FEC Digital Transformation: The Complete Guide

FEC Digital Transformation: The Complete Guide

If you look at the history of indoor entertainment venues, you will find that they all have different starting points. The world’s first bowling alley opened in New York on 1st January 1840. But by then, museums had already existed for almost 200 years — the first one was founded in 1677! 

Arcades are relatively new — the first coin-operated machines were built in the 1970s. We witnessed the emergence of Family Entertainment Centers around the same time — the first Chuck E. Cheese opened in San Jose, California in 1977. 

No matter what type of indoor entertainment venue we are looking at, they all hit an inflection point in the first decade of the 21st century — FECs, arcades, museums, indoor playgrounds, trampoline parks, bowling alleys — all had to start considering the impact of technology on their day-to-day operations. 

Semnox was present at the very beginning — when the company was founded in 2008, the first products that were introduced were RFID cards and readers for FECs. Since then, Parafait — our integrated ecosystem of products and services — has matured into a comprehensive management system for indoor entertainment venues of all sizes. 

Over the years, Semnox has facilitated hundreds of 360° digital transformations of indoor entertainment venues across the world. This guide is the result of our accumulated experience in the field and is meant to serve as a starting point for anyone who wishes to learn more about the intricacies of digital transformations of indoor venues. Technology is a powerful facilitator in streamlining operations and creating seamless guest experiences — this guide will show you how it does that. 

There are 4 parts to this guide. Please feel free to read any specific section that grabs your attention: 

Part 1: Simplify Bookings & Purchases

Part 2: Enable Cashless Payments On-The-Go

Part 3: Create Holistic Experiences

Part 4: Maintain & Manage with Ease

Part 1: Simplify Bookings & Purchases 

As a business operator, you want to make it as easy as possible for your guests to make bookings and purchases. It helps to have multiple sales channels that your guests can choose from based on their preferences and convenience. 

To that end, you can set up one or more Points-of-Sale. There also are 3 other options that do not require staff on hand — self-service kiosks, online bookings, and mobile apps:

  • Point-of-Sale: The Parafait Point-Of-Sale solution brings all transaction points and services — from card sales to party bookings — into a single channel. The solution integrates with cash drawers, receipt printers, pole displays, card readers, barcode readers, and QR code readers. The intuitive user interface of this FEC and arcade POS empowers cashiers to process transactions quickly and reduces queuing.
  • Self-Service Kiosks: The Parafait self-service kiosks for arcades and FECs allow your guests to purchase RFID cards, check their account balance, and recharge their accounts — all on their own! You can opt for the Parafait Klassic, which can handle waiver signing and validation apart from card sales and recharges. Another option is the Parafait Komplete — a self-contained unit that includes an in-built server — perfect for small businesses or remote locations.
  • Online Bookings: End-customers everywhere have come to expect the option of online bookings from FECs. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online bookings and those who have experienced their speed and convenience have continued to use them. Online bookings are available to your guests anytime, anywhere and on any device — making them the most versatile option.
  • SmartFun App: A mobile app that is customized to your brand is the best way to build loyalty and offer maximum value to your regular guests. SmartFun from Semnox is an iOS and Android app for FECs that allows guests to buy new cards or link their existing ones. It facilitates card recharges and balance checks in just a few taps. And it allows you to engage and communicate with your guests through push notifications

Once your guest has made a booking or a purchase, they can receive the confirmation for the same on their linked WhatsApp number — this is made possible through the Parafait-WhatsApp integration

If your guest made the booking or purchase online, they will have paid by card. The convenience of cashless transactions can be delivered even after the guest enters the venue. Let’s take a look at how that works in Part Two.  

Part 2: Enable Cashless Payments On-The-Go 

With cashless payments becoming increasingly common, guests will expect your FEC to have them as well. Once your guest enters the venue, there are various touchpoints at which they will have to make payments — including game machines, food counters, and retail kiosks. All of these touchpoints can have cashless payments enabled with the cashless arcade system from Semnox. 

There are three components to this system that work together to deliver a seamless payments experience: 

  • RFID Cards & Wristbands: When a guest registers with your venue, they are given an RFID tag which is loaded with credits that can be used for one-tap payments at various touchpoints. The tags are available as plastic arcade cards, ABS wristbands, key chains, tokens, or stickers and can be customized to your brand — helping increase brand visibility and recall.
  • Wireless Debit Card Readers: One-tap RFID card readers like Parafait Lumin and Parafait Edge are a must-have for any FEC. These readers are sleek, portable, and built for wireless networks. You can also opt for the Parafait LuminOS — a Linux-based RFID reader that can play videos and pull a variety of digital content from the server over-the-air.
  • Mobile Point-of-Sale: This hand-held, Android-based Point-Of-Sale device has an in-built RFID reader and allows your staff to meet with guests wherever they are. The mobile POS is essentially a mobile kiosk that enables dynamic customer service. It eliminates long wait-times and the hassle of managing cash while reducing the operational load on your staff. 

As you can see, the RFID readers and the mobile Points-of-Sale act as a network of touchpoints that your guests can access for easy payments across your venue. The payment process is seamless and the guests can focus on having fun! 

If experience is the currency for capturing the hearts (and wallets) of your guests, then the world-class experience enabled by the Parafait suite of solutions is bound to make your venue the go-to entertainment destination! 

What makes Parafait unique is that it is an integrated ecosystem of interacting products and services through which you can create holistic experiences at your venue and deliver delight to your guests every single day! 

In Part Three, let’s look at some of the solutions that tie everything together. 

Part 3: Create Holistic Experiences 

A Family Entertainment Center is a place where kids can make memories that last a lifetime! Whether it’s playing with their friends every week or celebrating special occasions like birthdays, your venue can become the preferred choice for families in and around the neighborhood. 

Let’s say you are looking for a kid’s play area management software or a trampoline park software. Parafait can help you create a seamless experience from entry to exit. Here’s how: 

  • Check-In & Check-Out: This module helps you create a great first and last impression on your guests. It simplifies billing and ensures a secure experience by capturing personal details for easy identification. You can now create attractive combos and welcome offers for first-time guests. The module also facilitates auto check-out based on pre-defined timelines.
  • Time-Keeping With Radian: The Radian wristband is a lightweight, robust, and durable device that removes the need for a human timekeeper. The guest is given a wristband on registration and can go about their playtime. The band has an LED bezel with software-controlled color patterns that can be set up to indicate an event — like the expiry of available playtime.
  • Waiver Management: If one or more activities at your venue require signing a waiver, Parafait can help with that. Guests can sign the waiver online while making a booking. At the venue, they can sign at the POS or on one of the Parafait kiosks. Validation of signed waivers by staff is also simple and is done without compromising the personal data of guests.
  • Achievement Management: This module allows you to gamify the player experience at your venue by defining rewards and points based on completion of or performance in an activity. The accumulated points or credits are stored against the player card and can be redeemed for purchases at the venue.
  • Simplified Redemptions: Parafait simplifies the redemption process for both operators and guests. The redemption module is integrated with the inventory module, which means you can track and manage redeemed items with ease. Guests can use the Parafait Kalimprize redemption kiosk to check their accumulated points and redeem the items of their choice in just a few taps!
  • Party Bookings: For those special occasions when your guests want to celebrate with friends and family, your venue can be where the party’s at! The Parafait Party Booking software allows guests to book and schedule a party hall along with food and beverage options for the party attendees. Operators can manage these bookings easily from one place and assign a host for the party with checklists of items that need to be executed before, during, and after the party. 

These modules work in concert to deliver an unforgettable experience to your guests that will keep them coming back for more! And as they do, you can get to know their needs and preferences even better through the 360° Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution — and double the fun at your FEC!

The various modules of the Parafait CRM can help you establish long-lasting relationships with your guests and communicate with them in a meaningful manner. Let’s take a closer look at each one: 

  • Campaign Management: This module helps you create and send promotional emails and messages to your guests. It can also help you draw new guests to your venue through exciting offers and promotions.
  • Promotions: This module can help increase the frequency of guest visits by rolling out product promotions and redeemable gift vouchers. 
  • Memberships: This module is for creating membership tiers with various offers and discounts. You can now show your guests how much you value them by creating a VIP tier with exclusive promotions!
  • Loyalty Engine: This engine helps drive loyalty to your brand by rewarding customers on purchases or gameplays, giving them all the more reason to visit your venue! 

While these modules are working in the backend, vibrant Digital Signage placed across key locations can help inform your guests about ongoing offers. It can also direct your guests where they need to go and communicate critical safety-related information, all while adding a dash of color to your FEC! 

Now, you might be thinking that this is all a lot to handle! You already have your hands full managing your venue — won’t bringing in all this technology only increase the work there is to do? 

But the beauty of technology is such that it helps you automate key processes and streamline your operations, decreasing your overall workload! The various modules of Parafait work together in concert and you can manage your FEC easily from one place! 

In the last part of this guide, let’s see how the manager/operator’s job is transformed by technology. 

Part 4: Maintain & Manage with Ease 

Setting up a Family Entertainment Center, arcade, indoor playground, trampoline park, bowling alley or any other indoor entertainment venue requires a significant investment. And so, you want to make sure that the venue is running smoothly and the assets are taken care of. You also want to make sure the stock is utilized efficiently. Parafait has the modules to make all of this possible!

  • The Maintenance Module can help make your assets last and ensure guest safety by tracking repair and upkeep activities. This module is also available in tablet mode, simplifying the task for maintenance technicians. 
  • Parafait eZeeInventory is a web-based module that enables centralized management of the inventory process and allows you to handle purchasing, receiving, and costing from one place.  

To further enable simplified management and give you a high-level perspective on business operations, Semnox offers two solutions built on data-analytics: 

  • The Reporting Module gives you predefined or customized reports with an overview of data related to sales, products, customer relationships, inventory, cash flow, and more.
  • The Parafait Analytics app for Android and iOS allows you to manage your venue on-the-go. It has rich customized visualizations that give you a snapshot of the essential metrics, enabling quick decision-making. 

An Integrated FEC Management System

The Parafait ecosystem of products and services is a win-win on all fronts — it can positively transform the guest experience and streamline the process of managing your Family Entertainment Center or indoor venue. 

From large venues to small ones, from single sites to multiple locations spread across a large geographic area, Parafait can manage it all! 

We hope that this guide has given you all the information you need about the process of digitally transforming your FEC or indoor entertainment venue. If you wish to learn more or if you want to get Parafait for your entertainment venue, then email us at sales@semnox.com or call us now!

Leave A Reply