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  • Dec 28, 2010, 10:21 AM
    Starting a billiards/pool hall?
    I am pursuing the idea of opening a billiards establishment in my current town. I am looking for any assistance in the process of getting this off the ground. It will predominately cater to pool, but will have a bar serving cocktails and a dance floor w/ a stage for the possibility of having live music, too. Anyone have any ideas as to the profit margins on alcohol sales versus billiards services? Anyone have any ideas about true amount of time it will take to get out of the red in this venture? Please feel free to offer any other information that I have not asked for that pertains to opening a billiards hall.

    Many thanks,
  • Dec 28, 2010, 01:50 PM
    Start up costs? A few hundred thousand. I can't think of many ventures more expensive than pool, booze, music and dance. Required parking, permits, licenses, and insurance will be through the roof if you can even get them. Heating, cooling, cleaning, repairs, theft, supplies.
    Town? Unless you get the equipment at auction for pennies and have customers every minute at every table, the income won't be enough. Think about how much room a table takes on the floor.
    Yes, booze is the biggest money maker. Can you even get a liquor license?
    Music the least. No one pays to dance; they drink and dance.
    Then there's the cops, drugs, underage, fights, gangs, paying people off, or dealing with organized crime.
  • Jan 13, 2011, 08:01 PM
    The key to any place is filling it with bodies regularly. One of the nice things about a pool hall, is the fact that any income off a table is better than none. You have to find ways to turn slow nights into busier nights. Have 1/2 price Mondays, date nights et cetera. Print up Hour free pool gift cards and give to local restaurants to hand out with paychecks, nothing better than getting young people in with a fresh bankroll, and the restaurant benefits because it's doing a little extra for the staff. One key thing to creating regulars is making them feel special, have servers chat guests,"nice shot" comments, and NEVER ding a goup of guys 120$ after they just paid 220$ on drink and food. You may fill the till that night, but they won't be back any time soon. My experience in the industry, like it or not, has shown "hustlers" do not generally spend a lot, and expect to be catered to far too much. Recreational players are there for fun, and fun breeds more fun and makes your spot top of mind when it comes to friends looking for a night out and inevitably feel good about spending their disposable income in your place. Sales are everything, cost of doing biz,food,labour,liquor per centages all drop as sales go up. More cash going in your pocket makes your decisions easier too... do we need more TV's, bigger menu and such. When 1st opening, don't save laabour at the cost of guest satisfaction, use "smart" labour. Could a 3 hour server on a Friday cover her wage, liquor cost and so on in order to keep guests happy and sell more product. Empty glasses and waiting for food and service is a certain business killer. Hope I helped, good luck and have fun... if you do, staff will, and if staff have fun, so will guests.

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