Post-pandemic, many businesses are looking for ways to go as contactless as possible – retailers and restaurants are offering curbside pickup, online ordering is becoming more robust and technology like virtual assistants and robotics is taking the place of in-person interactions.
As part of their planning, Chuck E. Cheese – whose parent company, C.E.C. Entertainment, recently filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy – is planning to re-implement eTickets when they re-emerge. The only problem? They have 7 billion, or approximately 65 cargo containers full, of paper prize tickets on hand.
“As a result of the unprecedented and rapid falloff in sales and resulting decline in the debtors’ use of Prize Tickets caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the debtors’ need for prize tickets dramatically diminished, causing a buildup of prize tickets at various stages throughout the debtors’ supply chain as the debtors had placed orders and planned for prize ticket utilization on historic run rates based on pre-COVID levels,” the company said in court documents. “This issue was further advanced as a result of the debtors’ need to accelerate the implementation of electronic tickets (eTickets) and discontinue use of the paper prize tickets at all company-owned Chuck E. Cheese entertainment venues.”
The cost to destroy the paper tickets is estimated at $2 million, but that’s considerably less than the $9 million in prizes they’d have to hand out if those paper tickets weren’t securely disposed of and ended up in the hands of consumers who redeemed them.
We applaud their decision to implement a convenient, contactless payment system. This memorable tale can serve as a lesson to all business considering new, consumer-friendly, digital processes – you’ve definitely got sunk costs related to your old ways. But, when you look at your bottom line, the transformation will be worth it.