Monday Morning with Marty is the weekly blog published by Operation: Pineapple. This blog features articles and opinion relating to attractions, entertainment venues, and non-profit institutions.
Subscribe to Monday Morning with Marty--it's like breakfast for your brain!
- Expand Your Season! How to Extend Your Season and Stay in the Spotlight In today’s year-round entertainment world, operating a seasonal attraction can be exceedingly difficult. To survive and be competitive, seasonal attractions are finding that they must be more and more creative and innovative with their hiring actions, marketing strategy, and expansion plan. Many seasonal attractions are discovering that the key to being competitive in the market is to expand the season. Let’s say that you are a seasonal water park (and yes, I am aware that some of my readers truly are seasonal water park operators). Your season …Read More »
- Yes, We're Open! Best Practices for Opening & Closing Your Park “Yes, we're open!” Being open when you said you would be open matters. Recently, I needed a favorite outfit of mine to be dry-cleaned and I needed it done quickly. I was traveling out of town on a business trip a couple of days later and I had a short window to get the dry cleaning done. I did some research online and found a local dry cleaner with same-day service that could accommodate my tight timetable. With that in mind, I put a plan together to drop off …Read More »
- KEEP IT STUPID SIMPLE Why Limiting Options May Be the Best Choice In today’s world, we love having and making choices. Practically everywhere, we are presented with options: 64 crayons in a Crayola box; 12 assorted donuts from Krispy Kreme; even hundreds of cable channels to choose from! However, too much choice can overwhelm us and when that happens, we tend to shut down or shut out new information. So how do we balance the right options without overwhelming people? We must Keep It Stupid Simple. In our point-of-sale world, we give our guests choices too…but typically, we do a …Read More »
- Smart Wristband Technology Is Transforming the Guest Experience Remember years ago when it used to take several steps just to get into a theme park? You had to wait in line to purchase your admission ticket, pull out your wallet, pay the cashier, receive your barcoded ticket, walk to the admissions turnstile, present your ticket, and finally enter. I know I was exhausted even before I got through the front gates. Far too many steps just to get in the door and extremely inconvenient. The physical act of taking out your wallet and paying can be psychologically “painful” for many …Read More »
- SETTING THE STAGE: Six Keys to Connecting with Future Guests Last night, we celebrated my oldest son’s 21st birthday with a night out on the town. We began our celebration at Mango’s Tropical Café, a Brazilian-themed dinner & show spectacle on I-Drive in Orlando. It was a fantastic time that truly delivered on my plan for an evening of entertainment and libations. Last night was truly all about the experience. In most cases, delivering a great guest experience requires a great deal of organization and planning. At Mango’s, I began planning last night’s event weeks ago. I visited the …Read More »
- LEADERS LEAD Why Leaders Are Better Than Managers Working in food service builds character. That's what I have always taught my children and because of that, both of my boys are presently working in food service. My oldest works at TopGolf as a busser and is now being trained as a food runner. My younger son took his first job working at Dunkin' Donuts and now works at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. They are learning indispensable skills and valuable lessons that I believe will be with him for the rest of their lives. Back when I was in …Read More »
- LET THE GAMES BEGIN Why Healthy Competition Powers Better Teams Healthy Competition brings out the best in people. This past weekend, the world’s eyes were on South Korea as the 2018 Winter Olympics began. Over the next two weeks, the best athletes in a variety of winter sports come together, striving for their fastest time, highest air, and best performance. The quest for greatness powers stronger teams and optimal performance…even in our own work environments. In the hospitality business, how our own people perform daily makes all the difference. While our Olympians might measure performance with metrics like the fastest …Read More »
- Outsourcing stinks...and now, my wife was in tears. The call was on speaker and I could hear everything that the customer service representative on the other end of the line was saying. There was no empathy in the agent’s voice. Just a restatement of company policy, once, twice, and even a third time. To make matters worse, there was a language barrier. Not that it was the agent’s fault but she did not have a good command of the English language. With learning any language, I believe that you can be “book smart” but lack the practical and cultural experiences …Read More »
- A scorpion asks a frog to carry him over a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, both would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog then agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature. --Fable of the Scorpion and the Frog In the story above, the scorpion violates trust by stinging the frog and dooming them both. While the frog trusted the scorpion, the scorpion stung him anyway. …Read More »
- Nobody likes leaving money on the table... and yet with most ticketing operations, that's all they are doing. They assume the guest already knows what they want and that they are just there to process the order. They fail to sell tickets at all--they only “take orders”. Therefore, they leave a tremendous amount of new money on the table. Here is the traditional approach to ticket sales at most attractions and institutions: Guest approaches ticket seller. Ticket seller greets guest/asks “how can I help you?” Guest asks for tickets—usually broken down with x Adults and y Children. Ticket seller processes order, …Read More »
- INTRODUCING OUR EXPANDED SUITE OF SERVICES Revenue Management Operational Execution Guest Experience Management Technology & Integration LEARN MORE The words we use matter. In fact, in many cases sellers have the potential to transform the bottom line by 20%--simply by transforming their dialogue. Words can be powerful and highly effective but only if we clearly understand the nuances and differences in dialogue that our sellers are currently using and how simply adjustments will make all of the difference. Here are five phrases that will drive more ticket sales at your venue. FROM: What’s your zip code? TO: Where are you …Read More »
- INTRODUCING OUR EXPANDED SUITE OF SERVICES Revenue Management Operational Execution Guest Experience Management Technology & Integration LEARN MORE Happy New Year. Today, I want to share some food for thought as we begin to execute our 2018 strategies and operational plans. As attraction operators, we all strive to put forward the best possible guest experience. We know that our guests want to have the best experience possible and we know that they’ll pay more to get it. When we create products and packages that are packed with meaningful enhancements, market them properly, and train our staff to position them …Read More »