocked. The result is minimum inventory, minimal expense, and a dynamite product line-up that guests are clamoring for.

As kids chase bright new bouncy

balls through the center and parents victoriously carry waffle makers back to the car, operators can sit back from redemption worries.

What People Are Saying

“BMI helped design our entire prize wall, including prizes and layout. Their automatic reorder system notifies us what we need to order on Monday, and the inventory resupply arrives on Friday. Our customers are excited to


see the number of prizes for all ages and the variety of items.”
Aulby, Arrowhead Bowl, Lafayette, IN
Mike Aulby
see how BMI Merchandise can help you with redemption, call 800.272.6375 and ask for Dave Schwartz.
redesigned and refreshed our redemption area, which looks great, including up-to-date trending products. All the folks that come in are very happy. Newer, high-point items drive return customers to save their points to get that big prize.”
Louis Leber, Arcade Manager, Chipper’s Lanes, Denver, CO
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 19


in Redemption


Customers of all ages love hitting the redemption store at their favorite bowling center or FEC. Redemption has become big business for centers, making consistency and efficiency paramount. Prizes must be merchandised and displayed according to precise plans, and each item scanned properly so transactions are done accurately. Reorders and recordkeeping depend on a proficient process.


Turnover of redemption staff can complicate even the most streamlined operations. If you’re regularly losing experienced workers and have to re-train employees while doing business, you’re not setting yourself up for success.

This common problem is why Redemption Plus has made comprehensive training a core component of its business. It starts on Day 1, with merchandisers who take detailed videos of initial setups for reference, send follow-up content with tips and tricks, and return at least three times a year to help train a center’s staff.

These video training sessions are detailed yet easy to follow and pass on, combatting the effects of employee churn. Redemption Plus also offers full-day, in-person training sessions to keep employees up to date on methods, trending merchandise, and more. Centers enrolled in the Redemption Plus service program receive all these benefits as part of their package at no extra charge.

With more than 50 how-to videos on redemption alone, this type of training help can make the process bulletproof. It helps keep the experience uniform for centers while allowing them to keep up with product refreshes, work in new planograms, and help staff keep up with ongoing training.

Redemption Plus builds in monthly follow-ups with new customers to ensure a smooth operation through those important

early months. These training programs not only help a center maximize their gaming areas, but also allow them to get the most out of Redemption Plus’s full lineup of offerings, including a product team that stays current on the hottest new toys and properties, suppliers that keep trending items on shelves with quick turnaround times, and expert support.

What People Are Saying

If you’re ready to bring better support, training, and results to your prize redemptions, call Justin Michaels, Senior Account Executive, at 913.207.7938 for more info.

“Working with the Redemption Plus team through the concept and design process of our new redemption store was easy because they understood our brand pillars and the design of our facility. After installation of the new store, the on-site training, ease of online ordering, and continuing education along with site visits make them one of our most important partners in the industry.”
Craig Buster, Coconut Bowl General Manager, Sparks, NV
Craig Buster
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 20


in Sound, Lighting & Special Effects



The age of immersion is here! When considering memorable guest experiences, the art of creating an immersive environment should be at the top of your checklist. Immersion means that guests feel completely surrounded by their experience, which is done by tapping into all of their senses with fine-tuned entertainment.

On average, consumers spend less on things and more on experiences they can add to the scrapbook. Guests want to be entertained, and it’s up to you to deliver. Thankfully the experienced team at Decibel-Studios knows how to ‘wow’ customers with an unforgettable experience that won’t break the bank for operators.

Imagine guests’ amazement when opening your doors to a colorful light show, synchronized perfectly with state-of-the-art speakers, tuned in to the acoustics and architecture of your specific center. This is just a taste of what the powerhouse tech experts at Decibel-Studios can do for you, and it’s easier than you might imagine.

Delivering an experience beyond guest expectations (and your competition) can help centers stand out in a busy crowd of entertainment options, boost return visits and create incredible social media buzz. While there will always be new attractions to add to your center, with Decibel-Studios, your center becomes the attraction!

When creating brand awareness, it’s important to pull people into the story you’re telling by creating an environment that hits all the senses in a fantastic way. There’s no limit to Decibel-Studio’s offerings, with a range from custom audio, 2D-4D visuals, captivating light shows, and interactive experiences to their signature HyperImmersive Theater.

What People Are Saying

Cresteron-based A/V control


The Decibel-Studios team shares a common goal: creating meaningful audience experiences on time and within budget. This friendly group is eager to help operators. Contact Guy O’Hazza or Ravi Shankar at Mobile: 310.717.1603 or Main: 800.988.2616 Or fill out a form at Decibel-Studios.com for a consultation today.

The knowledgeable professionals at Decibel-Studios have worked on projects at bowling centers, FECs, aquariums, casinos, sports auditoriums, performance theaters, and even zoos.

“We engaged Decibel Studios to integrate a newly repurposed space into our existing audio-visual systems. Combining the old and new was not an easy endeavor, but everything came together seamlessly on schedule and on budget. “
Hill, Lefty’s Alleys & Eats, Lewes, DE
DJ Hill
“We have the
system with show lighting at our bowling center and skating rink. While guests don’t directly comment about our
system, they let us know when the music isn’t playing over the lanes. Besides their outstanding products, Guy O’Hazza and his team understand our needs and provide solutions quickly and economically.”
Steve Takeuchi, Construction & Compliance Director at Round1 Entertainment
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 21


in Training


In today’s competitive environment, having an experienced team that radiates confidence in their duties, knowledge of their center’s operation, and pride in their business is more important than ever. The goal of having an exceptional team that provides a memorable experience sets your business apart from the competition.


Customers are impacted positively or negatively by the services they receive. A center’s sales and operations improve dramatically when a team is properly trained and works as a high-performance team. Everyone’s job description should include creating happy memories for guests.

Spending money on training or coaching may be the last thing on many people’s minds. Unfortunately, an untrained team is sure to decrease a business’s bottom line. There’s a pivotal point when guests walk into a center and face a welcoming smile with clear direction, versus untrained staff that can’t seem to answer questions or know what’s happening.

Excellent guest service can be an uphill battle, and today’s savvy consumers are happy to share positive or negative reviews online for everyone to see. The truth is an investment in your team is an investment in your business.

Thankfully, TrainerTainment has over 100 years of combined staff training experience! They’ve been coaching and creating powerful teams that have increased sales, better guest service, a bigger bottom line, and lower staff turnover for nearly 20 years.

Professional training and coaching are terrific returns on investment. With a focus on growth programs and consistent in-person and online training,

TrainerTainment provides the means to lift your team’s foot off the brake and build a masterful

If you’ve ever felt like a dysfunction in team dynamics is holding you back, you could be a prime candidate for the kind of coaching TrainerTainment has offered to centers across the U.S. and Canada. Services include leadership and sales coaching, new center openings, onsite training, virtual training, workshops, and mystery shopping.

What People Are Saying

a growth call to start building your center’s dream team today at https://trainertainment.net/schedule-meeting or
us a call 817.886.4840
“TrainerTainment has helped us become a sales-focused and goal-driven company while giving great support to our people. Our group and party business has allowed us to be future-focused; group revenue has grown tremendously, and my sales staff are constantly being challenged and have gained confidence. I’m sure this sounds like a latenight infomercial for TrainerTainment, but it is what it is; there is no disputing our results.”
Rob Szabo, owner of Social Bowl and Palasad South, both in London, Ontario, Canada
Rob Szabo
selling engine that works for you
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 22
Standlee, TrainerTainment


in Websites


In the age of the world wide web, your center’s digital presence is just as important as its physical one! 76% of consumers look at an online presence before physically visiting a business. It’s safe to consider your business’s homepage the virtual front entrance to your center. Ask yourself, is my website inviting, easy to navigate, and does it make someone want to come in?

A well-designed website can be your most vital asset when attracting today’s consumers, so treating it as an essential resource, not a forgotten, old supply closet is critical.

Designing and managing websites is not for amateurs! Relying on professionals who create and properly maintain your web presence can alleviate enormous headaches and lead to more revenue. Led by former proprietor Carey Tosello, eBowl.biz has risen to the top as the industry’s only bowlingspecific web builder.

Carey and his team understand the bowling business and how to utilize the latest, most innovative technology to produce results-oriented websites that integrate with today’s social media and other technology, making your website an enormous asset!

The team at eBowl.biz can upgrade your center’s most important digital asset to better showcase all that you offer. Eye-popping website designs, sophisticated search engine optimization, and the ability to post an alert instantly to the website from your phone make eBowl’s services an attractive option for operators!

In addition to a visually stunning website, the eBowl. biz team will take care of content updates for you and install a live feed of your social media posts on the homepage, spreading the word about new promotions and center happenings effectively.

What People Are Saying

“Station 300 needed a website partner that was fast, reliable, and knew the bowling business. We chose eBowl.biz to make this happen and we are very pleased with the results. Our websites load fast, look awesome,

eBowl.biz team!”

Contact Carey Tosello at 541.549.0999 to learn how your center can boost business, get higher search engine rankings, and attract more customers or visit www.eBowl.biz
“I love my website! The Alert feature that allows me to place snow days or cancellations on the website right from my phone is awesome!”
Jason Johannes, Park Lanes, Shawnee,
and make a great first impression for our brand. We know we are in good hands with the
Mike Monroe, General Manager, Station 300 Centers
“eBowl.biz handles all of our digital marketing needs, and the website they built for us is firstrate. It showcases all we offer, plus lane reservations are way up since we upgraded to the new website and combined it with our digital marketing. The transition was easy and painless.”
Jodi & Jason Altman, Proprietors, Gage Bowl, Los Angeles, CA Jason Altman
IBI Hot & Trending - 2023 23
HOT & TRENDING from IBI A NEW Resource Focusing on the Business of ENTERTAINMENT An Exclusive Publication of IBI • www.BowlingIndustry.com

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