Technology systems, software, and services run your business.
You need power to keep your lights on and technology running, attractions working, food cooking, and business moving. Your computer systems, software, and other services ensure that you can best serve your customers quickly and efficiently.
So what happens when the power goes out, servers go down, or technology fails?
As business owners, we have an opportunity to avoid mayhem by being prepared ahead of time. When it comes to emergency preparedness, having alternate plans in place when things go awry will ensure your business doesn’t skip a beat.
Power outages are bound to happen. From heavy storms to natural disasters, down wires to simple human error, power failure can—and does—happen. Having an emergency plan in place for this scenario is key.
Things to consider during a power outage situation:
Your guests are the reason your lights are on in the first place, right?! So, be sure to attend to them first in the event of a power outage.
What can you do to make sure your staff handles these kinds of situations appropriately and your guests have an easy experience at your facility when this type of emergency occurs?
Even if you’re not able to run your entire facility, there's still opportunity. Have a designated area set up for these scenarios and have some simple game ideas to keep guests entertained (even a simple game of duck-duck-goose works!).
Power outages will also impact your technology devices and the systems or software solutions you use.
Your computers will likely be inaccessible, as will your WiFi. If you need to take payment, access birthday party information, have guests sign digital waivers, use your point-of-sale system, etc., or you have an arcade, a power outage can be a big disruption.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be! If you have an emergency plan in place for these scenarios, you’ll get through just fine.
If you're not using Party Center Software, or you’d like to be prepared with an additional backup, you might consider having a binder with paper credit card authorization forms printed out.
That way when the power comes back you’ll be able to run the credit card. Additionally, whenever you’re taking payment by credit card without the card isn’t present, there will be some degree of risk. Asking your customer to sign a credit card authorization form gives you permission to charge their card and will help safeguard you against charge backs. Just be sure to check their ID to be safe as well!
Wired devices are a great choice if you happen to run into Internet issues. If you’re in an area where your WiFi connection is unstable or you experience outages frequently—or your system is overloaded—wired devices that connect directly into your Internet modem might work best for you. If you have a solid WiFi connection, wireless devices might be a fine choice for you. Just be sure to have a WiFi back-up in case.
A power outage and other technical issues can put a kink into an otherwise seamless day if you don't have a a back-up plan.
Don’t forget about your birthday parties and events for the day! You’ll need an alternate plan if your power goes out, WiFi loses connection, or you experience other technological issues.
One of our Customer Success Managers here at PCS was also a former GM of an FEC! She suggests printing out all your events for the next day upon closing the night before. That way, information
is easy to find if you aren’t able to access a computer, and allows you to contact guests with updates to your situation as soon
And, what if your computer dies when you’re in the middle of booking a party over the phone? Having a paper version of a Parties and Events form will ensure you don’t miss a single thing! Keep a few dozen copies in a binder with your other Emergency Preparedness plans and forms.
Put your guests and their safety first during these situations and they will appreciate it!
Many times power outages are a result of circumstances out of your control, and the way you handle the scenario is what will
make people decide to return again or not—so be prepared!
* This article is an excerpt from our complimentary resource, IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: An Emergency Preparedness Guide to Help Your FEC Overcome the Unexpected. If you're interested in learning more about what potential emergencies can occur at your family entertainment center and what you can do to be prepared should these unfortunate situations occur, download your free copy of our Emergency Preparedness Guide now! *