Dissuade me from throwing money (and subsequently my life) away on opening a Board Game Cafe.
>Focus on Tabletop RPGs
>Provide DM/GM resources and tools such as figures, tables, maps, etc.
>Space for Board Games / Card Games
>Hosts social events that promote Tabletop & Games etc.
>Serves minimal Food
>Serves Beer & Wine
>Not a comic book shop.
One of these places opened up on my town. I thought it had no chance but there it is two years later and still going.
I don't they make a fortune, but it seems enough to make a living.
They do sell comic books thigh I think.
this. unless you charge out the ass for renting the games, and the people who come to these places probably have their own games, you won't make money.
You say you'll serve alcohol, but people will buy like maybe 1 drink an hour per person assuming everyone buys drinks? They're trying to relax not get shit faced.
There's a place called Split Crow that does this in Vancouver. However its a"geeky bar" first and forepmost that ALSO has board games. You have to design a restaurant first then add the board game element.
>However its a"geeky bar"
I'd love to do something like that, but liquor licensing here is ridiculous, so right now I'm settling on just Beer / Wine and Food
Any idea on what makes it survive, if not thrive?
Yeah, that's the general consensus. Three STRICTLY gaming / hobby shops in my city just closed down the past year. An arcade themed bar opened up last year, and it's been going strong. Also, more and more bars in the area are offering "game nights" that people are eating up.
The idea was a tabletop focused business that sold alcohol and food. Similar to places like:
Only things like that in my area are your basement style comic book shops. But with the popularity of D&D and board games in general on the rise, I figure that + food would be a great niche to dive into.
I used to work at a game cafe that's on its third year now, and is oddly enough in the green. Here's why I believe it's surviving, for now:
Other bars (quite a few, unfortunately)
No other "gaming" businesses with a place to play within a dozen miles
Games (via a membership or a one-day price)
Lunch/dinner food (kitchen)
Snacks (marked up)
Beer + cocktails
Video game booth
Private room (kinda cramped, but sits 8 normal people which is like 6 Americans)
Bathrooms you wouldn't mind fucking in
AGGRESSIVE advertising in local papers, meetup group sites, social media, etc. to host their events here
Nightly events with game teaching on weekdays
Friday Night Magic draws in large crowds (restricted to 18+ for us, thank Christ)
Lunch specials and deals with corporate/education groups
RP events, especially with the DnD crowd
College-age geeks hold parties and club events
Always one person available to help teach or run a game
NOBODY SUCKS, EVERYONE IS PERSONABLE AND NOT AUTISTIC, THANK YOU GOD
Owner is not a first-timer, this is his second successful bar and his third attempt at a business
Margins are still thin as hell and rent is increasing. This kind of business is frustratingly niche and you need a great read on your local community. You're encouraging them to leave their basements and kitchens to go throw money at marked up drinks and food as well as tablespace, so you damn well better have a great selection of everything and some good atmosphere. Also, it's stressful to work as an employee and turnover is getting high, albeit less so than other bars.