I interviewed Jerry Weber, owner of The Web Extreme Entertainment and Gatemaster user since 1999 about his business, experience with Gatemaster, and why he has chosen to stay with us.
The Web Extreme Entertainment is a 56,000-sq. foot family entertainment center based in Cincinnati, Ohio. We have six attractions that include laser tag, go-karts, mini golf, mini bowling, augmented reality, climbing wall, escape room, along with a full arcade and restaurant. We have 8 full time employees and 60-part time employees. I used the original version of Gatemaster, Gatemaster Pro in 1999. We made the switch to E2 in 2010.
The reason I like Gatemaster, the #1 benefit it brings to us, is that one single computer system runs our entire facility and it ties everything together. We use it to schedule all attractions, rooms, and parties. We run the POS at the front counter and POS at the back in our restaurant. It runs and tracks our arcade and prize center. The reason I went with Gatemaster, and have chosen to stay with Gatemaster, is because Gatemaster is the only integrated system that does everything.
When I started with Gatemaster in 1999, Gatemaster Pro was the only option available for laser tag. It was a natural progression to switch from Pro to E2. When I switched, I did a serious evaluation of all POS scheduling systems out there. The deficiencies I found with everybody else is that they require multiple systems to take care of everything. I didn’t want to have multiple systems. For a small business it’s hard enough to support one system, let alone support many.
We implemented E2 while we opened a new facility. Before I came to this location we were laser tag only, now we have a big FEC. The two have grown up together.
What are you biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge getting into E2 is the flexibility, it's a blessing and a curse. The challenge is configuring everything and figuring out how to get it setup and continuing to figure out how to make things happen. There are limitations to the system. We know that, we have to work around some of those limitations or live with it. That’s ok, that’s what you get when you buy an integrated solution that does everything. There are going to be other vendors that do some things better because they have a single trick pony.
What does your training process look like?
We have developed our own training guides for POS. The restaurant side is easy, and the redemption side is ridiculously easy. We have a guide for redemption, but we can show someone how to use it within 15 minutes. The training guides have a series of screen shots and procedures.
What do you like most about Gatemaster?
We love the integration. We love the fact when we book a reservation we can put in the food, the room, and reserve laser tag at specific time slot. The fact that it becomes a single source of truth, is really the thing we love.
How does Gatemaster save you time or money?
Gatemaster saves us time and money a couple of ways. Probably the fact that we have one system we need to train and support. People don’t realize how much money gets tied up in training and support. It saves us time because we can generate reports and create things to enhance the system.
What is your advice to those considering Gatemaster?
It really helps to have someone who has a strong IT background to support the system. I don’t think anyone should lie about that and a lot of vendors do.
What are some of your procedural best practices?
Having the back-end support person who can take care of maintenance of the system and make sure updates are done. Once you install this system it is your life blood. If it goes down you’re out of business. You need to have an investment in this person to do it and make sure the system is running constantly.
Favorite Gatemaster feature?
The thing you guys have done the best on is the redemption module. The redemption module is flawless. It works super well.