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My challenge

I work in an escape game center where 1 hour play sessions follow one another. I have a big concern: I do not want the previous group of players (let's call it group 1) to meet the next group of players (let's call it group 2).

My constraints

Biggest problem is for security reasons I can't have more than 19 people in the building which means only one group at a time! One group may reach 6 players. We have several rooms for each playgroup.

I do not have a second exit where I could discreetly make out the group 1. I can not leave a big delay between the groups either.

My temporary solution

Cuurently, my only solution is to keep Group 2 waiting on the street until Group 1 is out. Players do not like to wait in the street, especially since it's cold right now!

If I shorten the debriefing with group 1, the group leaves frustrated; if I let group 2 wait, he gets angry, which is normal.

I have no idea how I could manage this!

Do you have any suggestions for me?

The escape game center

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  • 2
    How about a little sound-proof cabine in either the debriefing/introduction room or the entrance where new players can sit down after they payed until the previous group has left the premises? Another suggestion would be to have a time buffer of 15 mins between the 'appointments' and not stack them together so tightly..
    – iLuvLogix
    Nov 27 '19 at 10:48
  • Would it be possible to move the debriefing back into the play room for that game? At the end of the debriefing, warn the players that as they leave they will be going past players for the next game, and ask for silence from the time they leave the play room until they are outside and away from other players. Nov 27 '19 at 10:51
  • Are there any fire escapes you could use? Nov 27 '19 at 11:18
  • @JoeStrazzere I am going to add this precision in my question. Each group may reach 6 players but I have several groups playing simultaneously. Nov 27 '19 at 11:38
  • "Security reasons"? Did you mean fire code safety reasons instead? In any case, would it be possible to have a tent and/or some heating lamps for the people waiting outside? Nov 27 '19 at 12:40
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I think you need to either add a door, or build a wall in your briefing room.

Ideally the new players would enter and wait in the briefing room, and the previous group could exit through the locker room while the next group are being briefed.

If you can't change the structure to provide an exit that doesn't go through the briefing room to the locker room, you could partition the briefing room so that exiting players don't disturb the briefing.

This it should be a lot easier than building the escape rooms!

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Another question you might ask is how can I set expectations with customers that they must wait outside if they arrive early?

A new room or door is expensive - good communication to your customers is free. Perhaps include in the confirmation message a note to the effect as:

Please arrive up to 10 minutes early, and no later than 5 minutes after your game start time. 10 minutes before your game time, you'll be able to enter and wait in our briefing room. We look forward to seeing you!

And perhaps include a complementary explanation on your door:

Welcome to _______. This door is unlocked starting 10 minutes prior to game start.

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  • This would work only for guests that do not need a long commute to the place. Everyone else is still needs to either wait outside or in the closest coffee shop/bar.
    – AlexanderM
    Nov 27 '19 at 23:58
  • @AlexanderM You are giving me an idea ! Maybe, partner with an adjacent coffee place :-) Nov 28 '19 at 11:22
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Provided that the hour include the briefing and debriefing, and they are 10 minutes each, and that you can access the play areas through the locker room (I know this is a lot of assumptions, but more detail is needed in the question)

How about this:

Group 1 sessions start on the hour

Group 2 sessions start on the half hour

-- Only 1 group in building until 9:30
9:00 - Group 1 enters Briefing
9:10 - Group 1 enters 1st play area
-- 2 groups in building from here on
9:30 - Group 2 enters building straight into Briefing
9:40 - Group 2 enters 2nd play area
9:50 - Group 1 enters debriefing area
10:00 - Group 1 leaves, and is replaced by new group 1(!)
10:10 - new Group 1 enters 1st play area
10:20 - Group 2 enters debriefing
10:30 - Group 2 leaves, and is replaced by new Group 2(!)

Loop the 2 group timings around until close of business.

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