Skip to content

Tips & Best Practices for Family Entertainment Centers

Do your people shine?



Let me tell you, it’s a dream come true that I get to work in an industry based on fun and helping people build memories. It is an even bigger dream come true that my job is to help people succeed and grow their businesses through coaching and training their teams. However, it is a nightmare trying to understand why people struggle to justify this investment more than almost any other.

The Next Shiny New Thing

At IAAPA last year, and every year for that matter, there were new attractions everywhere. There were small donuts, walking balloons, virtual reality experiences that my 9-year-old self-thought only existed in movies, and games that felt like roller coasters. Seriously. There was even a rollercoaster. Everywhere you turned, there was something new, another shiny attraction. Investors and owners were running after those attractions like cats chasing lasers!

I get it. You gotta offer the next big thing. You gotta keep up. You gotta set yourself apart. Right? But are you? Tell me how many booths you saw at IAAPA or any trade show that showcased the “Shiny New Employee.” I’ll wait.

None. You know why? Because you have to create the shiny employee like Frankenstein, but better looking and more articulate. You have to invest in them, build them up, and train them so they can confidently serve your guests.

Polish Your Team With Training

Many of you already have shiny employees that need a little polishing. Polish them by training them! Train them so every customer who comes through your door feels like they are not just welcome but wanted. Train them so that your center is known as THE place in town to have the Best Party Ever. Train them so they can handle an upset customer (we know it will happen), so they can turn an unpleasant experience into a great one. The customer experience begins and ends with your people.

How much money are you putting into training your employees? Does it match the amount you are spending on toys, or socks, or toilet paper? Yeah. Toilet paper. Imagine your facility operating without toilet paper. Not pretty, huh. You get the same thing running it with untrained, unmotivated employees.

Investing in your team isn’t instant gratification. It’s not the shiny new attraction. But I promise you if you do invest in your people, if you train them, if you treat them well, and operate based on your core values, your team will shine!

What Happens With a Trained Team

I get so excited about it. When you have a well-trained team, you have the opportunity to positively affect so many lives. Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group and over 400 other companies, says “Clients don’t come first. Your employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.” It starts with you. You must train, encourage, and support them. You can do it! You can build a team of rock stars and, in turn, those rock stars will build your business.

Whew. Worked up a bit of sweat there. I can get passionate about this stuff.

I know it’s tough. Most people would much rather invest in the shiniest, most popular game or attraction because you can see the profit coming in. But what if, WHAT IF, you could see the future that a year from now those employees you invested in, that you have trained, have built a rapport with your customers that have those customers coming back over and over. They are greeting customers by name and high fiving the kids coming in the door! You have back-to-back birthday parties from open to close every weekend! Your staff is excited, your customers are excited, and you are excited because you are sleeping in pillowcases full of cash! Okay. I went a little over the top…but you see what I mean. The shiny attractions get old, they go out of style, the trend fizzles. People don’t get old. Well, yes they do, but service doesn’t, smiles don’t, and kindness never will.

So, what’s stopping you? What are you afraid will happen? Are you afraid you could invest in your team and nothing will change? I guarantee you… if you don’t invest in them, nothing will.

Call me. 817.886.4840. I truly want to help you succeed.




Posted in


  1. Rosie on April 24, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Yes! It’s why I love to go to Chick-Fil-A. You know their team went through great training and it shows in their service. You can always spot the teams that are just thrown out there with no training and it’s usually a turn-off.

  2. Vivian Conterio on April 24, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Wow! Great insight Kim! So true. Lots of shiny new objects to buy. I had the same experience once. Every time IAAPA came around there was suddenly money to buy things, but never an investment in the most important asset; your team. Coming from experience, that should be the first thing to invest in. A highly trained team will pay off big!

  3. Beth Standlee on April 24, 2018 at 11:49 am


    You are so articulate in this article! I read it last Friday before we published it today and was bowled-over to say the least. You represent what we do at TrainerTainment in a wonderful enthusiastic way. Thank you for these encouraging words and I am committed to continuing to invest in you all!

  4. Phil Showler on April 25, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Love this write up…Kim speaks from her heart in such a relevant way about where our industry is. We lose sight of the fact that people are still our greatest asset. Well done.

Leave a Comment