Intercard is known for innovative cashless technology and great customer service because the company listens to the voice of the customer. CEO Scott Sherrod has been speaking with customers daily since the March 2020 shutdown about the impact COVID-19 has had on them. Sherrod wanted to take it a step further, so he visited several St. Louis-area FECs to see first-hand how the industry is coming back.
The first stop was Swing-A-Round Fun Town in Fenton, an independent FEC which offers a big arcade in addition to outside attractions like bumper boats, go-carts, mini-golf, and batting cages. “The parking lot was full and when I went inside, I saw there were birthday party rooms decked out in decorations,” says Sherrod. “An employee told me they were at 50% capacity and had two birthday parties under way.”
The arcade at Swing-A-Round was drawing lots of players. “About 90% of the arcade players were kids,” says Sherrod. “But some parents were playing games with their kids, which shows they are feeling comfortable that arcades are safe with proper cleaning and maintenance.”
Sherrod’s next visit was to Bowlero Lakeside in Valley Park, a former Brunswick property that has been an Intercard customer for over 15 years. He arrived right when the doors were opening, and people were waiting to get in, which was a good sign. While the arcade is small, the BEC has a lot to offer guests with 40 lanes of bowling, billiards, and a sports bar. “The manager told me the numbers were only 50% of what they were a year ago,” says Sherrod, “But he is looking forward to their fall leagues starting up. The leagues will really help.”
Sherrod’s site visits confirmed what he had been hearing on his phone calls to Intercard customers. “Business is down for everyone but as time progresses and more places open up across the country, people are coming out to play,” says Sherrod. “Many Intercard customers in the US are saying that revenues are increasing steadily. People are learning how to live with this virus and that you can still have fun outside the home while staying safe. I am optimistic about the future of our industry.”
Sherrod plans a fall road trip to visit more customers in Missouri and other parts of the country.