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Wonder who's the busiest person in the industry? We think we've found a good candidate.
Rebecca Assice, who is the owner of the Australian and NZ master franchise of The Escape Hunt Experience, is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced managers in the escape room industry. We managed to reach her for a quick interview about the extremely successful franchise.
escape-rooms.com: You are controlling the large network of Australian and NZ escape rooms. A challenging and exciting position. Please, tell us a bit about the beginnings - how did you get involved in this business?
Rebecca Assice: I was working as a management consultant before. My husband is a banker and a couple of years ago we attended a bachelor party in Bangkok. That’s where we met Paul there (Paul Bart, CEO and founder of The Escape Hunt Experience) and learned about the concept. We started talking about the possibility of started talking about the possiblity of expanding the operations to other continents, especially to Australia. Most of the Australian rooms opened in 2014. The Escape Hunt Experience has its headquarters in Bangkok.
escape-rooms.com: As the franchise has gone global, are there significatn differences between escape rooms?
Rebecca Assice: The business model is the same, everywhere. There are certain templates. However, each room is designed to suit the ocation. The one in Sydney is a detective, noir-style room set in a historic era of the city.
The franchise has a team of game-designers. There are no duplications at all. We have several, very different themes.
escape-rooms.com: Were there any difficulties at the beginning?
Rebecca Assice: Well, we were the first ones to open in Sydney, since then, there are eight rooms in the city. The beginning was challenging for all of us as it was our first time building such a real-life escape game. Sleeping on site, always being on time takes its toll, it was pretty tiring and extremely stressful. Once it was up and running, it was smooth.
escape-rooms.com: Have you played other rooms of the franchise?
Rebecca Assice: Yes, apart from the one in Sydney, I of course tried the one in Singapore.
escape-rooms.com: Could you please tell us a bit about the Australian escape room scene?
Rebecca Assice: Since there are a lot of escape rooms in the country now, there is also a fierce competition between them. Even though the past few years saw a rapid growth in the number of businesses, I would say there are not going to be many new ones anytime soon. The competition helps in many ways. The numbers are great, in general. Lots of people are visiting escape rooms, and I would say the majority of guests are locals.
escape-rooms.com: We usually ask owners to tell us a few fun stories that happened inside their escape rooms. You surely know hundreds of these.
Rebecca Assice: We’ve got a lot, yeah. Too many, actually. Among all kinds of stories, I would highlights that some people have been proposed, engaged there. We’ve been approached by TV networks over the years. We are always very busy, we run a great celebrity leaderboard as well.
escape-rooms.com: As the franchise is consisted of many businesses now, you surely have a certain HR policy. How does the hiring process go?
Rebecca Assice: The wages in Australia are very high so we tend to look for younger people and students in general. Those who want to work for us, have to be focused, confident and should pay attention to every detail there is in the rooms. Above all, good customer skills are essential.