Large Venue & Theater Concessions

With larger venues and bigger crowds come more business opportunities, as well as unique challenges, for your concession stands. Whether your stands operate in a constrained space as in a theater or open areas like amusement parks, layout, efficiency and safety features are just some of the things you need to keep in mind when making decisions about concessions. Find resources here for choosing appropriate high-volume equipment and supplies, increasing customer satisfaction and sales, marketing your snacks effectively, and more.

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How to Improve Employee Retention in Large Venues

5 Ideas to Retain Employees at Your Theater, Stadium, or Arena

In the entertainment industry, you need a team that operates like a well-oiled machine. Any staff member who’s unsure what his or her role is can cost time and sales – think longer lines and fed-up customers. So once you’ve hired good workers and trained them well, you want to do everything you can to keep them. How can you retain good employees and avoid high rates of attrition? Here are some employee retention strategy ideas to try.

1. Give your staff as much autonomy as possible.

In a large theater or arena, decisions and policies come from upper management and lower-level employees can sometimes feel as if their opinions and experience don’t matter, even though they are the ones handling customer issues first-hand.

Whenever you’re able, give trusted employees the power to act on their best judgment, whether it’s providing refunds in cases of customer complaints, offering their own feedback and ideas for streamlining processes, or other applicable aspects of their day-to-day.

When staff feels listened to, validated, and valued, they’re more likely to develop loyalty to the company and stick around for the long haul.

2. Offer holiday compensation.

For employees who work events on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, a small bonus for their effort goes a long way toward establishing a positive relationship. Holidays can be a big draw for your business, and you need talented and engaged employees to make the customer experience a good one.

Don’t expect employees to be thrilled about spending the day away from their own families. But if you’re able to provide additional pay for holidays, such as time and a half or a fixed amount, you’ll likely get volunteers for those shifts, and the employees who take them will be happy to be there. It’s a relatively small price to pay for improved customer satisfaction and loyal employees.

3. Be flexible with scheduling.

The logistics of covering all shifts with qualified employees is a hassle on its own, even without juggling staff requests. But if you establish a reasonable policy regarding timing of requests and do your best to accommodate employee needs, you’ll be doing your part to fight attrition. Being understanding and knowing your demographics will help humanize you. Making a good faith effort to work around school schedules, daycare, and other commitments shows your employees you value them as people, and in turn, they’ll be more willing to work harder and be fully present during their shifts.

4. Make the workplace fun.

Think of some of the perks you could offer that are unique to your venue. Employees will appreciate the ability to see movies for free or to have a lengthy break scheduled to watch part of a concert or sporting event. Discounts on concessions or free drinks while on the clock are easy privileges to provide that don’t cost you much and can make a big difference for staff.

Also take the time for team-building. A group of workers who know each other and who have had fun with each other, even for silly activities, will function better together as a team. During monthly or quarterly staff meetings, plan time for a group activity like Two Truths and a Lie, a scavenger hunt, or building a structure out of popsicle sticks.

5. Create an atmosphere of expertise and trust.

Focus a good chunk of your time and effort on training. When employees feel comfortable and confident in what’s required of them, they’re more likely to stay than if they constantly come to work feeling uncertain. Make sure they have the best equipment to do their jobs, such as the right size and capacity concession machines, fully stocked supplies, and up-to-date ticketing devices, and that they know how to use them.

Demonstrate best practices and new processes so your staff can learn from your example, and let them know you’re on their side. When employees feel that you trust them and they can trust you, you will have created an environment where people want to stay.

Do you work primarily with younger generations in your venue? Find tips on changing expectations and how to appeal to millennial workers.