Business & Finance

Time is money, even at snack bars

THERE'S MORE to the movie experience than just the movie.

THERE’S MORE to the movie experience than just the movie.

Sometimes this column will depart from the traditionally financial topics you might expect to see. When I do this it is because the subject that week is just that important – and I promise, there is money, your money, at stake.

This week I want to address an issue that costs you time, energy, and possibly takes a toll on your health. Worse, your actions could be costing others their time, energy, and their health. We’re going to discuss your behavior in the snack line at the movies.

Your Money Matters logoLet me set the scene – you’ve been looking forward to this event all day, maybe even all week. You looked up the movie times, checked out different theaters times. You fought traffic, fought the parking lot, and then fought your way through the ticket line. You’ve negotiated the lobby, selected your seat and are now ready for popcorn and a bottle of water.

The key here is you want to do this efficiently and effectively so that you can get back to your seat. After all it’s just popcorn and a bottle of water (and maybe some Junior Mints). You go back out to the lobby and chose a line. You notice that a highly trained professional (teenager) is in charge. Now is the time to get ready for your turn, just like everyone in front of you is getting ready for their turn.

  • Know what you want. Scan the menu – decide what you want. The size, brand, name of the items you wish to purchase. (Don’t get to the front of the line and begin to consider what options you might entertain as movie snacks – figure out what you want, now.)
  • Get ready to pay. Get your money from your pocket or purse. Have it in your hand. If there is a “movie rewards card” you’ll want to use, or a credit card, or a gift card – be ready to present it when you get to the front of the line. (This shouldn’t be a surprise at purchase time. Every time you buy something you need to pay for it – the movie snack line is no different.)
  • Focus your attention. Get off your phone. Hang-up, close FaceBook, quit tweeting, put down the pokeballs. I know that this is a big request. Getting out from behind that tech screen our phones create can be uncomfortable. But sometimes necessary. Like now – be ready.

And a quick note to movie theater owners – it’s important to train and reward your staff for the desired result. We all know that snacks at the movie are the real money maker for you. But just because I’m going to pay three times more for a bottle of water doesn’t mean it needs to take three times longer. Here’s an idea – rate your snack sellers by the $$ they collect per hour. Give them a reason for faster turnover. Happy customers buy more, and buy more often.

So there it is – save everyone time, energy, and lower blood pressures by behaving responsibly in the snack line. Labor Day is coming – enjoy the last big movie weekend of the summer!

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