Weekly update. This is kinda like HEP, but WAYYY less cool and pretty to look at.
The upside, shifting back to stay as long as you want with 15 minute disinfection/UV breaks every 2 hours is getting us back to more normal. We finally had walk-in traffic again. Lesson learned: forcing people into a pre-booking scenario for specific time slots is enough of a PITA that you are gonna lose customers.
I have heard that Escape Rooms which were all the rage and required advance booking have been decimated. They have resorted to directing an avatar online remotely. Yeah, thats not gonna work. Maybe someone can direct me online when to flip the flipper.
Despite the resumption of walk-ins we didn't quite have enough walkin traffic this weekend, 60 on Saturday and 25 on Sunday versus pre-pandemic 150+ on Saturday alone during public hours with a couple of parties before. Let me say that collecting $10 at a time is a hard way to make a living. You need on the weekend to run thru some 150 people just to break even. In this environment good luck. This week we hit $1100.
We did finally have to make use of our 30 max in at a time waitlist. Try the app Waitlist.me, its pretty foolproof and not just geared for running a restaurant.
The ONLY thing saving us right now is selling off machines in storage. And boy do we have alot of machines in storage (I am a closet horder). Generated some $10K this week. There is a slight feeling of ripping off ones flesh to make it work, but I'll get over it. The games were just sitting there doing nothing and anything that is either rare rare or grail I will continue to keep (famous last words). Anyway, that helps give a decent runway and make up the revenue shortfall. This is interesting for sure, but it has the upside of forcing us to be far more efficient than we were before, and honestly lets us eliminate headaches. Once I liquidate the 1200 sq ft storage that will also help drop rent by $850 a month (storage is expensive where I am).
I am still waiting for our MO that we have been pushing about being relatively safe to come to to pay off better than it has. https://www.decadesarcade.com/disinfection-measures/ Or heck maybe its already paying off and our attendance would otherwise be even more gawdawful than it has been. Not sure. Gonna also try a radio ad again (with extensive tracking as I'm skeptical it will do anything). Unfortunately, I have concluded that objective facts about being safer to come to than crowding in with 300 other people at Walmart do not seem to register. Walmart = safe, Arcade = catch COVID
FYI, I'm not posting any of this because I enjoy spreading our tails of misery out there, but I know that some will stumble on this thread in much the same straits as we are and at least know they aren't alone.
As it stands right now, we have at least a year of runway before us before I decide it just isn't worth it anymore. If we can increase by just another 20% from where we are right now (which would be 30% pre-pandemic versus current 25% pre-pandemic), the actions we are taking now will guide us into a sustainable, but admittedly bare bones business. Still would you rather have 100 games on the floor and another 70 in storage and be out of business or have 90 games on the floor and be in business. The choice is obvious here.