Business After COVID-19

Content Contributed by US Design Lab

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The crisis created by COVID-19 has affected all of us and what the lasting effects on people and our businesses will be are unknown. Some people may return to their previous level of comfort in public places and patronage of businesses quickly, while for many others it may take weeks, months, or maybe longer. The entertainment business relies on people feeling safe & comfortable around one another, and most importantly feeling safe & comfortable in your facility and with your employees. The following are examples of things you might consider addressing as you plan and prepare to open your doors again. With proper planning, preparation and execution, this might help you to maximize the potential of your business in what many are viewing as a “new world”.

Customers perception of your brand and center will be more important than ever before. If your brand and facility appear old and dated, the first thought with many people will be that it is also not clean (and thus not safe). While centers that appear fresh and modern are perceived as better maintained and more clean. Customers perceptions will start from the street or your parking lot. For your exterior, some improvements you might consider include:

  • Fresh paint
  • Updated lighting
  • Clean parking lot, fix and repaint lines if necessary
  • Branding & Signage – is it attractive?
  • Enhanced features or complete renovation

For your interior, some improvements to make your center more inviting and comfortable might include:

  • Fresh paint, signage and updated lighting
  • Clean carpet and other flooring or replace if needed
  • Decrease clutter, provide more open space for your customers
  • Fix or replace anything in disrepair – chipped counters, broken/cracked/worn-out furniture, etc.
  • Additional modernization as needed will always help

Cleanliness will be absolutely critical.

  • Place hand sanitizer stations near the entry, at reception, multiple stations within your arcade & attractions areas, restaurant, bar or snack bar and if you have bowling, at the bowling lanes (recommend at least 1 for every 8 lanes).
  • Make 100% certain that your restrooms are clean and in good repair. Restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day, detailed at least once a week, checked before opening and then every 15-30 minutes and more thoroughly inspected regularly (post a professional inspection log in a visible spot near the door). Using checklists for restroom cleaning & maintenance is a good practice as well. Check with your janitorial service/supply company for more information and recommendations.

Respect Social Distancing

  • Use floor decals, placed 6 ft. apart to designate where people should stand & wait in line at your reception, redemption counter, snack bar or anywhere people generally need to line up. Don’t forget attractions as well such as bumper cars, VR and more.

Develop and post a “Commitment To Cleanliness”


At “you centers name here”, we are committed to keeping our center clean for your and our employee’s health and safety.

  • For your use, you’ll find hand sanitizer stations at various spots throughout our center.
  • The typical touch points for games and other equipment are cleaned with disinfectant at least “x” (recommend at least 3) times daily.
  • Our employees are all trained on proper cleaning and sanitation procedures.
  • If you should incur a spill, or notice anything that needs to be addressed, please let us know right away so that we can clean it up.

Dining and Bar Areas

For a period of time, many people might be uncomfortable in what they perceive as too close or crowded spaces. In order to make these customers more comfortable in addition to possible “social distancing” requirements, you might consider reducing your seating capacity by removing some tables & chairs to provide more “personal space” between tables and bar seating. Don’t try to accomplish this by simply not seating people at certain tables, as the empty tables can create an impression that you don’t have good food, or are not providing good service. Store the extra furniture, adding it back as people re-adjust.
Note: keep the overall design and layout of your space in mind as you make changes and consult with experts as needed.



Consult with your games supplier or operator about how best to arrange your arcade to provide more space between games/groups of games. To allow for more space if needed, after evaluating your individual games performance, pick some of the lower revenue producing games, remove them and place in storage. You can add them back into the arcade as people become more comfortable and require less space. Be prepared that possible “social distancing” requirements will make your arcade layout much more challenging.


Be prepared to try new operational practices for bowling. Possibilities may include:

  • Issuing only every other lane for a period of time to provide more space for people, adding back the practice of issuing every lane as your customers become comfortable again. For groups taking multiple lanes, leave at least one lane open between the group and the next issued lane.
  • Issue all the lanes together on a regular schedule, similar to going to a movie, making sure to allow time between scheduled time slots to do a quick cleaning/wipe down of the bowlers area furniture, scoring console and ball return.
  • Go “hands free”, letting customers know that if they would like you can enter all their information and take care of all controls from your counter.
  • For house balls, consider purchasing a manufacturers ball fitting system and balls. As part of the lane issuing process, at the bowling counter assist customers with determining the right ball to use. If you have the storage space, you could then personally provide them with balls from storage which have been cleaned/wiped down (including thumb & finger holes) with a disinfecting cloth or wipe. At a minimum, direct customers to where they can find their ball and provide them with disinfecting wipes that they can then use if desired to wipe down their ball.
  • For rental shoes, post a sign noting that your shoes are cleaned/disinfected after each use.
  • Replace any balls for shoes that are too worn, as that by itself will be perceived as a negative and that they are dirty regardless of if they’ve been cleaned.

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