In addition to following local, state and federal guidelines as it relates to conducting business amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many things to consider as you reopen. The reality is that the typical day-to-day operations of your bowling alley or entertainment center will be anything but typical as stay at home orders are lifted and you plan to reopen your lanes.
The decision to re-open is one you must make in adherence to state orders, but also when you are ready to operate in this new environment. The reality is that many people are still cautious about the places they go and the businesses they work with. The main objective for any bowling alley looking to re-open is having a plan that will make your staff and customers feel safe.
From cleaning practices to social distancing measures, you need to think through many of your operational processes in order to maintain the highest level of cleanliness. Even though it is not clear for how long different surfaces can be contaminated with coronavirus, you still want to enhance your cleaning practices.
What Bowling Alleys & Centers Are Doing
The Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) offers a detailed guide to reopening your bowling center or alley on the Bowling University site. When it comes to social distancing and sanitization, here are some of the things that other alleys and centers are doing:
- Pause a lane or pair of lanes that are between groups.
- Shorten hours of operation for more cleaning and sanitation time by staff.
- Create a reservation process to avoid waiting lists and crowds.
- Sanitize house balls behind counter and distribute them individually – sanitize after each use.
- Provide visible hand sanitation stations.
- Offer food and beverage service to minimize foot traffic through your center
- Re-sanitize rental shoes in front of guests before delivering.
- Display social distancing signs.
- Offer cashless payment options.
- Create foot traffic flow when entering and exiting facility to maintain crowd control.
- Protect staff with plexiglass screen at bowling control counter and other areas of the alley.
- Make mask wearing mandatory by all staff.
- Stagger league times and put 1 team per pair of lanes.
- Create a mandatory 30 minute break during league play for sanitation.
- Integrate texting and other methods of communication to minimize foot traffic and maintain social distancing.
- Offer online reservations that include ball and shoe rental requests.
- With online reservations, prep lanes in advance.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what everyone is doing to improve health and safety standards at bowling alleys, but it is a start. Once your state lifts restrictions, your decision to open is a completely personal one. The important thing here is to have a plan for making your workers and bowlers feel safe in your bowling alley.
For more information about staffing, food and beverage, attractions, marketing and more, check out The Bowling University’s re-opening resource center located at this link. If you would like to discuss customized solutions or need some consulting support for your alley, feel free to contact us today.