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I am sure it is safe to assume that when Walter and Cordelia Knott started farming a 20 acre parcel in 1920 in Buena Park, California they had no idea that their early vision would turn into the world famous 160 acre theme park that it is today! In fact, the farm that they started to raise produce became the first Theme Park in the United States! After experimenting with berries (the “boysenberry” would become the family trademark) a thriving restaurant business followed. In order to give waiting customers something to do and to pay homage to his love of the Old West, Walter developed Ghost Town, eventually the first of Knott’s Berry Farm’s six themed areas.
I think we can also assume that when the Knott’s opened their first restaurant they did not imagine that one day dinner reservations would be made online utilizing the Partywirks Online Receptionist. And yet, that is the case and has been since 2008.
Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant Manager, John Wray is grateful that the Partywirks Online Receptionist has helped him field the approximately 7,000 telephone calls they receive between mid-august through December. This is the time that Knott’s is taking reservations for the annual Halloween Haunt and their special “Pre-Scare Event”. Prior to Partywirks, they were taking orders manually and he said that it was a bit of a nightmare, no pun intended! The Pre-Scare Event caters to 650 people per night for 25 nights so the addition of online booking capability has allowed their staff to tend to other customer service needs.
The Partywirks Online Receptionist also assists during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays when the “Turkeys to Go” take out dinners are in full swing. It is not unusual for Knott’s to receive 1,000 orders during the holidays. Along with the online booking capability John really likes the fact that he can set up the system so Knott’s can provide additional items for customer purchase or provide a questionnaire for the all inclusive packages.
Today the Knott’s offering includes 3 high volume Soak City Water Parks and are a major family attraction in the California sunshine state. Mariah Fritzges, Marketing Manager of the Palm Springs location says that business is way up this season which is great news for this 16 acre water park. With water slides, body slides, wave pools, fun houses, arcade games, food, and merchandise Soak City helps the locals keep cool in the long hot summer months and, let’s them customize their experience at the same time! Mariah says their decision to use the Partywirks Online Receptionist has helped them stay in tune with customer demand and, she felt it was important to follow the online trend. She knew that the public wanted online searches, party and cabana booking capability, and merchandise purchasing. Soak City felt it was very important to provide this service to their busy customers.
Since 2008, Soak City Palm Springs, Soak City Orange Country, and Soak City San Diego have been utilizing the Partywirks Online Receptionist for cabana rentals and party bookings. This online reservation system has given clients the customer service they wanted and allows them to make their reservations 24/7 at their convenience. She also feels that answering phone calls was an inefficient use of staff time. Along with the increase in add-on sales and better customer service, Mariah really appreciates the fact that they now have everything on one database. This makes it easier for staff to review client requests and again, makes staff time much more productive.
Even though Walter and Cordelia Knott might not have envisioned the growth that their small farm would undergo, we are happy that their efforts created the 1st theme park in the United States. Knott’s Berry Farm has provided many family fun memories to hundreds of thousands of people. And, at Partywirks we are proud to be a part of the continuing growth of this cultural icon.