It seems like a lot of businesses, from Walmart to Applebee’s has someone welcoming customers when they arrive onsite. They are commonly known as “greeters.” Nightclubs have “bouncers” that eject unruly customers. Both have an important to role to fill, because they help welcome guests, while protecting the business. The customer has a positive experience, and the business is reducing risk at the same time.
That’s why a Doorman or Greeter makes sense for roller skating rinks. These businesses tend to have a lot of “drop-offs” (parents drive up, leave their kids and pick up them up later). They also keep a watchful eye for inappropriate behavior in the parking lot, whether it’s alcohol consumption, drug use, or property damage. An employee stationed at the door can help deter that.
Why you’re seeing more of them
During the CO-VID-19 outbreak, Rink Operators were tasked with taking the customer’s temperature in order to comply with health regulations after they reopened. Some rink operators stationed an employee outside to take temperatures before the customer entered the building. It was a lot easier than turning someone away after their parents drove off. Or having them wait in line, only to infect others if they tested positive.
Once COVID restrictions were lifted, it made sense to keep an employee at that post.
How they Help
1. The bouncer can check bags for vape pens, drugs, alcohol, weapons, or other prohibited items before the customer enters the building. This keeps them from approaching the admissions window, only to be sent back to their car or have an item confiscated, which can generate a bit of drama. Building security can proactively resolve an issue.
2. The greeter can also check for expiration dates on special coupons, or counterfeit passes. They also examine skates for stoppers and plugs to make sure the customer’s skates won’t damage the floor.
3. Parents will be better informed of pick up times, or if Little Johnny was kicked out and is now in “Skate Jail” until behavior issues are resolved. Customers can also be informed ahead of time of any price increases, or special events that may change the hours of public sessions.
4. Door Greeters can assist customers when it’s raining by holding an umbrella and providing great customer service.
5. They are also an extra set of eyes to make sure there’s no nefarious activity going on in the parking lot, or kids aren’t sneaking out, and they can be the first line of defense against other threats.
6. If an enforcement of dress codes or chewing gum is necessary, the best time to address that is before skaters pay.
7. Greeters can discreetly guide first responders onto the property when an ambulance or law enforcement has been requested, without creating a scene.
8. They keep kids from fighting with each other while they’re waiting in line, and they help keep the parking lots clean and litter-free.
9. Bouncers check IDs on nights where there are age restrictions. They make sure that smokers are old enough to participate on rink property.
10. They can direct party moms and birthday guests to the right location, answer any questions, and remind them of time limitations, such as event start and end-times. They can also avert “pop-up” celebrations. That’s when people arrive with a cake and gifts but they didn’t book a party with the rink.
11. And, if the line gets really long, the greeter can help first timers by announcing rules to the group, asking who’s a first timer, or running through some balance exercises to determine who will need the most help once the skates are on.
There are so many things a greeter can add to a business. Most of all, they can take the brunt of problems off the box office, and allow them to concentrate on getting everyone checked in quickly. And make your customers feel like welcomed guests.
Who makes a great greeter?
Candidates for this position need to be well-informed about the rink and its regular customers, and be friendly with a positive attitude.
Walmart hires retired folks. Nightclubs look for those skilled in martial arts, or are large in stature. Off-duty police officers, and security guards also make good candidates, along with military veterans. They come already trained on how to be observant, respond to emergencies, help apply first aid, and can defend themselves and others. Plus, it gives veterans a sense of purpose when returning from active duty, especially if they were overseas. Moreover, there are some generous tax credits for businesses that hire a veteran.
Applebee’s has Greeters stationed at their doors. So does Chick-fil-A and casinos. Parents and skaters alike will feel more secure knowing that an extra layer of protection has been put in place, when they see a door greeter outside the rink. The admissions window will be relieved of checking bags, refusing expired passes and pop-up party guests, and other conundrums that cause guests to wait longer to get in and join the fun.
Door Greeters are worth the investment.