How to Add a Game Room to Your Restaurant

Game rooms in bars can be a fun and efficient way to boost your bar sales and profits. But the addition of bar games such as arcade games or billiards can come with some financial, space, and crowd-interest concerns.

Fortunately, adding games to your bar or restaurant can be easy, cheap, and space-efficient. Read on to learn about some game room options that bring in the most profits and help you effectively market your business.

Shop All Game Room Equipment

What Are the Best Bar Games to Offer?

It can be tough to think of bar game ideas that will bring in customers to your restaurant. The game options can seem limitless, but some options are better than others when trying to boost your profit margins. Here is a short list of popular bar games and game room equipment that can help your bottom line and bring in more customers:

Customer playing Jenga Bar Game
  • Pool Tables or Billiards
  • Air Hockey Tables
  • Basketball Arcade Games
  • Foosball Tables
  • Darts
  • Pinball Machines
  • Vintage Arcade Games
  • Interactive Board Games
  • Lawn games
    • Hook and Ring
    • Cornhole
    • Ladderball
    • Washer Toss
    • Giant Jenga®

Which Bar Games Are Most Profitable?

As a business owner, your main goal is to increase your profit margin as much as possible. You can cast sports events on televisions in your bar to keep customers in their seats, but this will only cater to the interest of a portion of your clientele. Adding fun bar games to your business can capture the interests of a wider audience and increase your sales, but different games will affect your bottom line in different ways.

For example, some games like arcade games and basketball arcade machines will directly affect your profits because they cost money to play. Other games, like board games and billiards don't cost money but they can encourage your customers to stay in your bar or restaurant longer, increasing the chance that they'll order more food and drinks and boosting your profits indirectly. As a result, there isn't one specific game that will make your business more money than others.

Why Should You Offer Restaurant Games?

Customers playing arcade bar games

Having dart boards, arcade games, pinball machines, and other games can bring in new business to your establishment. When customers have games to play at a bar, it can keep them in your location longer.

Additionally, you don't necessarily need a separate game room to add games to your establishment, which makes offering pay-to-play or free pub games more accessible to customers looking for something unique to do with their friends and co-workers. When customers enjoy their experience at your bar or restaurant, they are likely to share about your establishment on social media, providing you with free marketing.

What to Consider Before Adding Games to Your Business:

While there are a large variety of bar games for adults available, not every type of game will fit your specific business. Here are three things to consider before choosing what types of games you want to offer at your foodservice establishment:

  1. Your space: Before you decide what type of games to use in your business, you should consider what your restaurant layout has space for.
    • Billiards, arcade games, and pinball machines can bring in a lot of business, but they take up a lot of space, so use them in large establishments like sports bars and large restaurants.
    • Interactive board games are fun and take up less space, but they don't have the same earning potential as arcade games and machines.
  2. Your customer base: While offering games at your restaurant or bar can seem like a good idea, you need to consider who your customer base is, and what types of games, if any, they would want to play.
    • Billiards and arcade games will be popular with an older crowd.
    • Interactive games, air hockey tables, and basketball arcade games are better for a younger audience.
  3. Your restaurant or bar's atmosphere: In addition to your customer base, consider the atmosphere in your establishment.
    • Loud pinball machines can ruin a quiet and calm atmosphere.
    • It may be hard for guests to play board games, card games, or other bar table games in establishments that play music.

How to Make the Most of Your Game Room

Once you've decided to add games to your business or to create a bar game room, there are some additional things you can do to boost your profits and market your bar. Here are a few tips:

Customers playing billiards at a bar
  • Game Nights: Have regular game nights on your typically slow days, especially in the winter time to attract more customers. For example, you can make every Tuesday Jenga night or invite a pool league to use your billiards tables on Sundays.
  • Competitions: Offer competitions and promote them on social media. Having competitions like basketball championships, card game tournaments, or Beat the Bartender games are an excellent way to bring in more business.

Having arcade games, billiards, board games, and other attractions can seem like a large expense, but they can help bring in more customers and boost sales over time. Your establishment can rise in popularity for customers looking for game night ideas, which in turn can lead to free social media exposure for your business and a wider customer base.

Posted in: Advertising & Marketing|Bars & Breweries|By Richard Traylor
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