About Bayou Escape Rooms
Bayou Escape Rooms in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was founded by a group of friends in early 2015. The four knew next to nothing about the escape room fad until they tried one.
“We loved the concept and saw an opportunity to make money,” says Brenda Gibson, one of Bayou Escape Rooms founding partners.
Today, a year after it began, Bayou Escape Rooms is consistently booked with guests ready for mystery and intrigue.
Building An Unknown Business From The Ground Up
Starting a new type of business wasn’t easy. The group was in sync about launching into the problem-solving group activity space, confident this new type of activity would do well in their hometown of 75 thousand people. But getting off the ground was difficult.
"We did our research and talked to other companies before choosing ZOZI Advance," Brenda says.
“There wasn’t a lot of knowledge about running an escape room a year ago,” says Brenda, who spearheads technology for the company.
The founders had a vision for the Bayou Escape Rooms experience, both online and off. They’d seen what worked and what didn’t when visiting other businesses.
“We needed a system to handle the time slots, themes, and staffing,” she says. “We did our research and talked to other companies before choosing ZOZI Advance.”
Growth: 3-5 Minutes Faster Check-in Per Customer | +1 Room in 3 Months
Bayou Escape Rooms + ZOZI
“ZOZI is so user friendly and easy to understand,” says Brenda, who credits the clean interface and helpful customer support for quick setup. She says a huge worry is off of her shoulders with her new booking system.
“The ZOZI team was a big help. They set up my time slots and helped get us off the ground. The customer service is awesome,” she adds.
"We know that 95% of our bookings are online, so ZOZI is absolutely a major part of our business," Brenda says. "I can’t imagine where we would be without it! Actually, I’d be on the phone all the time!"
Type of Bookings: 95% Website Bookings | 5% Walk-up Bookings
Escape Room Model Thrives On Efficiency
Brenda learned that efficiency and automation are key for her escape room business model. When rooms are reserved online, Brenda can see what slots are filling up in real-time and is able to update staffing and plan for maintenance.
“We could be sitting on the phone for hours with no idea what might happen in the day if we took booking and payments manually,” says Brenda. “With ZOZI we know in advance how to staff and how many guests to expect.”
Private events, especially corporate groups seeking great team building options, love Bayou Escape Rooms. A Private Events feature in ZOZI Advance allows for multiple group members to make payments independently.
“Our customers were irritated when they didn’t have the option for participants to pay individually,” says Brenda, “And until a booking is paid for, we’d have to leave the time slot open to the public.”
That meant someone outside of the private group could book a spot while members of private event were still getting organized. With Private Events booking, Brenda sends out one link where group participants can book—and the general public doesn’t have access to book it.
Favorite Feature: Chip Card Reader
Chip Card Reader Leads To Improved Customer Experience
If a group arrived with extra people, or guests showed up without booking online, Brenda used to have to enter in their information manually. With ZOZI’s EMV chip card reader, Brenda says it’s easy to manage. In fact, the chip card reader cut down check-in time by three to five minutes.
“Now we take their name, swipe their card and we’re done!” she says.
Taking Care Of Business Anywhere, Anytime
As the business grows and Bayou Escape Rooms explores expansion, ZOZI gives Brenda the freedom to keep an eye on bookings, payments and staffing. And no matter where she is or when, Brenda can always get a line in to ZOZI.
"I love that I can take care of business from anywhere," she says. "I can't say enough good things about ZOZI Support Staff. I know I can call them and they'll be there for me."