How to Keep Your Facility Looking Nice

Thinking Out Loud – Episode 10

This is the tenth episode in a series called Thinking Out Loud. In these videos, Armando Lanuti, the President of Creative Works, shares some of his thoughts on business, leadership, growth, operations, and anything else on his mind. Below is a transcript of some of the points he discusses in the video.

Hey everybody, today I want to talk about something that often gets overlooked at a facility and that is the site cleanliness.

When you’re running a family entertainment center or a retail store, a restaurant, whatever the case may be, often times when you first build it, you get it all set up, everything looks spic and span. It’s super clean, it’s super nice but then you end up with a situation where you’re open, you’re busy, you’ve got a lot of customers coming in and out and a year later. What does your facility look like?

So, I want to cover some tips and tricks on how to keep your facility looking nice and keeping that brand new sheen as long as possible.

The first things, the easiest method is just to have some basic checklist.

On a daily basis, especially on your slower days, on that Monday through Thursday, here are the things on a rotational basis that we’re going to deep-clean, that we’re going to focus on whether it be your bathrooms, your arcade games, your carpets, your floors, your countertops, your party room chairs, whatever the case may be, you’ll say, “Hey, every Tuesday is the bathroom deep-cleaning day,” knowing that that day is just not as busy as your Saturdays and so you’ve got some extra time when your staff is able to do that because you need to be staffed anyways in case of a group does come in.

That’s an easy, easy thing that everybody should rotate in, I’m a big fan of accountability, so having a checklist, that ability for them to sign their name or initial off, that’ll make a huge difference.

Another big thing that I got as a tip from an operator years ago was to do a job board, so I’m a big fan of rewarding your staff when they go above and beyond and so, what we started doing is adding a job board to the mix where certain things that maybe don’t fall into that weekly category but could use some extra TLC, so to speak, you can put it on that job board and then when somebody is got some free time and they’ve got their regular checklist items done, they can go take an item off that job board and by completing it, they get to put their name into the hat to get a drawing for a gift card or some sort of reward that you do on a weekly or monthly basis, whatever the case may be.

And then on top of that, you’ll start to have staff members look for things that maybe you weren’t even looking at as an owner, they’d say, “You know, hey, I noticed that are dust vents for our cold air return are looking a little shabby, do you mind if – would that count for a submission on the job board poll if I go up there and I knock those out, make them look fantastic again.”

And then your management team can say, “You know what, that’s a great idea, thank you for thinking of that, thank you for having that eye looking for that opportunity and it keeps your facility looking great, not only 1 year but 3, 5, 7 years later after you’re open.
So, I definitely recommend doing that.

And the reason that it’s important to have these checklists and not just think, “Oh, you know, hey, I’m going to always know if my facility is clean or not,” is that we’re in it every day and when you’re in that facility every day, you’re going to start to not notice what does this facility smell like, you’re going to start to become nose blind, so to speak, you’re not going to maybe notice or perceive that scuff mark here or there on the floor or on the wall, that chipped piece of paint, that damaged item here or there, just they may not be relevant because you’re seeing them, you pass them on a daily basis and the become part of your norm.

So, I recommend as an owner or a manager that you step out of that, that motive, I’m coming in, I’m coming to work, I got get things done and you try and look at your facility as if you were a customer and if you are walking into it at a first time and that’s really hard to do, so, beyond that, potentially take that next step, finding a friend or a family member who maybe hasn’t been to your facility for a long time or they’re just not there as often as you are, have them come in and do a secret shop, especially potentially even on a busy day.
What does your facility look like to that customer?

And have them give you an unbiased result.

Another way to do that is, start looking at your Google reviews and Yelp reviews or TripAdvisor reviews of just not your own facility but also your competitive facilities in the area and see what are your customers perceiving, what are they seeing that maybe should get some attention and realize that if that’s what they’re seeing, it might be the reality.
And so, just a couple easy tips, hopefully, you’re able to take some nuggets and add them into your routines.

Thank you! We’ll talk to you soon.