3 Easy Ways Cineplex Can Improve Their Concession Lines

Welcome to my very first post on this adventure that I call Cinema 24-7! I greatly appreciate you dropping by and I hope I can give you something of value in return.

I grew up in small town Newfoundland where we had one theatre at the end of a concrete hallway with squeaky seats and an audience that was so loud you couldn’t hear the screen. So moving to the big city and having access to a multiplex was awe inspiring. I fell in love and have never looked back

The goal of the posts under the tag ‘Franchise Friday’ is to focus on how the major theatre chains have performed (AMC, Empire, Cineplex, Landmark). Yes, some of these don’t exist anymore in Canada but please don’t make me date myself! 90% of the time that I have gone to the theatre it has been to a Cineplex so I have seen it’s evolution happen right before my eyes. A few of the highlights for me include:

  • The introduction of stadium seating so you no longer had to worry about sitting behind the tall guy with the Afro.
  • The magnificent day that they started providing topping flavours for their popcorn (remember when you could shake in your own concoction? Then there was the inevitable coughing fit from the salt & vinegar hitting the back of your throat lol!).
  • For the first time outside of your local museum, an IMAX auditorium was added. Perhaps the best side benefit of IMAX was the re-introduction of assigned seating (Landmark has this in every theatre and so should everyone else).
  • James Cameron gave the movie world Avatar in glorious 3D, along with an equally glorious surcharge of ~ 2 bucks per flick.
  • And automated ticket kiosks were deployed in an effort to save labour, along with all of their quirky issues.

Recently the movie world has exploded with new choices in how you want to consume your movie. There is the VIP room with lounge chairs, enhanced Audio, moving seats, wrap around movie screens, and something Cineplex calls 4DX. I admittedly have yet to experience these, and many others, but part of this journey will be checking out all of them and telling you guys what I think.

One particular aspect I want to focus on for this first post are the Cineplex concession lines. Now I prefer to go to matinees, and only after a movie has been out several weeks, so I rarely run into any serious lines. But on a busy friday night these food lines can be a nightmare. Given that these are where the theatres make the most money I figured that they would have worked out all of the kinks by now. But since they haven’t here is my free advice:

  1. Single queue line-up – While I enjoy making a game of picking the quickest line it must be infuriating to many customers when they accidentally pick the slowest one. Especially if they are running late and the rest of their group went straight to the theatre to get good seats rather than help them carry out that enormous payload of popcorn. These lines should work like the airport where there is only one and customers are being led into an area of several clerks. This creates a consistent and controllable experience.
  2. Efficient Set-up – Did you ever notice how often the cashiers had to cross paths to collect all of the food items that a family might order? Each clerk needs to have access to all available items within 2 to 3 steps of where payment occurs. This may require a runner in the back restocking items but that beats the inefficiencies of dodging coworkers as they track down some white cheddar topping.
  3. The Combo – This may not seem like much but forcing your cashiers to promote a combo for every customer takes up valuable time when there are dozens in line. It also creates a glazed over look in their eyes when they are forced to promote something over and over that rarely anyone buys. Let the cashier decide if the customer might benefit from a combo rather than mandating the attempted up-sell.

Be sure to comment below if you have anything to add to the discussion. And if you like what you read please leave your e-mail address in the right sidebar as I am working on having some exclusive content for those wonderful followers! Be sure to check back on Monday as I blog about how mobile tech has impacted our night at the movies.

Happy watching!


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