We hear a lot of venues say how important the speed of the night is, and we couldn’t agree more. Yet, these same venues (and most venues for that matter) have such inefficient door systems that it actually harms their speed. Not to mention the door - or the process outside your door - is the first part of your venue your guests see and the first experience they have. Don’t you want to give your guests a great experience, even before they start spending money in your door?
Here are 3 ways to run an efficient door and improve your guests’ experiences so they’ll be more likely to spend more once they get inside.
1. Use Different Lines
Putting a bit of strategy into how you treat your line can increase your revenue and speed of night, especially when it comes to pre-sale tickets. After all, what’s the benefit of a guest pre-buying a ticket if they don’t even get to skip the long line? Plus, when there is a second line for pre-purchased tickets, it entices guests to make behavioral changes to buy a ticket ahead of time, which in turn equates to more money in your pocket before the night of your event. That’s why we recommend using separate lines for different functions, such as different lines for general admission, guest list, VIP tables, and pre-purchased tickets. If you want to take your strategy a step further, you can slow down the general admission line just a bit and focus on your speed in the guest list or pre-paid lines to show the value in those guests. This also works if you don't pre-sell tickets. You can either offer pre-sale cover for a faster line experience, or you can simply use different lines for the different points of entry you do have.
2. Retire Paper Guest Lists
I’ve seen it time and again: venues using paper guest lists at their door. Pen and paper is laborious, doesn’t collect any data, is inaccurate, and slows down the process. Digital guest lists streamline the process: you simply search for the guest name, swipe to mark them as arrived, and are on to the next guest. The system keeps track of the status automatically so you don’t have to cross-reference your list at the end of the night, and you get to collect information about your guest, understand their habits, and ultimately upsell them in the future. That’s a vastly superior system for your venue as a whole, and a better system for the speed of the night at the door.
3. Automate the Cashier System
Many venues operate with a cashier, where check-in happens at the door and cover is charged at the cashier. This is a good system for large nightclubs, but the problem is the cashier is oftentimes not well informed on which cover to charge. I’ve seen cashiers who have to look at wristbands and connect the dots for which wristband means which cover. I’ve seen others that are given a Post-it Note with the word “comp” or “VIP” or “table,” or even just “$25” written on it. These Post-it Notes are then either thrown away or stacked in a pile to tally up later to get some data. Why not automate this system and ensure the cashier is charging the right amount and the tally of who is walking through your door is always collected? We’re talking a chit system that allows the door staff to select the number of guys/girls, tap on a promotion (if necessary) that brought them to your venue, comp them, or charge them full cover. The chit then prints out and is taken to the cashier, where the cashier simply scans the ticket and is able to quickly pull up guest information and charge the proper amount (if any) within a matter of seconds. This speeds up the bottleneck at the cashier and allows your venue to collect more valuable data.
Running an efficient door starts with understanding what’s causing it to be inefficient. From there, put the right systems in place as described above, and you’re on your way to an efficient, streamlined, and optimized door process for bigger spending inside.