Story and photos by Bianca Sowders
ANSBACH, Germany – Recently, customers at the Strike Zone Bowling Center in Katterbach may have noticed some changes; besides the ongoing manager specials in the food department and the addition of pool tables and a gaming area for patrons over 16 years of age, there are also visible approaches to reduce recyclable and non-recyclable waste.
The initiative, started under former facility manager Roger Green, includes small but significant changes, like the replacement of paper hand-towel dispensers in the restrooms with air blow dryers, or the elimination of individually packaged condiments, which were exchanged with refillable bottle dispensers.
Eat-in customers will get to use washable metal flatware and drink fountain sodas, water or beer from tap out of reusable cups and glasses, instead of receiving throwaway cans, plastic and glass bottles.
The large recycling containers in the customer area were removed and replaced with a more effective internal process. Customers now simply place their trays on a wheeled cart, which is then taken to the kitchen area where trained staff separate what little trash is left and recycle any remaining plastics or paper.
USAG Ansbach facility managers always try to create improvements by emphasizing cleanliness and organization, menu changes, signage and overall appearance. According to Fred Lane, the current bowling center manager, improvement is also a mindset: “We have come a long way with our changes, and are trying to make a difference one facility at a time…. Managers analyze two factors; we try to find where the savings are, but also how it affects the customer, and if the change is accepted. “
More ideas for future energy and cost savings include new, energy-efficient pinsetters for the lanes, as well as energy-saving light features. The investment is expected to generate significant long term savings. But, as Lane says, “in the end it’s always about the customers, we want them to be comfortable.”