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  • Family entertainment lane cleaning

    I used the search before I came here and I didn't find anything similar to what I'm about to ask.

    I'm in a 16 lane family entertainment center with no leagues. We started out running the lane cleaner, Brunswick PhoenixLT4 I believe, every night, but with a tight schedule we were told to do it on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday nights only. One week later we had oiled on Sunday and by Wednesday we had guests complaining it was too dry, and to the touch it was as if there was no conditioner on the lanes. Two of us, of the three mechanics, decided to go to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday night schedule. The reason for this is because Monday and Wednesday are our slower nights and there is less use on the lanes and Friday and Saturday are the busiest nights so we would need to do it those two nights.

    Some days the other guy runs it when he feels like it, and never on the days the other two of us attempted to implement. That's a different story.

    We, finally, got a floor buffer and can now buff the approach more often but I get to it maybe once a week, I don't believe the other guys have gotten around to it.

    I'm normally scheduled to clock out at midnight and the lanes follow the last movie of the night, which means sometimes they still have bowlers on the lanes at 11:30 PM. It takes me one hour to do 16 lanes with the lane machine and about one hour to buff the whole approach of each lane. This is why we went to alternating days for the cleaning process. I leave some nights knowing that the next day there are going to be some buildup on the lanes from peoples shoes, that I couldn't get to.

    I'm looking to see what those of you, who operate a similar type of center, do for yours. I'm a lifetime bowler and I love taking care of the lanes. I also want the guests to have a good time and want them to enjoy the day/night. Is there a good schedule that works for you? Would I need to spend a little more time on the lanes than they have me scheduled for?

    Advice. or tips, appreciated.

  • #2
    Our center has various leagues most of the year, and we always dress league lanes + an extra pair within an hour or two of the start of a league. We only go into "Family Entertainment Center" mode in August, when we have no leagues, and then we basically alternate dressing the lanes...half of the house one day, the other half the next, etc.

    This works well for us, but we're not structured like your center. When I'm on duty I'm the desk manager, pin chaser, mechanic, the guy who dresses the lanes, and I'm intimate with our customers...i.e. I can tell which ones may or may not care about lane conditions, and if I'm not sure I'll say something like "If you want fresher lanes I can put you somewhere between lanes 11-20."

    Sometimes even seasoned league bowlers don't want fresh lanes though. I've got a Senior PBA bowler who often gives lessons at our center, and more times than not he'll ask me, "Which lanes are totally burned up...lots of carry down, no back end. That's what I want." LOL

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Motivated View Post
      Our center has various leagues most of the year, and we always dress league lanes + an extra pair within an hour or two of the start of a league. We only go into "Family Entertainment Center" mode in August, when we have no leagues, and then we basically alternate dressing the lanes...half of the house one day, the other half the next, etc.

      This works well for us, but we're not structured like your center. When I'm on duty I'm the desk manager, pin chaser, mechanic, the guy who dresses the lanes, and I'm intimate with our customers...i.e. I can tell which ones may or may not care about lane conditions, and if I'm not sure I'll say something like "If you want fresher lanes I can put you somewhere between lanes 11-20."

      Sometimes even seasoned league bowlers don't want fresh lanes though. I've got a Senior PBA bowler who often gives lessons at our center, and more times than not he'll ask me, "Which lanes are totally burned up...lots of carry down, no back end. That's what I want." LOL
      Never thought of doing alternating parts of the center. It would cut down on the time needed when doing half of them, but my concern for that would be the specific days that we have so much business and the people would be unhappy. That falls on us as the lane techs, to make sure the lanes are good and people are happy. Yeah, I know, can't please every one.

      What about approach cleaning? Do you do this at the same time you do the lanes? Do you buff the approach often or just once a week?

      I asked Brunswick about their lane care classes but it looks like they are not doing that for now, bummer.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dcollicott View Post

        Never thought of doing alternating parts of the center. It would cut down on the time needed when doing half of them, but my concern for that would be the specific days that we have so much business and the people would be unhappy. That falls on us as the lane techs, to make sure the lanes are good and people are happy. Yeah, I know, can't please every one.

        What about approach cleaning? Do you do this at the same time you do the lanes? Do you buff the approach often or just once a week?

        I asked Brunswick about their lane care classes but it looks like they are not doing that for now, bummer.
        We have wood approaches, and we don't buff them as that would remove the finish. We do sweep the approaches when gutters are swept. For the occasional unsightly mark a slightly damp rag usually takes care of it, otherwise a very light scrub with 0000 steel wool does the job.

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