Escapist’s Pam Ariestia talks about Covid-19 lockdown and the future
What have your main challenges been?
Probably getting used to the ‘new normal’. Making sure that the customers signed in through the contact tracing portal, keep themselves and ourselves safe without being annoying or nagging.
What have your successes been?
We hosted quite a few customers over the first weekend of Level 2, although far from our usual numbers. We have had quite a few loyal customers who made an effort to come in and intentionally support us (spend money with us) so that is quite nice. To us this means that we made it to the list of places they are looking forward to visit after lockdown is lifted, big honour for us.
What difference has moving to Level 2 made for you?
Being able to operate our physical escape rooms and see our customers again in person have been really good. As a business, our reason for being is to provide a space where people can connect, play games and solve problem together – seeing that play out in person again it is really cool. Over lockdown, we operated online escape rooms; although they are a big success, it is not the same as physical escape rooms. So business-wise, moving to Level 2 means we can start earning at normal level, not at a massive loss like in Level 4.
What long-term changes do you see yourself making to the way your business operates?
We are getting rid of our non-performing service. We are keeping our online offerings (escape rooms and board game store) and working towards our very own print and play offering.
Being able to operate at Level 2 has been good for business, but it doesn’t mean that we are out of the trenches yet. We still need support from the local community and domestic tourist, if you have a choice to spend local, please do so! Now is the time to tell people about your favourite places to eat, spend time, escape.