BookNow Software: leading the way for safe operations, post COVID-19

Everyone around the world has been affected in one way or another by the Covid-19 virus.  Large and small businesses have been closed, individual people have been affected and none more so than the businesses that BookNow provide software for within the leisure and retail sector, like trampoline parks and amusement parks that rely on our online booking system.

The effect of social distance meant overnight, the temporary closure of single and multi site retail and leisure businesses.

Now with a vaccine roll-out, there is a glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel and business owners are coming out of the ‘dark tunnel’ blinking against the glare of the light looking to reopen the doors once more to the public.

Eager to build revenue but all at the same time making sure they are compliant and putting the health and safety of employees and customers as of paramount importance, there is an uphill battle that we have been working with our customers on and we have been listening to their needs, wants and requirements in order to allow a safe reopening and continued business as ‘normal’ whatever that normal looks like moving forwards!

Now that the mist is rising we are able to show how we have been working with our customers to support them moving into what may be a very different world and way of working post Covid-19.

Moving Forward

In several round table discussions with the BookNow team and some of our customers (obviously adhering to social distancing and utilising the powers of Zoom and Google Hangouts!) we have been trying to assess the impacts on all aspects of operations for trampoline parks and FEC’s globally.

The recurring topics across our customer base centred around physical movement of customers around their facilities.

How do you stop children running into each other?

How do you sanitise the product/equipment regularly enough to stop the spread of the virus from hand to hand, customer to customer and staff to customer?

How do you avoid and limit physical contact and maintain social distancing with customers and employees?

What will the world look like for the leisure industry and FEC’s post lockdown and post Covid-19? 

How will businesses need help and what plans need to be put into place to ensure the growth of companies whilst still adhering to all the rules? 

How can businesses make customers feel safe but still allowing them to enjoy the experience of leisure and ‘going out’ activities?

With all of these in mind and to answer the needs of the business we have been planning and looking directly at the product to see where we can make it stronger and more adaptable for its use, make it Covid proof and support all the main interactions staff and their customers will have with the software, Front of House, checking in, cafe sales, making a booking and risk acknowledgements.

Things to consider

With help from you customers we drew up a list of potential danger areas where people could be confined too closely and not exercise social distancing or could be in direct contact with staff members:

Queues –  How do you queue safely in any type of queuing area, whether it be to purchase a ticket or to order a drink or food?

Confined spaces of large groups.  We have been thinking particularly about briefing studios in many trampoline parks in the UK, but this could also apply to party rooms, enclosed cafe area’s or restaurants.

High contact devices, specifically self service kiosks, vending machines, arcade machines, on-court touch-based games.

Customers needing support from staff- checking in or making a booking.
Crowd management – Controlling the numbers of people to enter the park or site- numbers will possibly have to be reduced or the flow of customers needing to be managed carefully.

All of the above will be core issues for any trampoline park operating globally, some of these will also impact family entertainment centres using online booking software too.

Some of these issues can be managed simply by reducing instore capacity/customer volume, removing furniture, creating different customer flows through the park using barriers and signage, arrows and making sure the flow of people is one way and thus reducing congestion. 

All of these will have been thought of by the current retailers and businesses already open across the country and by our competitors but there are some key areas we were challenged with providing a solution, essential ones that will ensure customers have confidence to open and support their employees and people visiting their sites, these were:

– The need to provide a safe solution to checking in at site (including allocating waivers and viewing the safety briefing) without confining customers to small areas without enough space to socially distance.
– To be able to totally avoid the use of Kiosk systems as they provide the most direct way of transmitting the virus without deploying the expensive resource of paying an employee to continually administer an antibacterial cleanse.
– Provide a solution to safely order from the cafe or restaurant without having to queue close to other customers or come into contact directly with staff.

How would we still allow the flow of customers but to prevent the enjoyment of the booking process, the excitement of going to a trampoline park and the need to (with no human contact) safely order a needed coffee and cake (from the comfort of the table) for a mother whose children are excitedly running around the park?  

Working with our customers and answering the needs of those on the front line of the industry we have developed the product to allow all of the following:

– QR Code scanning for self check in to avoid the need to connect with a screen or person.  We have negated the need for expensive, unsafe on site self service kiosks which other companies insist on having.

– Self Service Cafe Scanning – the ability for customers to sit at a table, scan their choices and order and pay for their food and drinks without having to have contact with any member of staff or anyone else.

– Cafe order display screens for staff to confirm the kitchen and other orders are complete and they can send out to tables without having to have contact with customers unnecessarily..

– Compliant off site briefing videos. Working with several insurance companies we are allowing all customers to have the briefing automatically delivered and affirm their understanding and compliance from the safety of their home from their own mobile phone, all whilst connected to BookNow Software Ltd.

We are ahead of the game and we are all set to go and we would love to discuss this with you further, please contact gemma@booknowsoftware.com

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