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by Mike Holtzman
England’s Drayton Manor theme park has added a third train to its Thomas
Land children’s area to cope with anticipated demand in the season ahead. The
We are open ...now what?
new engine, Rosie, joins Thomas and Percy and ferries passengers back and forth
between the Thomas Land, Farmer McColl’s Farm and the Tidmouth Hault
stations. Since opening last season, Thomas Land has been an unprecedented
As a food & beverage manager or owner, you have worked very hard the
success, helping Drayton Manor pass the one million guest mark for the first time.
last two months to recruit, train and prepare your team for the start of the A “Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition” will also open at the park this season,
season. Thousands of people are coming through your gates looking featuring original illustrations from the original Thomas the Tank Engine books by
forward to a great time. What do you do now? This is a list of items that the late Rev W Awdry.
you want to complete during the season:
WhiteWater West has signed an agreement with Wave Loch to manufacture and
1) Hold and follow the standards you set in training with your team. Focus sell the FlowRider “stationary wave” surf attraction outside North America. “The
on the customer service standards you have set. As the season goes
FlowRider is a highly popular and proven product which complements our existing
on, staff will begin to get comfortable, and this can begin to effect the
waterpark attractions.” says WhiteWater president Geoff Chuter.
operation. Follow up with the staff on a daily basis to maintain the
standards that were set when you opened.
The National Ticket Company has announced the appointment of Jason
Mauser as its US sales manager. Mauser joined the company in 1999 and plans
to be an integral part of the management team. National Ticket recently opened
2) As we evaluate our crew, we will want to see which staff members are
two new sales offices. Chris Conroy will lead the sales team at his Chalfont,
showing leadership qualities. This is when we start developing our
Pennsylvania, office, while Patrick Carter, will manage sales at the new St Charles
leads, supervisors and staff for the future. We want to show them the
office in Missouri.
ropes of the operation while it is occurring. If a high school student just
joined and is comfortable and happy, they could become an employee
HB Leisure, the specialist games operator headed by Tim Batstone, has
for the next few summers. This saves on training. If there are a few
appointed a new managing director. Alex Sparks joins from the retail industry,
“superstars,” offer them additional responsibilities such as opening and
where he spent 10 years with the Virgin Group and 15 years with Blockbuster
closing duties and supervision responsibilities. Show them how to order
product, schedule staff and give breaks. This employee could be a
Orlando’s Universal CityWalk has introduced three fast new dining options:
future manager if you train them properly.
Panda Express, Moe’s Southwest Grill and the world’s first Burger King Whopper
Bar, a “hipper” version of the hamburger joint. The three outlets are located
3) As I highlighted in my previous column, keep watch of the details in
together on the upper level of CityWalk and share a communal dining area. “We
invoices from vendors. You want to make sure that the prices they
saw a desire for quick, casual meals among our guests,” observes Ric Florell,
agree to continue to hold. You do not want to suddenly see transport Universal’s senior vice-president and general manager of resort revenue
costs or imaginary surcharges appear. There should be no major operations. Previously many of the CityWalk food outlets were full service themed
jumps in price without any warnings from your representative. Make restaurants.
sure vendors continue to openly communicate with you to assure the
level of service you deserve.
Mtatsminda Park, Tbilisi, Georgia, should be open again this month (April),
according to local press reports. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili visited
4) Focus on maintaining your labour controls. Do not let your efforts go to
the site on March 4 and pledged the park would be open again in one month.
The park will be operated by UAE-based Rakeen Development, which signed a
waste. Analyse labour costs daily to ensure you do not exceed the 25%
49-year management contract once it was announced the park would be
cost of sales. We do this by simply taking the number of payroll hours
reopened and its debts settled. Founded by deceased businessman Badri
each day. Say we ran 53 hours, multiply this number by $10.00 per hour
Patarkatsishvili, the rides and attractions opened in November 2007 but were
(or your equivalent – including payroll taxes) and divide this number by
seized a short while after. The park has stood idle ever since.
the sales. So if we had a busy day with $2,000, and we ran 53 hours of
payroll, the calculation would be: 53 hours X $10.00/hr = $530.00 /
Merlin Entertainments continues to pair up its various attractions brands.
$2000 in revenue = 26.5% payroll cost for the day. Not good!
Warwick Castle in England, until now about the group’s sober of its outlets, it
to get a lot more gruesome with the announcement that a Dungeons attraction
5) Audit the food and beverage team. Taste your food to assure consistent
will open there in time for Easter. Guests will be greeted by “decaying bodies,”
quality. Simple recipes will ensure the team will know them. Ask them
chanting monks, medieval medical instruments, leeches and a torture chamber.
the hold times and cook times for prepared products like pretzels. Ask
Despite financial concerns, only one in six British residents (16%) say price will be
them what needs to be thawed each day and what items we check in
biggest their biggest influence when choosing a holiday this year, according
the afternoon so you don’t run out. This reminds the staff of what they
to a new survey by American Express Insurance Services. Around one in eight
need to know and makes sure they understand the operation.
(13%) say they will choose to travel outside of Europe to get more value for money
due to the pound hitting an all time low against the euro.
These simple steps will have a huge impact. Making time to audit, develop
and train your staff and operations,will result with you seeing higher profits
Plans for the world’s first “heritage amusement park” were due to unveiled in the
throughout the season.
English seaside resort of Margate last month (March). The Dreamland Trust has
been working with Thanet District Council and the Margate Town Centre
Mike Holtzman is president of Profitable Food Facilities, a US-based
Regeneration Company to revive an amusement outlet on the site of the former
hospitality and consulting firm for family entertainment outlets.
Dreamland park. Its plans centre around the Scenic Railway rollercoaster, which
will be complemented by a selection of rescued rides and attractions from parks
around the UK, ready for a possible 2012 opening. www.savedreamland.co.uk
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