What Drives Your Patrons?
- Investing in a courtesy bus could be an easier and more cost effective option for venues
Poor car flow can cause your patrons a world of pain and result in a loss for your business. It can also be regarded as a difficult and expensive issue to solve, but it doesn’t have to be that way, explains Basim Aljabary.
Bad car flow is a common problem that may negatively impact a venue, and can often be difficult and expensive to solve.
“I personally avoid those venues because you dread what you’re going to do with your car,” says Basim Aljabary, TGS State Manager for New South Wales. “I don’t want to have that on my mind when I’m going somewhere and trying to enjoy the facilities.”
Businesses are often backed into a corner when it comes to solutions, especially if the site is land-locked. Land-locking is an issue that affects around 20 to 30 percent of venues, Aljabary estimates.
“It affects a lot of people because the majority of pubs and clubs are built in the city or in built-up residential areas and, therefore, it can be very difficult to expand,” he explains. “It is possible to build on a land-locked site, as long as you can secure the required capital and council approvals. A 300 to 500-space car park over multiple levels can quickly exceed $10 million and this is just the construction costs.”
An easier and more cost-effective option for venues facing traffic flow issues could be investing in a courtesy bus. Aljabary explains how a TGS venue has two courtesy buses to drive members both to and from the venue.
“The member calls and says, ‘I want to be picked up at five o’clock’ and they pick you up at five o’clock. Then, when you’re at the venue, you book the bus and say, ‘I want to go home in an hour’ and they schedule everyone in and take you home in an hour,” he says.
“A car park can bring a lot more people to the venue,” Aljabary continues. “But a courtesy bus can be a more feasible short-term solution. Even if you already have a multilevel car park, the courtesy bus can serve as a solution for people who want to go to the venue but don’t want to drive. So there is still that market either way.”
Even venues with multilevel car parks and plenty of spaces can still face car flow issues. Aljabary refers to a large club in New South Wales with a car park so big that patrons would often get lost and not be able to locate their car. To manage that, the club recently implemented golf buggies, with staff members picking people up and dropping them off at their vehicles. The levels of the car park have also been colour-coded for easy reference.
These types of solutions are simple and help avoid a headache for patrons. Regardless of your venue size or limitations, there are always solutions out there to make things easier for your members, improve traffic flow and provide a better business outcome.
Sometimes, you just need to think outside the box or, in this case, outside the car park.