Lock Chicago Escape Rooms
Escape Rooms

Escape Room Doubles Monthly Revenue With Scientific & Effective Checkout


Three months before starting Lock Chicago, Bane Srdjevic had never heard of an escape room. That all changed after one phone call with an old friend.

“The idea of an escape room really gripped me. It sounded like being immersed in a videogame or a movie” Srdjevic explains. “You’re interacting with elements that you don’t experience day-to-day.”

For the creative writer turned software developer, escape rooms offered the perfect blend of art and science. He decided to open his own in January of 2016 with one other friend.

As he and his partner prepared to launch Lock Chicago, Srdjevic took care of the stories and design of each room, as well as the technology.


His first order of business: find booking software.

“There’s no way to run an escape room without booking software…unless you want to drown in phone calls and update every schedule by hand,” Srdjevic explains.

With his career as a software developer and as one of two employees at Lock Chicago, Srdjevic didn’t have that kind of time. He could not afford to waste time or energy on managing a manual booking process.

He knew that booking software would make him more efficient, but Srdjevic wanted to go a step further. If he could automate the entire reservation process, he would have more time to plan for the future without hurting his daily operations.

That meant only accepting online bookings and forgoing phone reservations.

With Lock Chicago on the line, Srdjevic needed booking software designed for efficiency and optimized for online conversions.

The Bigger Picture

On average, 80% of people abandon online checkouts for one reason or another. When Lock Chicago’s business depends on that remaining 20% of completed checkouts, there is no room for error.

“If we didn’t get enough revenue from our site, we couldn’t get it from anywhere else,” Srdjevic explains. “It was a very real concern. When we first opened, we thought we would need to dig deeper into our own pockets to cover the expenses of our second month.”

But what other choice did Srdjevic have?

With Lock Chicago on the line, Srdjevic needed booking software designed for efficiency and optimized for online conversions.

Choosing the Right Software

Srdjevic could not afford any missteps here. His old friend (the one who had introduced him to the escape room world) suggested he try the same software that most escape rooms were using. He considered the recommendation but continued to search.

“We’re not experts at this,” Srdjevic admits. “We needed to know all the information before we made a decision.”

Srdjevic came across another system that piqued his interest.

The backend looked clean and easy to navigate, and best of all, the checkout had all the elements he needed. He appreciated its professional design and loved how fast and user-friendly it was.

“If customers learn about Lock Chicago and decide they want to try it, the checkout needs to be quick and easy,” he notes. “That way, the customer doesn’t have time to second-guess their decision.”

As he compared the two systems, one emerged as the top choice.

Srdjevic didn’t care what software had been popular in the past. He knew that his business would be most successful with Xola’s software behind it.

Success With Xola

Srdjevic chose Xola because of its “ease, quickness, and flexibility.” But it gave him something more: growth.

“After the first week of using Xola, we stopped worrying about our online revenue,” he says. “The checkout alone brings in more than enough for us.”

Thanks to Xola’s scientific checkout design, Lock Chicago doubled its monthly revenue in just 3 months.

“Xola’s checkout is so smooth and intuitive that we’ve never gotten a call from a customer asking how it works,” Srdjevic explains.

“The checkout is the building block of our business. If we had to troubleshoot something so core to our operations, we just wouldn’t have the time. We’d be swamped.”

“Since we’re not worried about booking issues, we’ve had time to design new rooms, find new leads, and grow our company.”

On top of Xola’s efficient checkout, Srdjevic discovered even more value in Xola’s marketing features. Lock Chicago offers coupons to various partner organizations, and in different advertisements. Srdjevic can create a code in seconds and monitor usage over time in Xola.

“Because using and tracking coupons is so easy, we can optimize our advertising potential and spend our money more wisely,” he says.

As Srdjevic looks back on the beginnings of Lock Chicago, he imagines how different things would be had he chosen the more popular but less effective booking software. He’s sure of one thing: Xola has been a key partner in his escape room’s success.

“Xola is the best fit for us,” Srdjevic says. “It’s saving us time and helping us attract more customers. That’s a huge thumbs up.”