Archive for the ‘service’ Category

A Heart as Big as Texas

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I love Texas!

Really what I mean by that is I love my hometown of Houston. I was born and raised here and tell people all the time I live in the greatest city in the world! If you have turned on a TV in the past week, you have seen the devastation that hit the Gulf Coast. Yes, not just Houston but the 52+ counties affected by Hurricane Harvey.

During the past week, we have seen people from all over our state and, quite frankly, our country, come together. They’ve helped with rescue, demo of homes, and clean up. They are working shelters, bringing in donations of food, water, clothing, and other much-needed supplies. It truly has been amazing. I wanted to spotlight some of the work that’s been done and then give you ideas on how to give back to your community, particularly with the holiday season coming up.

Bowling Center Opens Doors to Hurricane Refugees

Our dear friends at Max Bowl in Port Arthur, Texas opened their doors and became a shelter for those seeking refuge from flood waters. Not only did they open their doors, the café was feeding everyone, too. This story literally brought tears to my eyes. Opening their doors was an overwhelming example of how the bowling and FEC community gave back to their community.

Local Trampoline Park Donates Proceeds to JJ Watt Hurricane Relief Fund

Another amazing example is Urban Air in Spring, Texas, just a few miles from my house. For two days they donated all proceeds to JJ Watt’s Foundation for Hurricane Harvey Relief. It was a great way to get the kids out and let parents have time for clean up as the neighborhoods around the corner were severely flooded.

School Supply Drive to Support Gulf Coast Schools

Here at TrainerTainment, education is a huge priority for us. We are educators in every sense of the word, so we started a school supply drive. In Houston ISD, 52 schools were severely damaged and another 27 had damage that could be repaired within a few months. Port Aransas Texas schools have been so damaged, they do not plan on opening for the rest of the year and are diverting students to other districts. These students are our team members. They are our party hosts, cashiers, ride operators, and game room attendants. Our goal is to provide school supplies so we can get kiddos back in school and have some sense of normalcy.

Ideas to Give Back to Your Community

As I’m writing this, I’m thinking of all of our friends and clients in Florida who are getting ready for Hurricane Irma. People there will have the same needs. Here are some ideas of how you can help with either recovery effort.

  1. School Supply/Food/Toy Drive – These types of drives are easy to set up and don’t require a lot of work. Advertise you are collecting food, school supplies, or even toys for an organization. Have a special offer such as a free attraction or maybe even a BOGO for donating an item.
  2. Plan a fundraising night. It’s fun and easy. Encourage people to come in your center and then give a portion of the day’s sales back to the organization.
  3. Create a special package – You can run this for a night or an entire month. Create a special package that includes food, drinks, and fun and give a portion of each package sold to the organization of your choice.
  4. Match Grant – Allow local organizations to host a fundraiser and match it! Set the amount you are willing to match up to giving them the opportunity to double their fundraising efforts.
  5. #GivingTuesday – Show your support for a local organization. Have your team members bring in donations. Use social media to let your fans know you support the specific organization, that you are collecting for them, and encourage them to participate.
  6. Go Big! Host a bowling tournament or big event at your center.

I hope this will give you ideas on how you can help. If you would like more info on how to execute one of these ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Just shoot an email to rosie@trainertainment.net.

A Desire to Serve & It Shows!

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“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”  Henry Ford

A Desire to Serve

I had breakfast with a friend of mine last week at a 50-year-old restaurant near downtown Fort Worth. That establishment may have the BEST example of a business that exudes a real “culture of service”I’ve ever seen. Was it a five-star place? NO. Look it up. The Ol’ South Pancake House. It’s what you would think, except bigger!

They had lots of seats and plenty of staff. When we arrived, they found us a table (booth) as quickly as possible. There was a slight wait, but the host was so pleasant. She seemed glad to see us. Neither of us had ever been to this location, but honestly, it felt like we were part of the family.

Once seated, we were greeted by the BEST server I’ve ever had. The only way I can describe Jennifer is that she was genuinely joyful to serve our breakfast. She smiled. She verbalized how happy she was we were there. She was interested in us having the best thing for breakfast based on dietary needs and desire.

Get Your Staff Enthusiastic

Listen, I don’t know how to tell you to help your staff get enthusiastic about the choices your guests make, but I can tell you as a guest, I LOVE it! The word that comes to mind about this server is authentic. She wasn’t faking it. She was happy and joyful. She had a genuine desire to serve, and it showed.

Maybe that’s the interview question we need to ask prospective or current employees. “How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to serving others, with 1 being I’m a help yourself kind of person and 10 representing a burning desire to serve others?” Then I would ask for an example of a time when they exhibited that kind of service.

A Spirit of Service

Back to Jennifer. She was friendly and tuned into the fact that my friend and I were going to visit a while. She never interrupted inappropriately yet tended to our every need. At one point during breakfast, my friend said, “Jennifer makes me want to ask her for one more thing just so she’ll come back to the table!” I’m telling you this woman was gifted with a “service spirit.” I know that may sound “woo-woo,” but it was just awesome!

We got to looking around, and you know what, the place was full of Jennifers. Every server was fully engaged when they were with a table. We even noticed a cranky couple at a table near us. Their server seemed to make it her mission to lighten up this meal for Mr. and Mrs. Cranky. It worked.

I think it may have had something to do with the fact that when she delivered breakfast, she did so with an enthusiastic, “Incoming!” and served them eggs and bacon in a royal sweeping style. You had to laugh. You have to get happy even when you are cranky! It’s bacon and eggs for crying out loud, and to me, it looks super important to the folks at the Ol’ South Pancake House for it to be a meaningful and fun part of each of their customer’s day. That’s a culture. They all believe what they are doing is important and they are consistently delivering service at a level I haven’t seen in a while! It was so honest and genuine.

Jennifer, if you see this…..I mean it, YOU are the best server I’ve ever had.

Wouldn’t it be cool for your guest service people to get tagged with that message?

A Chance to Give Back

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Last week we shared a bunch of ideas for holiday marketing. One of the things on my mind this week is that we have a great opportunity to give back to our community.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to give back to my community. I raised funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for 15 years. This year, my dad was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer, so I have been raising money for chemo bags to give out to patients going through chemo. Recently, I started volunteering and helping with the fundraising and social media of a school here in Jakarta that is providing education to asylum seekers and refugees.

It was when I was the party and front of house manager at iT’Z that I realized we, as a huge organization, had the power to make a big change in others and in our community. So, we started “iT’Z For a Good Cause” and worked with various organizations in order to give back. One year we donated over $11,000 to Texas Children’s Hospital.

The Incredible Birthday Party Project

One of the organizations in our industry that has done an amazing job is The Incredible Birthday Party Project. The Incredible Birthday Party Project was started by Incredible Mo’s and gives birthday parties to families in need. We know that kids only have one fifth birthday and to be able to make that an amazing and memorable experience is huge.

The reality is that there are children who never get to celebrate their birthday with a party. Watch this amazing video about Jessica, who was able to have her first birthday party at the age of 18 because of The Incredible Birthday Party Project. It’s amazing how the company has spread the word and invited other centers to join in on the project.

The holidays are one of the biggest donation times of the year. Organizations plan huge holiday donation drives and the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is #GivingTuesday, the biggest giving day of the year.

Be apart of something!

People always want to be a part of something. Being able to give back to organizations is a great way to be part of a community. How awesome would it be for your center to partner with an organization in your community? You don’t have to start an entire campaign, but you can be involved. Here are some ideas of how you can partner and encourage others to give back.

  • Plan a fundraising night – It’s fun and easy! Plan a night and encourage people to come in your center and give a portion of the day’s sales back to the organization.
  • Create a special package – You can run this for a night or run it for an entire month. Create a special package that includes food, drinks, and fun and give a portion of each package sold to the organization
  • Match Grant – The organization will do a lot of fundraising. Why not match it? Set the amount you will match and if they fundraise that on their own, you will match that amount.
  • #GivingTuesday – Show your support for a local organization. Have your team members bring in donations for the organization, let guests know you are collecting donations, and use social media to let your fans know you are supporting the organization and collecting donations. Encourage them to donate to them, too
  • Go Big! Host a bowling tournament or big event at your center.

There are so many things you can do to be part of your community. I hope this will inspire you to do something this holiday season or even throughout the year. If you do, we would love to hear about it and see your pictures, too!

First Class Is Fun

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first class is fun

First Class is FUN!

It’s Easy to Appreciate First Class When You’ve Ridden Coach First!

I’ve had this thought on my mind for months. However, I just could not get the words out. It felt like maybe I was bragging and that is not my intent.

I am an “other side of the tracks” gal. I don’t believe I grew up poor but we were not rich. My husband and I started our lives together at a very young age and raised three children. I’m the kind of person who places a HIGH value on fun and always look for a way to make the most of any situation.

Many moons ago, I got fed up with the commercialism of Christmas and thought, “Why don’t we do something as a family that would make a grand memory?” My children were 15-21 and, as a family, we decided that a cruise would be GREAT fun! So, I went on a frugal hunt for how we could make that happen for the five of us.

We found an inexpensive, five-day, two indoor cabins, out of Galveston, cruise to Mexico. That worked great. My college girls met dad, Jordan, and me in Houston and we had the time of our lives. Those indoor cabins seemed great. It was super dark, which made sleeping easier and we only used those cabins to sleep, bathe, and prep for the next game of bingo on the ship! What could be better?

Fast forward 13 years. Everyone is older. Life is pretty darn good. That oldest child supports herself at a pretty high level and so mom and daughter have great fun cruising together. We have upgraded the accommodations and that’s my point. I can find lots of good things about the cheap seats. If that’s what I need to do to take the cruise, that’s what I’m going to do. However, Les and I got exposed to “The Haven” in May and I may be super-spoiled for the rest of my life!

I just finished our second “Haven Suite” cruise this year. We traveled on a wonderful seven-day cruise from Spain, through Italy, and France last week. I did not hesitate to book “The Haven” suite. The service and the amenities are well worth the cost and today, we are in a position to afford that kind of experience.

I share this story NOT to brag but to encourage you to create those VIP exclusive experiences for your guests. They will pay more. Obviously, your guests will expect more. You can make it worth it to them and to your business. Maybe you have a VIP suite or exclusive (skip the line services). Talk with your staff about what they believe you could do to create that exclusive (expensive) event. Make it “worth it” to you and to your guests.

The VIP treatment feels good. As a matter of fact, I am just giddy about the Haven experience. It’s awesome. I don’t know that I could appreciate it as much as I do if I had not first experienced the interior cabin. So, my advice to you is to create experiences that are affordable to everyone AND work hard enough to give yourself the opportunity to upgrade along the way!

These Kids Today

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StockholmOur parents used this phrase when talking about our work habits and their parents said the same about them. In the Family Entertainment Center world, it is a given that we work with many young people. However, the work world today is incredibly diverse in age, ethnicity, talent, knowledge, values, and beliefs.

With diversity comes complexity, tolerance, confusion, growth, learning, challenge, opportunity, and a great deal of patience.

Often times in business there is a single over-arching goal or vision. In my mind the family entertainment market sees that goal as service to the guest in order to make memories.

Here’s where complexity sets in. In addition to the business’ vision of creating that service based experience, the business owner and the front line team members have independent goals that motivate them to come to work every day. The business owner’s goal might be to create a sustainable (profitable) business in order to provide entertainment and jobs in his/her community. A front line team member may be most concerned about making enough money to buy their first car.

You see what I mean about complex and diverse. It’s no wonder that leading a team can be difficult and frustrating at times.

Have you taken the time to find out what your team members value? Do you know why they work at your center?

If you use the analogy of a sports team it’s easier to see how a diverse group of people come together for the purpose of a single mission. A baseball team, for example has 9 people with different backgrounds and positions on the team. Each of those positions require something different from each team member. Each player has differing results when they go to bat. Some of the players are superstars and some of them are supporting team players. And the goal is clear. They are trying to score enough runs and keep their opponents from scoring at all in order to win the game. It’s clear.

I’m not sure that we do a good enough job in business defining what it means to win the game. How are you keeping score? Does everyone on the team know when you’ve hit the single or the winning run? What’s the focus?

Listen, you can’t adequately coach your team if there is no clear definition of how you play the game.  Your team has to know how to score when they are playing offense and when to play defense in order to minimize the competition.

I encourage you to think about the rules of the game when it comes to your business. Clearly state what it takes to play for you team. Recruit players that understand and buy into those rules of the game. Then create a meaningful scoreboard. Keep track of the things that are most important to you winning the game. I promise, it will make a big difference.