Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quality Sells

Since opening Zeus Digital Theaters last October, I have been put to the test on my beliefs that quality sells. When I designed the theater, I made the leg room of every seat to be 12" greater than any other theater in the area. In addition, I put in stadium seating, rocker leather chairs, a great sound and projection system and expensive carpet.

The carpet, in my mind is the most important feature of the lobby. It isn't the huge columns or even the nice furniture. The carpet is something that you see and feel constantly. If the carpet isn't clean, you will notice it. Heaven forbid the carpet is sticky (which can happen in a theater).

A huge portion of my quality proposal to my guests actually is in the carpet. So it is no wonder that I will spend better than $15,000 this year in cleaning and maintenance on the carpet.

Another big part of our quality is the bathrooms. A smelly bathroom, regardless of how clean it is can kill your theater. A dirty bathroom that doesn't stink is just as bad. Some national chains get their baths cleaned every night by an outside crew. I have my regular staff clean the baths every 30 minutes. It makes all the difference.

Finally, the concept that quality sells is shown in how a nice theater performs, even at a higher ticket price, compared to a run down theater. We have a theater nearby that charges $7 for every show. We run our prices at $8-$13 with the average ticket price just below $10. So if the price was "elastic", then a lower price should mean greater attendance. Right? Wrong! Our theater does anywhere from 20-30 times the revenue of the lower priced theater. Price is not everything. Quality is what really matters.

The challenge is keeping the quality up. That means constant maintenance and improvement. Painters should touch up every 6 months. Carpets get professionally scrubbed every 90 days. Broken seats are fixed immediately.

To steal the old tag line: Quality is Job One!

No comments: