The Floodgate on keeping ahead of the competition with 123 Reg
Chris Ross had been in search of a gap in the market in the hospitality sector for some time when the idea for The Floodgate ﬁrst kicked off. Alongside old friends, he was up for the challenge and ofﬁcially got the ball rolling in November 2019 when their experiential bar opened its doors for the ﬁrst time.
The Floodgate soon became a popular, highly-rated venue in Birmingham. Boasting an action-packed, fun-ﬁlled adventure to a backdrop of music and glow-in-the-dark grafﬁti, the games bar promises an immersive experience at every turn. But how did the concept come about, and what has been the key to success?
Entertaining the perfect idea
“We noted that people were becoming less interested in just eating and drinking, and more focussed on experiences and activities to create memories,” Chris said.
“That’s why we choose to create a ‘drink and do’ venue to offer customers some competitive socialising. Offering baseball, curling and pitpat table golf along with cocktails, craft beer and street food has been a hit.”
Like all good games and social sports, there would be challenges along the way. Chris explains that determination was key in refusing to admit defeat, particularly when coronavirus forced the closure of much of the hospitality industry.
“When we opened in November 2019, we had no idea what was around the corner in ﬁve months’ time. Determination and agility have been key over the past two years, especially with the pandemic.
“Having to convert our business from an indoor business to an outdoor and indoor business was a challenge at short notice, but an important step to remain operational. Success for The Floodgate in 2021 has been surviving and then thriving since the arrival of the pandemic.”
As well as adapting the business to suit ‘new normal’ regulations, The Floodgate is inﬂuenced by its customers, who are seen as an important part of the team, every day. In fact, it has been teamwork and listening that have been the most valuable qualities in business for Chris.
“Listen to your staff and customers and take on positive and negative feedback, to become a better person and business. A brand is nothing without its customers and staff, so it is imperative to ‘read the room’ and understand the right thing to do, even if it does not always seem obvious.
“I enjoy communicating with our customers, whether that be over social media, Google Chat, newsletters or blog posts. Hearing ﬁrst-hand the good and bad from our customers, and acting on feedback, is invaluable to future success.”
A winning business with 123 Reg
Having a high-performance, mobile-optimised site was particularly important for this games bar, which takes the majority of its bookings online. With a completely rebuilt website to improve user experience and rankings, The Floodgate has discovered all-round improvement.
“There have been many obstacles and learning experiences along the way; from ﬁnding the right venue, building the right games, and, of course, having the right online presence. In the modern era, most customers wish to book ahead of time so we needed a hosting provider that was reliable, fast and good value.
“When we were looking for a hosting provider, these were the three key metrics. 123 Reg ticked all of those boxes for us. With the 123 Reg Premium Hosting product, we have been able to deliver a fast customer experience with no buffering – especially on mobile – which is key in 2021 and beyond.”
Chris describes 123 Reg Premium Hosting as easy to navigate, fast and responsive for both customers and staff admin tasks. He believes it has contributed to a premium, high-performing website which allows for a homepage video without concern that the server will be strained by usage.
Both online and ofﬂine, The Floodgate has become a winning business. Co-founder Chris is championing entrepreneurship, and loves being his own boss.
“To know that the work that you do has a direct impact on the success of the company and the staff is an amazing feeling. Becoming your own boss is both liberating and scary all at the same time, and you will have hurdles along the way. As long as you are prepared to take the rough with the smooth, you will win in the long run. Always focus on your goals and why you choose to follow them in the ﬁrst place.”
If you’re inspired by Chris’ story and you are ready to step up to your own online journey, we’re ready to help.
We also love hearing about our customers’ success stories. So, if you have a great story to share about how 123 Reg has helped your online business, get in touch here.