With over 30 years' experience designing and manufacturing coin-operated games, we want to share with you the knowledge we have gained throughout the years. Use this resource center to educate yourself on the coin-op industry, especially relating to ticket and prize redemption operations.
Jump Start By: Gina Angeli
Everything worthwhile is uphill.
-John C. Maxwell
The Village of companies that Bay Tek Games belongs to was built on and will continue to grow on the foundation of a dream. The dream to provide opportunity for our family members, our customers and our community fuels the willingness to work hard, make tough decisions and take risk. As true as this is, it is still easy to get caught in the routine of fighting fires and getting “the beer out the door.” It is in these times that our commitment to our Values must serve as the guide to where we focus our energies.
We are blessed, in our Village, to have Values that are real - principles that we strive to live every day, even when it is tough. One of those values is Leadership. This week we will join together as a Village to learn together, to be stronger leaders together and to continue on our journeys to be the best versions of ourselves together at the Global Leadership Summit presented by Willow Creek Church. We have made this commitment as we believe that by doing this we will be better able to serve all of those that are important to us.
John C. Maxwell, one of the world’s most influential leadership experts, states that “people have uphill hopes and downhill habits.” Unless we choose to make our actions intentional, we accept our lives as they are and eventually the path leads downhill. The commitment to our leaders growing together at the Global Leadership Summit is one thing we are choosing to do to continue to keep the dream alive. Our challenge to you is - what is yours?
To learn more about John C. Maxwell go to: www.johnmaxwell.com
To learn more about the Global Leadership Summit go to https://www.willowcreek.com/events/leadership/
- What is ticket redemption?
- Ticket redemption games are amusement machines that reward the player with tickets based on how well they play the game. It is important to note that ticket redemption games are skill based and players who develop their skill through repeat play can increase their ticket reward. The tickets won by the player have value and are redeemed for prizes after they are finished playing. These prizes are normally displayed in an organized, well-lit prize counter that is located in a strategic area of high visibility.
- Is your business right for ticket redemption?
- Ticket redemption can be a very beneficial aspect of an entertainment business; it can be the focus of a business or a complimentary division. Adding a ticket redemption business to your existing business is simple if you follow the correct steps, but before you would decide on bringing ticket redemption into your business, it is important to ask yourself three questions.
- Do you have the right type of customers to justify ticket redemption games?
- Are your customers in a position to spend more time and money in your location?
- Do you have the ability to operate ticket redemption equipment in your location effectively?
See "Is Your Business Right for Ticket Redemption` White Paper for more information.
- What game mix should I have?
- Game mix refers to the type of games in your location based on the target player for that game and the purpose that the game serves your customer. There are five major redemption game categories:
1. Play Value: 30%
2. Quick Play: 25%
3. Kiddie Games: 15%
4. Novelty Games: 25%
5. Merchandisers: 5%
On average, the above percentage mix works for most FEC's.
- How do I layout my game room?
- You can use our "Design a Game Room" feature on this site to determine the amount of games and appropriate game mix to start. Contact your local distributor or amusement facility consultant for further information on game room layout. See Industry Directory for contacts.
- How important is the prize counter?
- Very, very important. Your customers play redemption games mostly to redeem the tickets for the prizes. Without a great prize display and mix your game room may not earn as well as it could. Prize counters must be well organized, well lit, and offer plenty of variety. See our Industry Directory for Prize Companies.
- Where should the prize counter be located?
- In a highly visible location within your location. It should be the first attraction they see. This will intrigue them enough to investigate how to win those prizes. The prize counter will get your customers to your games.
- How much should my games pay out?
- First, you need to decide how much your tickets are worth. On average, a penny-a-ticket ratio is assigned. Pay out is the amount of tickets a game dispenses back to the player. On average, a game room should strive for a 25-35% payout. Meaning for every $1 a game takes in, it should pay out 25-35 tickets. Pay out is very important to the customer and will drive them to come back to your location.
- Does cleanliness affect my game room revenues?
- Yes, the cleaner you keep your facility the better business will be. This goes beyond the game room. Often times the restrooms are a gauge for mothers. Dirty restrooms can turn customers away. Maintaining the games will draw more players to them and in turn make you more money. Your business is a place for families to spend their discretionary income; it needs to be a safe and clean establishment if you want repeat business.
- Do I need to rotate my game room?
- Yes. This is a very inexpensive way of achieving a new look for your game room and in the customers mind sometimes bringing in new games. We are creatures of habit and your repeat customers will get into a routine. Mix it up for them by rotating your games on a regular basis. A quarterly rotation would be a minimum goal.
- How much money do I need to invest annually into my game room?
- On average, a game room should reinvest 5%-10% back into it annually.
- Should I keep spare parts on hand?
- Yes! Keeping your games up and running is vital to maximize your return on investment and keep your customers coming back. Your distributor and manufacturing reps should have spare part packages available.
- How can I increase my revenue?
- Cleanliness of game room and facility. No out of order signs- keep spare parts on hand and a good technician. Rotate equipment regularly. Maintain a well-stocked, organized prize counter. And continue to educate your self on redemption and the trends in our industry through attending trade shows, seminars, open houses, and subscribing to industry publications.
- How many bill changers should I have?
- To keep players happy and spending in your game room try to keep one bill changer for every 25 games on location.
- How long does a redemption game last?
- If properly maintained and cleaned ticket redemption games can have a very long life span, sometime reaching upwards on 12-15 years, but on average five years. Maintenance schedules should be found within your game manual. Find this schedule and stick to it for the most effective operations.
- Are ticket eater machines beneficial?
- Yes, they speed up the process, take the place of an employee, and are accurate.
- Who makes the best redemption games?
- Bay Tek Games of course! There are many quality game manufacturers in the market today. Contact your local distributor for more information on the options available for you. To find a distributor click on our Distributors tab and search by zip code. In the meantime, download and view Bay Tek's entire product catalog.
Let us help you determine the perfect game mix for your location...
The following organizations listed in this directory were hand picked for the excellent service and products they provide.
Click on the organizations to view their websites
Rear view Mirrors and Windshields
By Holly Hampton
Rear view mirrors allow us to see behind us while driving; they provide a great deal of purpose and increase our safety while out on the open road. Sometimes they allow the sight of a beautiful sunset in the horizon and other times we can see the teary faces loved ones waving as we drive off. I want to take a quick look at our 2016 through our rear view mirror and then provide an outlook on where we are going in 2017 and beyond.
It’s been a tremendous year for all of us at Bay Tek Games, a record breaking year! As the market grows with new openings and many others investing in their established businesses, we get to reap the reward. With those rewards came growing pains and we did our very best to manage our growth while taking care of our customers and each other. We pushed ourselves and challenged our processes.
We acquired our fifth competitor, Skee-Ball, and managed a successful transition during the peak buying season. Adding five new games to our line-up took more work than just transferring inventory and training employees. We re-engineered each game to ensure the Bay Tek quality and standards we have always held ourselves to. This stretched our product development team and allowed us to create opportunities for cross-functional teams.
With the acquisition of Skee-Ball we embarked on a new journey into the licensing world. We developed strategies to leverage the 107-year old brand, including exhibiting at the Licensing Expo with our agent, DBG, creating a style guide, building relationships with current Skee-Ball licensing partners, and inking our first licensing contract with Ocean Media for the interactive digital game market. Stay tuned for a Skee-Ball app in quarter two of 2017!
Our team has evolved over this past year; we’ve said plenty of hellos and some goodbyes. We welcomed a record breaking 20 summer help staffers to our team. We were so grateful for their help, however, loathed the longer lunch line during our weekly summer cookouts and fighting for a parking spot. We’ve had some Bay Tekker’s expand into Village roles and we’ve added some family members from our sister companies. We expanded our ownership of Zymo Interactive to majority owner and welcomed two new companies into the Village. We are growing!
In a couple weeks the calendar turns and 2017 is upon us, another trip around the sun in the books! So what is ahead of us as we look through the windshield? We are going to put more time and energy into our greatest asset, our people. Talent development is our number one goal for 2017. We will continue to develop our staff, create standards and hold each other accountable so that we as individuals can grow, which only makes Bay Tek better. We will help build our employees both professionally and personally through personal development plans, our Jump Start Global Leadership program, financial and health wellness, increased training, further-education, and simply by believing in them.
Creating new games that are “must have” will continue to be our hedgehog, our focus. We’ve invested in our team, we are evaluating our development space, and we are refining our portfolio strategies to ensure we are creating a platform for success. Expanding our revenue models continues to be a focus for the future of Bay Tek. We are working out investment deals in two startups, Gamer Green and Liveality, to expand our offerings and revenue streams.
As we develop the latest and greatest games and products, we will continue to work hard on our partnerships with our customers to create opportunities for all parties. We will have a new focus on the international markets, creating a new home market sales division, and building upon a successful domestic distribution partnership program.
We will focus on continuous improvement so we can better our current processes, abandon weak ones and strategically develop new ones. We want to be an organization that works smarter and not harder. We want this for our people and their work/life balances and for our income statements so we can continue to share back with each other and our community.
The saying, “it takes a village,” has never meant more to us. We will continue our focus as a greater entity with the eight other Village companies we have. We will create efficiencies, share resources, and most importantly dream the unthinkable.
We had an incredible 2016, by all measures our best year; however, we have room for improvement. It’s in our blood to identify the areas where we can get better. Our journey to be the best in the world will never allow us to take our focus off continuous improvement. So we will celebrate our wins this year. We will learn from what we did well and more importantly identify the places in our business we can improve. We will focus on the betterment of our future, our customers’ future, our suppliers’ future, and our communities’ future.
Rear view mirrors are wonderful, they provide so much value but there is a reason why they are so small in comparison to the windshield. We hope you are able to take some time to reflect as we have, learn from what has been done and face forward and focus on the road ahead. This is a beautiful journey and we, alone, get to determine where we go. So dream big, look at what’s ahead and don’t let the past slow you down.
F2FEC Especially Timely This Year
By: George McAuliffe
In previous columns I’ve written that our industry is in a nice place at the moment. We have compelling business models as modern redemption game rooms are combined with bowling, cinema, casinos, resorts and restaurants to create attractive venues. The audience for game play is as wide and broad as it has ever been. The manufacturing sector is as efficient as ever. Having just returned from IAAPA 2016 I can’t recall seeing as much great new game product in one show as we did this year. That bodes well for facility performance in 2017.
As business models move up the growth curve, challenges morph. FEC’s have a high change requirement for long term attendance. Most facilities are community based, they play to the same audience. Staying relevant to that audience without a total redesign every few years has always been a challenge.
As game rooms proliferate that normal challenge is compounded by the dangers of sameness. Industries in growth mode have a fashion component: they’re new, fun, have that “Wow” factor. Folks talk about them, tell their friends, and attendance grows. As similar facilities open the original’s novelty factor can decline.
Just look around at other industries- cinema, restaurants, and retail fashion come to mind- and see the same phenomena. The good news is that all of these industries- and ours- have numerous examples of businesses that have been successful for years, that continue to surprise and delight their guests, and that remain relevant in their marketplace.
How do they do it? It boils down to a fierce dedication to operational excellence and to continuous learning. Look at restaurants. A pretty simple business, right? It’s about the food, service, atmosphere, and price/value. Yet if it’s so simple why are there so few who get it right?
There are a lot of details to manage in those broad categories, just like in our business. That’s where the fierce dedication to operational excellence comes in. But I’ll guarantee you that the owners of those successful businesses wake up every day asking how they will stay relevant today, next week, and next year. They are constantly seeking to understand their customers, their vendors, their competitors, and their industry leaders in order to keep their own businesses relevant.
Senior FEC executives and owners are fortunate in that the best conference for them is coming up in February and there is still time to register. The third annual F2FEC conference will be held February 21-23 at Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in Braselton, GA.
I’ve attended many conferences in my 38 years in the business but none as productive as F2FEC. Spending three intense days in a room with 200 of the best minds in the business is a tremendous experience. In formal sessions and unstructured social time, decision makers get to learn from each other and think through challenges together. Topics range from the mundane- how do you handle minimum wage increases, for example- to the weighty- how do I keep my business positioned as special and unique? This year’s conference theme is “differentiate!” In my view that theme is exactly what we need at this point in time. I’m looking forward to learning new approaches as well as the industry leadership’s plans and methods.
A big part of the F2FEC vibe is the diversity of facility types represented. That includes BEC’s, traditional FECs, cinemas, casinos, roller skating centers, trampoline parks, and restaurants. Last year’s attendees represented 699 facilities, provide some 22,000 jobs and collected more than $1 billion in annual revenues. More information can be found at https://f2fec.wildapricot.org/ I highly recommend it.
George McAuliffe has created and operated family entertainment centers from 2,000 to 150,000 square feet as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and consultant. He is president of Pinnacle Entertainment Group and leads the company’s strategic advisory team. Readers can visit www.grouppinnacle.com for more information or contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-422-7197.
The Simplest Acts Make the Largest Impacts
By: Gina Angeli
If you had to stop right now and count the number of people that you have had the opportunity to interact with today, how accurate do you think you would be? Chances are, if you have been out and about for more than an hour today, you are not even in the ballpark. You, like most of the rest of us, are so “busy” that you do not even notice the vast majority of people you interact with every day. As human beings, we are wired to be social creatures- quite frankly, our industry depends on this; yet, for most of us our days are completely focused on what we are trying to get done at any given moment or what we still need to do.
What if you stopped again and decided to take a quick five-minute walk and this time you actually paid attention to the people you have the opportunity to interact with. What if you decided that you were going to take the opportunity and actually engage? True, you may not be able to check everything off your to-do list; but, what might happen instead? We just may never know the impact that it might have on someone. In the moment it could be a smile, a laugh, a tip of the head, a momentary break from the task at hand. It could be a message heard that you care enough to take a moment for them. It could be a recognition that taking the time to engage someone else might be meaningful enough and actually more fulfilling than anything that they are doing because they see you being different.
Think for a moment about the people in your life who have had a significant impact on you. Did they do something extraordinary for you? Probably not, they probably were just willing to give of themselves to you. They probably had no idea of the impact that they had on you by the simple act of sharing themselves, by simply being. Yet, connect the dots to who you have been able to become because of their inspiration. This is no small or insignificant feat. This is how we make a real difference not because of what we do but because of who we are.
The opportunity to make a difference with and for others is present every moment of every day. Be intentional about this. It is too important to have, “I hope to make a difference” as a strategy. If this is the case, “being busy” will always be our default. Next week, a good bunch of us will convene for our industry’s biggest show. It is, for many, a time to get a lot of things done, check a lot of boxes, see a lot of things, “meet” with a lot of people. My challenge for all is to, at some point in all of the commotion of the day (whether at the show or not), take a moment to recognize that you are right next to someone whose life you can touch or who can touch yours. Be intentional about what you choose to do with that precious gift.
Really, what would be so bad about believing that you can make a difference in this world simply by sharing who you are?
Quality Control Is The Name of The Game
By: Redemption Plus
The days of the Empathy Economy are here! “Uh, explain, please.” Consumers are making decisions based on facts less and less and are instead making decisions based on how a brand makes them feel. What is at the core of what your customers expect from you? Prepare for your priorities to be shaken up, as this perspective certainly changed ours!
What this means to family entertainment centers is ensuring a great guest experience to everyone who walks through their doors is becoming increasingly important. It’s time to look at the root of your customer satisfaction. Are guests pleased with the cleanliness of your facility? Do they leave feeling as though they’re friends with team members? Do they feel they spent a fair amount of money for what they got out of their visit? Hopefully the answer is “yes” to each of those questions. Taking a deep look into your customer service and analyzing all customer touch points might help you discover some important things about your business.
Take it from us. We had a lesson in customer satisfaction this year. We wanted to know what drives our customers to do business with us and how we could better serve them. So, we asked. Roughly 150 of our customers helped us learn that receiving accurate and on-time orders is the most important interaction Redemption Plus has with them.
We admit we haven’t always been the best at this. Despite lots of process improvement and implementation, consulting initiatives and team member alignment, it seemed something was still missing in our fulfillment center. So, we took it back to the basics and made tracking order accuracy simple again.
We’ve made this a priority through our new Quality Control (QC) Headquarters. We pick a variety of orders at least four times a day at random. Our Quality Checker then looks to confirm the boxes contain what they’re supposed to and are packed in a manner that is organized. Some things she looks for: is the box within approved weight, are heavy items on bottom, if there’s an assortment of the same items is the assortment a true variety, are liked items grouped within the box and the list goes on.
Not only does this ensure our customers are getting correct orders, but it also helps us internally. Through this process we’re able to provide feedback to pickers, packers and packing techniques, track accuracy based on item count and arrange the picking module so it makes sense (for example, placing like items away from each other on the module).
We learned that before we could make an emotional connection with our customers (remember that whole notion about the Empathy Economy?), we first had to “shore up” internal processes to ensure our customers were getting the base of what they expect from us.
How can you use this as an example to improve your customer satisfaction? Are you asking your customers if they’re satisfied with all areas of your business? What is your business great at? What is your business not so great at? What processes do you need to implement to ensure guest happiness? Now, more than ever, is the time to learn the answers to those questions!