Keeping Your Employees Engaged

Keeping employees engaged these days seems to be a huge problem in our industry (as well as in other industries). Many of our jobs start at minimum-wage pay and include only part-time work.  Finding employees who will work either part-time or will start at minimum wage is becoming more and more difficult. On the other hand, some of our full-time, higher-paying positions may be lacking people who are both skilled and engaged. Becoming a better leader will help us engage all of our employees, and help with employee retention. I recently read an article about the ...

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Developing Programs and Packages

With Labor Day in the rearview mirror, league season is officially upon us! If you are like most bowling center proprietors, you find yourself falling behind each year in the league market, and you may even wonder why you have open lanes this year that were filled last year. You may even be wondering what, exactly, you are doing wrong. In most cases, you are not doing anything wrong. But you will need to refine your approach to filling lanes. The reason is that our league base customers are becoming older and are dropping out of league play faster than the younger ...

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An Interview with Fred Kaplowitz

Jim: Today I am speaking with Fred Kaplowitz, president and CEO of The Kaploe Marketing Group. Fred is one of the co-founders of Kids Bowl Free, which has registered more than 17 million kids – usually 14 years old and younger – at more than 1,400 bowling centers in the United States and Canada. Fred, before we discuss some of the specific marketing opportunities for bowling center proprietors, could you share a bit about your background in this industry? Fred: My career started in the financial and banking industry. After graduate school, I secured a job with a ...

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Forming leagues – a Yearlong Project

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Running a league-based house can be extremely difficult at this time of the year. Time never seems to be on your side, and decisions are often made slowly by returning teams. Back in the day, leagues accounted for a full 90% of my revenue.  In fact, due to the industry where I live, we had leagues bowling after work – 8am, 4pm, and midnight were very popular start times.  We also enjoyed 9am, noon,6pm and 9pm leagues on top of the industrial leagues – this was a typical daily schedule with little time for open play, but we did well with it on the weekends. Th...

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Get Started Now for Fall

Most of us have leagues starting in the fall, and now that we are already halfway through July, we should be in “full fall league” mode! A lot of centers have the traditional 32-36 week leagues. Although it seems like the bowlers just finished their league from last season – and they told you how long the season was – they are more likely to be your most loyal customers, and they will be ready to come back. Those same bowlers can be your best salesmen when you communicate to them and involve them as VIB (Very Important Bowlers). If you have not yet started to ...

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It’s been a while

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My last blog post was April 24th, so we have a lot of catching up to do. This post will be of a more personal nature. The reason for the blog hiatus is that my son, Jimmy, who is severely autistic, broke his leg in late April. And, as you can imagine, with a special-needs child, adding a broken leg to the mix meant that my family’s routine was turned upside down for a while. Jimmy is non-verbal and is high on the Autism spectrum. He is 24 years old, full of life, and always has a smile for everyone. Jimmy’s broken leg over the past two months has been a reminder ...

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A Conversation with the Founder of Kids Bowl Free

Over the past few months, we have explored different promotion ideas to attract more customers to your bowling center. Today, I sat down with the founder and creator of Kids Bowl Free, Bruce Davis. Bruce is one of my close friends, and I am also fortunate to have had him as a career mentor for many years. His energy has no end, and his lifelong passion for bowling has fueled some of the industry’s most innovative approaches to inspiring future generations of bowlers. Jim: Tell us a bit about your background in the industry. Bruce: I grew up around my family’s ...

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My all-time favorite pricing structure

We have discussed pricing options in the past here in this blog, but today I would like to discuss my all-time favorite pricing structure: the 2-for-5 option (two games for $5). The spring and summer months are a great time to test your market. I’m never a fan of “going cheaper” for the sole sake of reducing prices. However, I am a huge proponent of bundling packages together in a way that gives your customers great value and helps drive business into your centers. This type of bundling structure will always be a win-win for your bowling center. The 2-for-$5 ...

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Gaining an edge through PR tools

Today, we want to talk about an easy technique to drive attendance for your bowling center’s major events. Yes, we’re talking about press releases. Now, before you say, “Jim, I run a bowling center, not a political campaign! Why do I need a press release?”, let me just point out that press releases are an easy and effective tool to drive attendance to your center, garner goodwill and appreciation in the community, and put your bowling center on the map. The first thing to understand is what a press release is. Simply put, a press release is a short news ...

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Using video to take your marketing to the next level

When it comes to your marketing strategy for your bowling center, have you considered using digital videos? I recently came across the article below from WordStream, and I highly recommend that you take a moment to read through it. Online videos are one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your bowling center and to help drive traffic. If you are interested in learning more about how online videos can take your center’s marketing to the next level, feel free to reach out to me. Ten Pin has custom videos for your bowling center, and we would be happy to help you ...

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