HomeRink Life10 Things Skaters Wish Some Rink Operators Would do

10 Things Skaters Wish Some Rink Operators Would do

Following up to 10 Things Rink Operators Wish Their Customers Would Stop Doing, here is a list of 10 things customers wish skating rink owners would do that would make them want to come back again and again.

  1. Update the Décor. If your carpeting is full of gum, or your snack bar lighting is harsh florescent shop lights, it’s time to learn from today’s trending eateries and study their clean and inviting atmosphere. Next time you’re in a Starbucks or Panera Bread, look at their lighting, note how it dresses up the place, and then call a lighting designer who consults but doesn’t sell lighting products.

  1. Get better rental skates. Nothing ruins a day of family fun than a brand new skater outfitted in rental skates with dirty wheels, frayed laces, on plastic skates (without steering cushions) or a skate that strays off in its own direction. When people have fun and are on a decent pair of skates, they will want to buy their own. But don’t expect repeat business, or people rushing to buy a pair of skates if their first experience sucks.

  1. Teach us how to maintain our skates. When customers shell out several hundred dollars of their hard earned money to purchase new gear, they want to know how to take care of their skates. Plus it’s an opportunity to remind them to get regular tune ups from the rink pro shop or sell the tools to do it themselves.

  1. Maintain the skating surface. If your skate floor is getting pitted, warped, or has lost its high gloss shine, please add a coating of Roll-on, Tite Coat, or some other urethane product. Make it a smooth and safe skating surface for your customers. And maintain your roof. When it rains hard and you need to put up buckets to catch the drips on the skating floor, please remember to turn up the lights. There is nothing worse than skating into a bucket of water because of poor visibility.
  1. Acknowledge new customers. Rink managers and employees are in the rink day in and day out. They know who their regular customers are. So when a new skater shows up in high end gear, take time to say hello, learn their name, and thank them for coming. There is nothing more disconcerting to a skater who wants to give a rink business, but instead gets the brush off. Courtesy is free and it goes a long way.

  1. Post the snack bar menu on the rink’s website. Rink visitors appreciate knowing in advance if they’ll need $5 or $20 for a snack in the roller cafe. Plus calorie counts and allergy notices are also appreciated.


  1. Offer a monthly pass or an incentive program for being a loyal customer. Supermarkets know it’s in their best interest to take care of its best customers with customized coupons and special offers that keep them coming back. Show them they’re appreciated.

  1. Have a lessons program. Better skaters mean long term customers. Cultivate skaters and help them learn new skills.
  1. Keep the snack bar area open during the entire session.  Please keep the kitchen open until closing time. There are some customers who would rather take food to-go from the rink at closing time, than stop at a fast food joint on the way home. And keep the vaccum locked up until after closing time. There is nothing more irritating than eating with a nearby vacuum kicking up dust in the air. If employees must perform the nightly chores while customers are still in the building, start with a closed section of the snack bar where customers are not present.
  1. Clean the place. There is nothing more unappealing than skating among dirty air ducts, filthy lockers, sticky bathroom floors, and snack bar tables that need wiping down while employees stand around and chit chat. Cleanliness matters and it’s the number one reason customers don’t return to an establishment. If you wouldn’t allow your carpeting and bathrooms to look like that at home, then don’t expect people to pay money to be around it either.
Susan Geary
Susan is a roller rink consultant with experience gained as the former Editor of Rinksider Magazine. She's been a recreational indoor quad skater for 30+ years.


  1. In fairness to rink operators, it’s not always easy to get an updated fleet of rentals. Decent ones are typically at or over $100 a pair. Multiply that out by the hundreds that rinks stock in their inventory because of varying sizes, and you have a fortune.

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