Silver Moon Drive-In
Lakeland, Florida, USA
“There are some things I haven’t yet found a solution for,” says Chip but drive-ins are in his DNA.
Chip’s grandfather was president of Floyd Theatres, with over 70 indoor and drive-in theatres in Florida. Chip started working with his grandfather at age 15, when he wanted some extra money on the weekends. “I’d enjoy greeting customers,” Chip says. “We’d wave at them and they’d all call out ‘Hi Mr. Spears’. When he passed away two years back, I took over the Silver Moon Drive-In. It’s not just the family history that keeps me here. My passion for Americana history naturally aligns with the drive-in. I want to preserve a piece of our culture.”
A lot of folks know the Silver Moon. It’s been at the heart of the Lakeland community since 1948, and there’s a lot of history and loyalty in the town. There are the generational stories from regulars and past employees of all ages, who all want to give their kids and grandkids the same great experiences they had.
“We show a movie simultaneously on two screens, with two showings a day, 365 days a year. At full capacity we have over 400 cars – so we can have 900 to even 1000 people at any one time! Naturally we have grid locks, especially in the summer holiday season and when we show a big blockbuster family movie,” Chip says. But he realized an opportunity to speed up that grid locked traffic with Veezi.
“We’ve always operated our box office with two doors open for both lines of traffic, we can’t change that. But now that we have Veezi, a third person using a tablet can move along the queue of cars, selling tickets in advance of reaching the box office. This has sped up the entry process for everyone. Before, it could take a few minutes to handle a single transaction. Now the printed tickets also state the movie and radio station for customers to tune in to. There’s less waiting time, but it’s still first come first serve. When we’re at full capacity we announce it on our Facebook page, but we still stand on the street with sold out signs!” he exclaims.
Chip has now added a food truck to his lineup, and is using a tablet and Veezi for the transactions. Veezi gives him access to sales analysis, though it can be difficult to predict food and beverage trends when each movie brings a different demographic. He finds scary movies people tend to eat more, and at family movies more cotton candy and beer is consumed (“it must be the dads”). With Veezi, Chip checks daily which items he needs to order in and what they displace. He no longer has to spend hours looking through a long receipt and coding it into excel.
Tickets and predictions aren’t the only new opportunities Chip has identified with Veezi, either! He’s found opportunities across his business, including new ways to provide even better customer service that fits perfectly with the culture of a drive-in. With Veezi, Chip can employ car hops to take food truck orders on a tablet. While he wants to experiment with staff numbers to ensure it’s financially viable, with all the performance figures at his fingertips, he can quickly gauge how successful it will be for the business!
With Veezi, Chip is delivering a nostalgic drive-in experience with all the convenience of modernized operations.