How food and drink can increase the profit of your Indoor entertainment centre

There are a number of ways entertainment centres can maximise their earning potential, we know from research done by the IAAPA that the average family will spend $171.25 on a trip to a theme park or amusement park – so if you’re only currently charging for admission at your entertainment centre, how do you get a bigger piece of this pie?

The most obvious one that can have a huge impact is the introduction of food and drink, or giving your existing offering a revamp. 

We know from the previously mentioned research that the average spend per person on food and drink at a park is $8.80 – so let’s say you charge $22 for admission, you could potentially add an extra 40% spend per person with the introduction of food and drink. So what are the key things you need to know about introducing, or improving your food and drink offering at your venue?

Cater for your audience

This might seem an obvious one, but you clearly need to have a food and drink offering that will appeal to your target audience. As we know, a huge segment of the audience of an entertainment centre is young people – clearly, and as cliche as it sounds, fast food and fizzy drinks will be a likely winner with your audience, so they can quickly fill their stomachs and then get back to enjoying your attractions.

That being said, don’t be afraid to mix up your menu and go for something a little more out there as a key differentiator – for example if your area is known for a local delicacy, or you want to introduce something your competitors don’t offer then we would implore you to explore that route too. Whilst fast food is still highly recommended, we must highlight the growth in vegetarian food sales so it would be wise to ensure you have vegan and vegetarian alternatives that are just as appealing as the other foods you offer. 

Also thinking outside of the standard amusement park box, if you run a venue that appeals to an older clientele, such as a bowling alley, a good alcoholic drink offering can entice people to stay longer and spend more after they’ve finished their game.

Make ordering as easy for customers as possible

The social distancing enforced by the coronavirus pandemic meant that table service became a key feature for food venues as they tried to minimise contact between guests. This then became something that consumers quite like, as it meant they can just sit down and order their food without the need for waiting in line or someone to attend to their table.

Making things even more streamlined, you can look to introduce a QR Code Ordering functionality, something we’ve seen grow rapidly over 2020. Quite simply, customers sit down, scan the QR code on their table and are directed to a menu where they can place and pay for their order – this is then sent through to the kitchen or bar instantly so your team can begin preparing the order.

The benefits of investing in quality

Just because fast food is the most popular choice for the industry doesn’t mean the quality has to suffer. Some you don’t want are reviews which credit your attractions but then criticise the food – all this means is any future customers are likely to eat before or after, meaning lost customer spending for you. 

Investing in a quality offering of food may cost you more up front, but you’ll see the dividends when you have an offering your competitors can’t match and guests are more likely to spend a longer time in your venue because you have an offering of the same standard as your attractions, in your high quality food.

Theme your food and drink

Offering food and drink that is in the theme of your venue, or fitting with the brand can be a huge selling point. For example, if your park is dinosaur themed then go with names like the ‘T-Rex Burger’ for your biggest offering (two beef pattys?) or your ‘Spicy Raptor Chicken Wings’, or serve your herbivores with a vegetarian offering of a ‘Triceratops Burger’. Branding also becomes key as having cups or packaging with your logo on helps keep a consistent theme throughout the venue, and is a form of advertising for you.

This doesn’t have to be limited to food either, if you have an alcohol license then put together some “out there” cocktail ideas, as previously mentioned this also opens up a whole new offering in terms of providing entertainment for an older audience, if that fits your market. 

Of course few entertainment centres have the legacy and marketing (or funds!) behind them of Harry Potter, but Universal Studios have sold over 20 million servings of their famous ‘Butterbeer’, showing how much value a strong brand can have when it comes to food and drink. 

Seasonal Offerings

Adding specials that coincide with seasonal offerings is a great way to entice customers into your park and generate buzz. This could be through something obvious like a Christmas drinks offering, which is always popular, or a summer BBQ for Independence Day.  Thinking outside of the box, you could celebrate Oktoberfest with a Currywurst meal – just make sure to include a beer in true German fashion!  

In summary, introducing a food and drink offering that feels in line with your park can offer massive rewards in the form of additional profit as well as open you up to a potentially wider audience, increasing the money customers spend at your venue.

If you’d like to find out how our online booking & management system can provide full management of the food and drink side of your business, you can get in touch with us using the form below.

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