Family entertainment centers (FECs) like arcades, indoor playgrounds, and theme parks are popular places for families to spend time together. However, managing an FEC comes with many potential risks that need to be properly addressed. Utilizing various strategies can help mitigate these risks and create a safer, more successful FEC.

What Are Family Entertainment Centers?

Family entertainment centers offer a variety of attractions to appeal to all ages. Popular options include arcades with video and redemption games, indoor playgrounds and ball pits, laser tag, bowling alleys, roller skating rinks, and mini golf courses. Many also have ride attractions like go-karts, bumper cars, and miniature trains. Newer concepts like trampoline parks and inflatable parks are gaining popularity. These allow visitors to jump on connected trampolines or navigate through inflatable obstacle courses and slides.

Implement Safety Protocols

One of the top priorities for an FEC should be ensuring customer safety. Several measures can help achieve this:

  • Conduct regular equipment inspections and maintenance to identify and resolve any issues. Rides, playground structures, games, etc. should be thoroughly checked.
  • Have trained staff to supervise all attractions. They can monitor for unsafe behavior, ensure proper rider position and adherence to the rules, and assist customers if needed.
  • Install clear signage that highlights safety policies, riding restrictions, and warnings. Also, post emergency numbers and first aid station locations.
  • Keep first aid kits fully stocked and accessible throughout the FEC. Ensure some staff are certified in CPR and first aid.

Following rigorous safety protocols protects customers and reduces liability risks for the business.

Control Customer Flow

Crowd control is crucial for both safety and customer satisfaction. Strategies for effective crowd management include the following:

  • Use queue lines with signage and barriers to organize customer traffic, especially near busy rides or attractions.
  • Assign staff to monitor congested areas and direct foot traffic. Prevent bottlenecks from forming.
  • Offer timed tickets or passes to limit capacity during peak hours. This prevents overcrowding.
  • Place clear directional signs for restrooms, exits, ticket counters, etc. to help customers navigate seamlessly.

Properly controlling customer flow minimizes risks like customer conflicts, theft, injuries from slips or falls, and emergency evacuation issues.

Implement Security Measures

An FEC contains expensive equipment, merchandise, and cash on site that need protection. Security steps to take include:

  • Install surveillance cameras throughout the facility and parking areas. Monitor them from a central office.
  • Implement an alarm system, especially for off-hour intrusion detection.
  • Hire security personnel to patrol during operating hours. They can deter criminal activity.
  • Use locking cabinets and tethers to secure high-value prizes and items.
  • Develop policies that require customer bags to be checked before entry.

Effective security measures reduce risks of theft, vandalism, and other crimes at an FEC.

Prioritizing risk mitigation makes an FEC safer while also protecting the business from costly liabilities. Following these strategies will lead to greater success. With some prudent planning and investment, the risks inherent in managing an FEC can be substantially reduced.