Our customers and communities
Bowling is an activity that promotes healthy competition and provides an inclusive, interactive experience, enabling families and friends to spend quality social time together to the benefit of their general wellbeing. The value of fun, inclusive activities like bowling has certainly been highlighted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as many user groups experienced significant isolation during our government-mandated closure.
Other than during COVID-19 restrictions, our centres are open to all. Each has access for customers with disabilities and we are committed to delivering an inclusive funfilled experience for everyone, whatever their prowess with a bowling ball or, at our Puttstars centres, a putter. This includes making sure that we are affordable to all with concessionary discounts being available across a number of user groups.
Once inside our centres, customers find that our food menu offers a selection of healthier eating options and our popular range of sugar-free drinks includes carbonated soft drinks, sugar-free slush and low-calorie mixers. We continue to work with our food and drink suppliers on a programme of reducing the salt and sugar content of the food and beverages we offer.
We take care to serve up appropriate content in our amusements area, too. We maintain regular contact with regulatory bodies and our key partners, such as Namco, to ensure the correct decisions are taken in terms of our game content, quantity and age-appropriate mix.
Hollywood Bowl is an all-round people business with our team at the heart of everything we do. For that reason, we strive to attract and retain the best possible talent.
We are always looking at new ways to improve our team engagement. In 2020, we increased our focus on team member wellbeing to ensure that our culture continues to promote a positive working environment across all of our centres.
We are proud to have a mental health first aider and wellbeing champion to provide proactive support to team members. We have also upskilled our managers and heads of department so that they can take care of both their own wellbeing and that of their teams during these challenging times.
We have introduced wellbeing elements in all of our top talent programmes and within all monthly and annual reviews across the business, and run a dedicated wellbeing email service. We continue to promote our employee assistance programme (EAP) which is available to all team members via a 24-hour freephone helpline and our own app, Fourth Engage.
Fourth Engage gives management the means to instantly communicate with the wider team. This was particularly useful during lockdown when 98.6 per cent of our team were furloughed. The app has achieved excellent engagement – 79 per cent of our team log onto the portal weekly and the average number of posts weekly is 51. Fourth Engage allows teams to communicate in centre groups, and nationally.
In a people-led business such as Hollywood Bowl, ongoing feedback from our teams is critical to ensure the growing success of the organisation. A member of the Executive team runs regular ‘Dynamic Operations’ listening groups for which we invite our centre management and team members to suggest ideas or innovations as well as give feedback on any issue important to them.
In 2020, we conducted our tenth team member engagement survey and the second where we have partnered with Best Companies. Our overall response rate was 80 per cent and we remain in the ‘One to Watch’ category with our overall score improving.
Gender equality is one area which we have focused on. We took the feedback from the previous learning group with our female centre managers to explore and understand the issues that stop women seeking senior leadership roles within our business. From this, we actioned a variety of suggestions, such as updating our employer branding and launching a new careers website which is designed to increase the diversity of applicants. We are committed to providing an inclusive environment and firmly believe that no-one should suffer discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, ethnicity, religious belief, political affiliation, gender (we hold all-female listening groups to support achieving a more equal gender balance at a senior level in the Group), sexual orientation, age or disability.
Our industry-leading internal top-talent development programmes continue to support and develop careers across the organisation. We are proud that, in FY2020, 96 of our team members benefited from them which enabled us to fill 57 per cent of our management vacancies through internal promotions. These included eight centre manager appointments (73 per cent of centre manager appointments in the year) and we were able to promote two of our team on our senior leadership development programme into senior support roles.
Training starts for all team members when they commence their Hollywood Bowl career journey. Having recently launched our virtual cultural induction and ways of working training, we are investing in new ways to ensure our teams receive the comprehensive training needed to fully equip them for their role and to support them in providing an excellent customer experience. Team members’ continuous development is supported by our 29-module online learning system, which recorded a 97 per cent completion rate for FY2020.
For our assistant managers and deputy managers, we run our management skills development programme as a precursor to our CMIT programme. In FY2020, 63 of our assistant managers undertook this training.
For senior managers, we have been running our i2i programme since September 2019, a 12-month development course to help unlock managers’ professional and personal potential. This programme consists of individual and group activities that give participants greater insight into how people work. This year, we were pleased to be able to continue this programme, virtually, throughout lockdown.
To maintain engagement and upskill our managers whilst our centres were closed, we ran eight different virtual training modules covering cultural, leadership and operational training. 100 per cent of our centre managers attended one or more sessions.
A key part of our wider engagement and retention strategy is to recognise and reward great performance and the right behaviours of our team. We recognise great behaviours with Hollywood Bowl pin badges, which team members wear with pride. We were pleased to award 1,476 pins during the year.
At centre manager level, we continued to celebrate success through our awards ceremony and conference, and recognised our top performing centre managers.
At Hollywood Bowl Group, we pay all our teams the relevant National Living/National Minimum Wage (NL/NMW) or in excess of this and are committed to ensuring our team members have a fair pay deal.
We offer our team members benefits which they have told us they value. These include free bowling and discounted food and drink when they visit the centres socially with their friends and family, as well as an ‘at-work’ 50 per cent discount on food and drink.
We have also implemented Long Term Incentive Plans for centre managers, assistant managers and senior support centre team members.
We launched our third Save-As-You-Earn (SAYE) Sharesave scheme in February 2020, giving all our team members another opportunity to share in the financial success of the business. We are pleased that 126 employees signed up to this latest launch.
Gender balance statistics
A breakdown of our Board, senior management and all employees by gender is as follows:
FY2020 number of employees
BOARD 1 female 5 male
SENIOR MANAGERS 4 female 12 male
TEAM 951 female 770 male
As a business operating in multiple locations around the UK, we believe that we should support the communities in which we operate by offering employment and through charity fundraising, awareness and access.
In FY2020, we introduced a new nationwide charity partnership with Barnardo’s across 64 centres and our Hemel Hempstead support centre.
Barnardo’s primarily focuses on benefiting younger people and their families. Prior to the centre closures in March 2020, fundraising events took place across the country and a donation of £15 for each team member who successfully completed their induction programme was made to the charity.
Whilst the five-month centre closure has impacted our donations and fundraising activities, both Hollywood Bowl Group and Barnardo’s are committed to reigniting the partnership in FY2021.
Health and Safety
Bowling and mini-golf are fun, inclusive and safe ways to keep active and we like to keep it that way. We design our centres and train our teams with this in mind, both for our customers’ and our teams’ safety and welfare. We comply with all safety legislation and act on all reported incidents. As part of our internal audit reviews, we undertake safety audits. The output from these reviews, as well as any incident reports, are reviewed by the Board on a monthly basis.
The Hollywood Bowl Group has a primary authority agreement with South Gloucestershire Council covering both health and safety generally, and food safety.
The Group has worked closely with the primary authority, local and central government and Public Health England on developing its COVID-secure operating protocols, risk assessments and safety innovations, including lane seating dividers.
Hollywood Bowl Group has a strong and genuine commitment to conduct all of its operations in an ethical and responsible manner. This is demonstrated in our environmental and energy achievements (the latter being skewed this year by the centre closure period due to the COVID-19 pandemic when electricity and gas usage, and waste generation, were minimal).
The second solar array was installed at Hollywood Bowl Bentley Bridge with 225.62 kWp and was commissioned in November 2019. This was funded by Green Nation and electricity will be purchased through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
A rollout to other centres is planned and this will include self-funded projects and also PPAs.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for FY2020 have been measured as required under the Large and Medium-Sized Companies and Groups (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008 as amended in 2013. The GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting standards (revised edition) and the electricity and gas consumption data has been provided by Schneider Electric and Total. Conversion factors taken from here.
Scope 1 emissions
This is made up of natural gas, company car (Hollywood Bowl no longer has any company cars) and also refrigerant gas losses
|F gas losses||568.4|
Scope 2 emissions
Emissions from electricity are 11,560,010 x 0.23314 = 2,695,100.7 kgCO2e or 2,695tCO2e
|Scope 1 emissions||568.4|
|Scope 2 emissions||2,695|
|Total Scope 1 and 2 emissions||3,263.4|
|Intensity ratio (tCO2e per centre)||55.1|
Over 91.55 per cent of all Scope 1 emissions were from natural gas. This includes heating, hot water and cooking as it is not possible to accurately determine the specific percentage from each.
100 per cent of electricity used was from UK operations.
Total electricity and gas usage
|Electricity (kWh)||Gas (kWh)|
Data from centres where the landlord supplies electricity/gas has been excluded.
Our commitment to efficiently and ethically use natural resources is ongoing.
We have reduced our emission ratio for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 107.1 or 66 per cent for FY2020 compared with the base year (FY2016).
|Scope 1||Scope 2||Scope 1+2||Intensity ratio|
Whilst in FY2020 we achieved our goal, set in FY2019, of an intensity ratio of under 100, this was significantly influenced by the COVID-19 lockdown.
The target is therefore to maintain an intensity level of under 100 in FY2021.
Action plan for reducing environmental impact and increasing onsite generation of renewable electricity:
- Behaviour change within our teams, such as conscious efforts to reduce electricity use.
- Continuation of the rollout of more energy-efficient air handling plant (plant changed in Birmingham in FY2020) CSR meetings are chaired by CEO.
- Rollout of solar panels (through self-funds and PPAs).
We recycle the waste that we produce as part of our commitment to mitigate the environmental impacts of our operations. In FY2016, we recycled 63.3 per cent of our waste – this increased to 67.8 per cent in FY2020.
Waste volumes were impacted by the COVID-19 centre closures.
|General||Glass||Mixed recycling / organic|
|General||Recycling||Total waste||Recycling percentage|
All waste data supplied by Biffa measured in tonnes.
This excludes data from centres where the landlord manages the waste streams.