If you keep a close eye on industry trends you would have seen some operators allowing the use of street shoes in their centres, and the backlash from competitive bowlers. We understand that renting shoes may turn off some customers. There is a case for soft rules, but here are 7 reasons to keep using them…
1 - Cleanliness
You can’t properly clean the approach between bookings on a busy rainy weekend. Dirt is more visible here than on carpets and darker flooring.
2 - Safety
Bowling shoes were developed to enable bowlers to slide when delivering the ball, preventing them from stopping suddenly and injuring their knees.
3 - Ball & Lane Damage
The grit that sits on the lane surface digs into wood lanes, scratching balls that roll over it and causing excessive wear.
4 - Tradition
They have been part of the game since long before it arrived on British shores in 1960. It’s a formality that people have grown to expect.
5 - Experience
Wearing “special” shoes is part of the theatre of coming to play. It’s part of the anticipation before a game… Just ask a child if they want to wear them!
6 - Perceived Value
As venues move towards shorter lanes with pins on strings it’s important to differentiate your proposition from a low-cost amusement arcade.
7 - Customer Control
Bowling shoes allow you to identify your paying customers. Venues with unlimited bowling offers or an obscured view of the lanes can use this control to distinguish legit bowlers from the late-night opportunists.
Tips for customer satisfaction...
If you prefer softer rules, make sure that your reception staff offer shoes first and only allow street shoes if there is an objection. It’s important to make sure that all staff understand and act consistently. We recommend that you strictly prohibit the use of high heels & open toe shoes to prevent an accident.
Don’t underestimate the function of carpet. If you’re refurbishing a centre with wooden lanes, carpet is very good for preventing transfer of grit. It prevents wear and potentially extends the period between resurfacing. Wooden lanes with no carpet is the worst environment to allow street shoes. Synthetic lanes with a carpeted concourse will have less of an issue with wear.
Hygiene is usually the top objection to renting shoes. We recommend that you’re seen to use our Sani Spray 501. This quick drying anti-bacterial anti-fungal sanitising spray is effective on germs and changes your customers’ perception.
Upgrade your shoes. Modern venues need modern rental shoes. Our Boutique rental shoes were designed to reduce the stigma caused by wearing “clown shoes”. Our customers have seen positive comments about their shoes on Instagram, and centres with a mixed stock have had customers request them specifically.