Need More Sales? Here’s How Movie Theaters Can Improve
How Movie Theaters Can Improve Attendance by Meeting (and Exceeding) Customer Expectations
Today’s theatergoers expect a lot from cinemas. Costs for admission and especially concessions have risen steeply, but most customers are prepared to pay the higher prices – as long as they feel they’re getting the full movie experience.
What Today’s Customers Look for in a Cinema
Managing a profitable movie theater in today’s world looks different than it did even just 10 years ago:
- Customers expect comfortable, modern seating. Unless it’s an indie theater, people are no longer willing to sit in anything less than plush seats, preferably those that recline.
- Digital projection and excellent sound quality are a must. A blurry picture and unintelligible dialogue will definitely not cut it to keep customers coming back.
- Up-to-date technology is important to younger generations. Digitally savvy customers often prefer self-serve options.
- Fresh and delicious food options no longer just mean buttery popcorn. Variety is key when catering to today’s theatergoer.
Meeting Moviegoers’ Needs without Breaking the Bank
It may not be possible to make all the recommended upgrades to your cinema at once, but there are strategies you can follow to please your customers in the meantime.
- Start seating, sound, and projection updates in select auditoriums first. When complete, use those theaters for popular films and showtimes, while keeping your more basic rooms available for older movies and those that draw less attendance. You can also experiment with offering discounts on tickets for films shown in the old-style auditoriums to draw in more concessions customers.
- If you don’t have the resources to develop your own app or online ordering site, consider accepting Fandango as a way for customers to purchase tickets online. You’ll split the surcharge of the premium price with the service, but you may attract more customers than if you didn’t offer online ordering at all.
- Expand your concession options in a way that works for your business. If you can’t add a full-service restaurant, think about what kinds of additional menu items will work for you. Novelty treats like fudge can be a good starting place, as can gourmet popcorn flavors in addition to your regular popcorn. Think also about more filling foods that can be stored easily, such as nachos and pretzels, and even frozen drink specials that add value (try offering fun mocktails or layered drinks).
- Make up for any amenities you don’t offer with extra special services. Make it a point to train employees on offering exceptional customer service, no matter what their role. You can experiment with allowing customers to place concessions orders from the convenience of their seats with wait staff in each auditorium. Consider starting a loyalty program for attendance and/or concessions, or even partner with a nearby restaurant for “dinner and a movie” discounts.
As you make an effort to keep up with the demands of today’s movie consumers, your attention to detail will go a long way. Perks, rewards, discounts, and personalized service are all appreciated and will help to make your movie theater profitable and improve customers’ opinions of your venue.
Find more innovative ideas for increasing attendance at your theater.