Quick18 now offers the option of carts as an add-on, or as a blended rate. For those of you currently running a blended golf & cart rate, and those of you considering which way to go, today’s note sets out two different approaches, each with merit.
But first, some definitions...
The blended rate
By “blended rate” we mean a per-person golf & cart rate which typically is your standard walking green fee, plus half the cost of a cart.
Check out Yarra Bend’s approach here, and shown in the image left. If your green fee is $30 and carts are $42, your blended rate would be $51 ($30 plus $21). Ok?
Next, “add-on” is anything added to a tee time booking after the price has been selected, kind of like asking if you 'want fries with that'.
Treating a cart as an add-on means the price of the cart is not shown to the golfer until they have selected their tee time and green fee. Have a look at the picture to the right for a Quick18 add-on screen.
The typical Australian approach
So for that initial threesome, they just have to split the cost of two carts three ways. Bit awkward? Well, that’s the customer’s problem.
Many of you will know our views on this approach: it isn’t exactly customer first. How many threesomes end up walking to save the hassle, leaving two carts unused (and $$ on the shelf)? Who knows. But, you say, how wise is it to run a blended rate and allow a cart to go out for half usual price, in the case of singles or threesomes? A win for the customer, sure - but revenue gone missing. So where’s the win-win solution? Growing total revenue is the answer, in the way that best suits your facility.
Pros & cons of the blended rate
Second, you can yield-manage your cart fleet, just like your tee times. A blended rate can be managed with all the same price controls, including options like:
- demand-based prices
- incentives for different booking channels
- reduced rates on off-peak periods
Take this example: a cart booked for a 10am tee time will probably only be used once that day, as it must be held for the 10am booking. A cart booked for 7am will probably rotate twice, making twice the revenue. So why not make the “golf & cart” price a little more at 10am? This has to be visible to the customer, to drive the price-sensitive person to a time where the price is lower. A blended rate in our price matrix gives the customer all the information they need. An add-on doesn’t have that impact.
However, a blended rate does mean a single person booking will get the cart at a cheaper rate, perhaps as low as half the full cart price. It’s difficult to discriminate between singles and other groups when you run a blended rate.
Pros & cons of the add-on
To overcome this, we recommend a cart price for a single, and a separate cart price for groups of 2 or more. A threesome doesn’t get shown the single-person rate, they just see the rate applicable to them. Similarly the single booking only sees their cart price. If your desired cart price is $38, we would recommend an add-on cart price of $35 for singles, and $20 per person for all other groups. Sure, that means a threesome is taking two carts for $60 ($30 per cart), but a foursome takes a cart for $80, which is $40 per cart. Over time you can tweak the prices to get the revenue you want - and in the meantime a per-person price is an easier option for golfers. Customer first, right? By offering a slightly better deal for singles at $35, you might also turn a few more carts for single bookings than you do right now.
However, whilst this avoids the issue of a single-person picking up a half-priced cart, yield management benefits are harder to achieve when carts are an add-on. You can’t easily show the customer different cart prices through the day, and yield management depends heavily on giving people a choice between different prices.
Quick18 will work with you
And of course, knowing how many carts are available is critical. Quick18 offers this information right on the tee sheet, taking into account both carts currently out, and carts booked later in the day.