Helping Topgolf Maintain a Competitive Advantage with a Culture of Cleanliness to Drive Results

The customer experience for a family entertainment center (FEC) takes top priority. Details of the parking lot, the main entrance, and all the amenities must be on sparkling display. When a family indoor entertainment center offers simulated experiences like climbing manmade rock walls, skydiving inside wind tunnels, or driving golf balls in an indoor booth, the last thing facility managers want customers to see are closed for cleaning or repair signs. Moreover, sticky surfaces, dirty windows, and leftover half-eaten food and stuck in seats can degrade the customer experience.

This is especially true for a place like Topgolf, a combo indoor/outdoor facility with simulated and real experiences! and that's where the invisible impact of FM comes into play.

Topgolf, an entertainment concept like no other, is owned by Callaway Brands (yes, that same Callaway that makes golf clubs) and is poised to grow and diversify the sport of golf overall.  

Here’s how it’s cleaning up monetarily, while OpenWorks is helping the brand to do so, literally. By enabling local facility managers to turn their facility services operation into a competitive advantage, Topgolf can continue to hit a hole-in-one every day.

FECs: The Future is Here, and We’re Keeping it Clean

Family indoor entertainment centers, or FECs, are designed to provide safe, fun environments for families to spend time together and create lasting memories.  

FECs often incorporate a range of interactive and immersive experiences, using technology such as augmented and virtual reality to create engaging and exciting experiences.

Many FECs offer food and beverage options, from snack stands to full-service restaurants and bars, providing a complete entertainment experience. 

The experience itself is the crux and purpose of the business. Topgolf enjoys more customer loyalty (and has fans) similarly to Apple and its ecosystem of Mac products. This is due to a holistic facility management approach that results in consistent and reliable service performance.

Topgolf does employ porters and employees who do light cleaning during the day. However, most of the cleaning takes place overnight. This strategy allows the brand to maintain a safe, family-first approach. Playmakers are freed up to focus on customers and their experiences.

Creating a Facility Approach Improving Customer Experience, Reducing Costs, and Accelerating Profits

Mark Ivey, facility manager of Topgolf in Schaumberg, Illinois, said he believes hiring OpenWorks to handle the facility cleaning overnight has been one significant sustainable cost improvement to the facility he manages.  

Ivey said in a recent interview that companywide, a customer currently visits a Topgolf facility an average of 1.2 times per year.

Though the goal of the company and its franchisees is to see customers make more frequent visits to accelerate the company’s profitability, the reality for now is that Topgolf playmakers (the company uses this term instead of employees) have just one opportunity to make a lasting impression, he added. 

“Consistency is key, if you can do it twice, awesome, but if you can do it for an entire year, that's where the credibility, the praise, the professionalism, I think rings true and comes through solid for everyone involved,” Ivey said.  

“If we manage to go 363 days a year, and every single night, we are maintaining the venue at the same level, we know that we have this consistent base to play off of, which gives us an extended amount of freedom not to be worried about well, did the bathrooms get cleaned and emptied?”

“By being able to ensure that the place is cleaned properly, I can then make sure it functions correctly as a facility manager,” Ivey said. “So then 10 A.M. comes, the doors open like Disneyland, we go live, and everybody's happy. Everybody's hitting golf balls and eating chicken tenders, and life's pretty great.”

Mark Garoppo, facilities manager at the Topgolf Philadelphia location, has a similar experience with his OpenWorks overnight workers.

“When our first Topgolf shift crew comes in, they know what they have on their work list, and they can focus on that. They don't have to stray away from that and do anything else to get the venue open.”  

The OpenWorks crew had just been there, so when the Topgolf playmakers arrive at 10:00 AM, they were ready to start making guests happy.

Customers Will Forgive Anything ….Except a Lack of Cleanliness

When deciding whether they will become a repeat customer, it doesn’t matter how good the service is or how wonderful the employees are.  

According to a Consumer Cleaning Insights Survey conducted by P&G Professional, what matters most for 92 percent of consumers is how clean and fresh a hotel, restaurant, salon, or office is. In fact, 9 in 10 agree that they are more likely to have an overall negative opinion of an independent business if the public spaces (lounges, restrooms, or lobbies) are not clean.

A growing number of Topgolf locations realize this, and that’s why they’ve chosen OpenWorks as a cleaner of choice.  

The survey finds many things customers notice immediately when entering a business, and they aren’t all good.  

Nearly all respondents (96%) agree they would ask to be moved to a new hotel room if the bedding was not clean. If a restaurant’s restrooms are not clean, 88 percent of customers wonder about the safety of the food being served.

But it’s not all bad news either. The are also many opportunities. 95% of consumers agree that cleanliness can elevate a good business into a great business, and 92% agree that if a restaurant is clean, they are more likely to recommend it to friends. In addition, nearly 74% say they are more willing to overlook slow service if the business is noticeably clean.

Just two years after the height of the COVID pandemic, Americans generally feel comfortable about dining out. In fact, a vast majority of Americans feel comfortable ordering takeout (91%), dining outdoors (83%), and even indoors at a restaurant (77%).  

This comfort, however, comes with high expectations of cleanliness. With food and beverage being a key part of the Topgolf experience, these survey results demonstrate the importance of cleanliness to a location's bottom line.

According to the same survey, most Americans express how important it is for them to see a visible, clean environment when dining indoors (93%),outdoors (92%), or ordering takeout (92%).  

Additionally, four out of five (82%) say they lose their appetite when they see grease or dirt at a restaurant, making it critical for restaurants to arm themselves with the tools they need to keep kitchen and dining room surfaces visibly clean.  

Transparency also remains a top priority, with 70% of Americans yearning for restaurants to be more open about the cleaning products they use.

Keeping it Clean is Human Nature. You Just Have to Start With “a Clean Slate”

Mark Ivey said hiring OpenWorks provides the Schaumberg facility with a degree of consistency he never experienced with the previous vendor. When his previous vendors didn't show up, his daytime cleaning crew would have to “turn and burn” the facility in two hours to prepare it for the day. This starts the day in a hurried, stressful way.  

In short, OpenWorks allows Ivey to open his Topgolf location with a clean slate. When you start ahead of the 8-ball, it doesn’t matter what challenges the day brings. The Topgolf team can handle it and pay more attention to their typical tasks, which require ensuring the customer experience is bar none.

Although food safety is an obvious concern for Topgolf playmakers, an environment that stays littered also presents some problematic sociological issues that worsen the longer they remain unaddressed.  

Numerous studies over the past 46 years have demonstrated that littered environments stimulate people to litter, and social norms play an essential role in regulating human behavior, particularly in the case of littering. 

The COVID pandemic has also permanently changed how the public views the cleanliness of public facilities like Topgolf locations. Taking it one crucial step further, 86% of Americans want proof that workplaces and businesses are clean following a regular cleaning and sanitation process.  

Having OpenWorks clean the Schaumberg, Illinois location overnight allows the Topgolf playmakers to start the day with “a clean slate.” And to Mark Ivey, the location’s facility manager, that means the day will go much smoother.  

It means the difference between a million-dollar day and, well, not.

The global family/indoor entertainment centers market was valued at $30.9billion (about $95 per person in the US) in 2022 and is projected to reach$88.7 billion (about $270 per person in the US) by 2032, growing at a combined annual growth rate of 11.5 percent from 2023 to 2032.

Topgolf has more than 100 locations worldwide fitted with fully licensed bars, live music, and restaurants with chef-curated menus to appeal to a broader audience, particularly among Millennials.  

One of Topgolf’s operational goals is making long-term sustainable cost improvements throughout the organization to position it for accelerated profitability.

Clean Brings Clean and a Competitive Advantage

A clean and organized environment also impacts employee productivity. Employees who work in a clean and organized environment are up to 15% more productive than those who work in a cluttered and messy environment.

Employees who work in a clean environment are less likely to take sick days, and they are more likely to stay focused and on task.

A study by the University of Michigan found that employees who work in a clean environment are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and have a positive attitude toward their work. The study also found that employees who work in a clean environment are less likely to experience stress and burnout.

Organizations able to skillfully manage the entire customer experience reap enormous rewards: enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue, and greater employee satisfaction.

Employees also discover more effective ways to collaborate across functions and levels, which delivers gains throughout the company.

This idea is of particular interest to Topgolf—a company that places an incredible amount of importance on employee culture. When playmakers feel safe and organized and are motivated and empowered to keep their Topgolf location sparkling clean and hygienic, it indeed will be.  

This is the type of behavior that brings about an operational and cultural shift, engaging the organization across functions and from top to bottom, generating excitement, innovation, and a focus on continuous improvement.

It creates a culture that’s hard to build, and it’s a true competitive advantage for companies that get it right.

If your company is rooted in a positive culture of fun and teamwork, let's work together! Reach out for a complementary cleaning assessment so we can keep your guests and their families enjoying your location! 

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