A BOLD STRATEGY HELPS TRADITIONAL FIVE PIN CENTRE CAPTURE NEW CUSTOMERS AND GROWTH
About Brampton Bowling Centre
Brampton Bowling Centre is a 16-lane traditional bowling centre in Brampton, Ontario, offering five pin bowling and a snack bar. The centre is currently owned and operated by Rizwan Syed and Syed Ali.
When Rizwan Ali noticed a change in traffic at his centre, he knew it was time for a change. Brampton Bowling Centre was a traditional five-pin centre, but Rizwan realized that a younger demographic wasn’t interested in learning five-pin.
“The challenge is that the public wants ten pin bowling,” said Rizwan, GM/Owner of Brampton Bowling Centre. The young adult demographic wasn’t interested in five pin, and traffic at the centre was declining. As great as the game of five pin is, he added, there is a growing perception of it as a game only for children and seniors in our area.
Ali characterized the image of the centre as a traditional bowling alley from the 1960s. It had a reputation as a low-cost bowling alley, and it was increasingly difficult to raise prices to keep up with rising costs and attract new customers. The centre saw very little repeat business other than their leagues.
“We realized that roughly about 70 percent of walk-ins will not stay if it’s not ten pin,” Rizwan said. “We had a decision to make because of hugely declining numbers.”
In researching a solution, Rizwan and team looked at several options. Initially, they considered convertible lanes but were concerned about the reputation of poor reliability and maintenance headaches.
Ultimately, they decided to convert half of the lanes to ten pin. They considered converting the entire centre, but budget concerns had them choose to do half the centre.
After their research, they chose Striker Bowling Solutions to bring their vision to life. Dave Perovich from Striker worked with Rizwan and team to create a plan to install eight lanes of Brunswick StringPin pinsetters, Center Stage surface ball returns units, and Brunswick Sync Scoring & Centre Operations System.
The centre almost immediately saw an increase in business. Rizwan no longer saw disappointed consumers leave because he did not have ten pin bowling. Instead, he saw an increase in repeat business and an increase in Millennials with their increased budget for entertainment. After only a few months, Rizwan estimates that half his traffic is now ten pin bowlers. Weekends are a lot busier, and holidays are “insanely busy.”
Rizwan increased prices for the new ten pin bowling, turning them into a more premium experience, and he expects to realize a complete return on investment in less than three years.
They did keep half their lanes five pin lanes. These are now primarily used by their pre-existing leagues and families with younger children who like the smaller balls.
Rizwan has even seen an increase in his repeat business for five pin lanes that he attributes to the rise in traffic and more people coming would stay and experience the centre.
He is impressed by the quality of the Brunswick equipment, “I think these machines will outlast both me and the centre.”
“I would definitely recommend Striker,” Rizwan said of working with the team, adding, “I very much appreciated the warranty service.”
“We definitely appreciate that kind of working relationship for sure. It has done a lot for us in terms of our confidence of working with Striker in the future, that we know that we will be well taken care of if there are issues that come up. I do appreciate how reachable everyone is and how responsive everyone is.”
With the help of Striker Bowling Solutions and the quality of Brunswick, Rizwan and his team have set Brampton Bowling Centre on a path of growth that will ensure this Brampton landmark plays a special role in the community for many years to come.