Dave & Busters
Objective: With 40 - 50% of Dave and Buster's revenue coming from the amusement and gaming portion of their locations, it is a central focus for both profitability and customer service initiatives. In 2006, the company began evaluating self-service automation of gaming card sales within their 48 stores. While most of Dave and Buster's bar and restaurant staff overhead is fairly low due to incremental tips, the front desk staff who managed the Power Card sales were at a significantly higher pay scale. In order to realize an attractive ROI, the kiosk initiative would have to eliminate the personal attendants required for the function and replace the dated Micros workstation terminals they operated. Equally important, Dave and Busters sought the line busting benefit and self-service control options to improve the customer's experience in their locations.
When considering kiosk hardware design, Dave and Busters set out to create kiosks that complemented the interior of their stores and reinforced their corporate branding. They required a countertop unit that would replace their Micros stations within their existing Power Station infrastructure, and stand alone units that could be placed throughout the stores. Functions included re-charging existing gaming cards; dispensing new cards with stored values, cash and credit card acceptance, change dispensing.
St. Clair Interactive provides software, applications, remote management and content systems for retail, financial services, health-care and employee systems. Dave and Buster’s, a playground for adults with food, drinks and games, needed a way to improve customer experience and reduce labor costs.
With a booming game and amusement area, in addition to several restaurants, Dave and Buster’s is a high-volume fun center with 54 facilities nationwide. With that crowded traffic, however, came long lines to buy, recharge or check the value of Dave and Buster’s Power Cards. The cards are used for all games and provide rewards with high levels of usage. Labor issues arose as Dave and Buster’s had to bring on additional staff to tackle the long lines. This led to employees not having the time or forgetting to present upsell opportunities as well as making occasional transaction errors, said Chris Peter, project manager for St. Clair Interactive.
To remedy these issues, Dave and Buster’s sought a self-service solution that would decrease customer lines and waiting times and reduce labor costs.
After conducting a survey of qualified self-service vendors, Dave and Buster’s began working with St. Clair Interactive to create a custom software solution. St. Clair Interactive developed an easy-to-use interface that allowed customers to buy, check and recharge their Power Cards quickly. The software was integrated with kiosk hardware supplied by KIOSK Information Systems and deployed in Dave and Buster’s facilities. The initial pilot rollout consisted of seven kiosks. This allowed Dave and Buster’s, St. Clair Interactive and KIOSK to work through several iterations of dispensing and acceptance hardware and floor and countertop enclosure configurations.
“This proves the wisdom of having a flexible, data-driven application solution that can adapt to changing strategies and devices,” Peter said. “St. Clair’s sophisticated component management allowed modules to be easily edited and interchanged.”
More than 400 kiosks are deployed at Dave and Buster’s 54 locations. Angela Bush, IT project manager for Dave and Buster’s, said customers are adopting the self-service technology quickly. “I think the kiosks let them do things at their own pace and many of them prefer doing transactions with a machine,” Bush said. She said both customer lines and staffing costs have decreased.
The company has saved $2.1 million in its first full year of kiosk operations. The number of kiosks in each location has increased and Loyalty applications have been added.