Food & Beverage Minimum

yelvis111

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
To any and all pool room owners, do you offer a monthly "membership" deal at your room? If so, do any of you add a monthly "Food & Beverage" minimum to the membership fee? I believe almost all private golf clubs include an F&B into their monthly charge.

Here's an example to those of you that might not be familiar with the concept: You pay $400/month to be a member at a country club. This includes free greens fees for the entire month. Included in that $400 is $125 that is credited towards food and beverage purchases during the month. If you spend more than $125 on F&B you pay the difference. If you spend less than that, though, you are not credited the remaining amount for the next month.

Wouldn't this encourage the purchase of food and beverages at your room? Isn't the parsimonious nature of pool players a (justifiably) common complaint amongst room owners.

Of course, if you don't have the facilities for making food this wouldn't be applicable.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

Taek
 

Danny Kuykendal

Danny K
Silver Member
Pool players are not used to spending the money that golfers are. I recently had a 70 monthly fee (only when tables are free) and did not require any purchase. I got a few interested players but surprisingly, not overwhelmed with interest.
 

yelvis111

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks for the response Danny.

I love your room. If it wasn't so far down in the OC (I live in Culver City), I'd be down there way more often. Fernando does a great job running the tournaments.

I can't believe you didn't get more interest in the monthly $70 AYCP ("All-You-Can-Play") deal. For me, there are times when I'm spending that much on time in a single week at House of Billiards in Santa Monica.

Taek
 

bud green

Dolley and Django
Silver Member
If I owned a pool hall, I would add some kind of minimum to the monthly fee as well.

There are just too many guys who come in with their own bottled water, complain about equipment, play 10-20 hrs a week and never buy anything.

As in nothing, nada , jack sh!t. One guy I can't stand hasn't bought anything more than a one dollar bottled water in 5 years, hasn't tipped one employee once, played 10-20 hrs a week and still had the nerve to ask for a partial refund on a 50 a month membership because he was going out of town for 5 days.

The people who will help your biz are the guys who buy beers regularly and the surcharge will get used up fast. The rest of the penny pinchers will just squeeze you to death. F them...they can get a table at home if they don't want to support your biz.
 

jmurphy

SWEET
Silver Member
If I owned a pool hall, I would add some kind of minimum to the monthly fee as well.

There are just too many guys who come in with their own bottled water, complain about equipment, play 10-20 hrs a week and never buy anything.

As in nothing, nada , jack sh!t. One guy I can't stand hasn't bought anything more than a one dollar bottled water in 5 years, hasn't tipped one employee once, played 10-20 hrs a week and still had the nerve to ask for a partial refund on a 50 a month membership because he was going out of town for 5 days.

The people who will help your biz are the guys who buy beers regularly and the surcharge will get used up fast. The rest of the penny pinchers will just squeeze you to death. F them...they can get a table at home if they don't want to support your biz.

What about guys like me who don't drink?
Should we F-off and go home?
I have no problem buying sodas and meals if you have a kitchen.
The other issue is a lot of room owners have sodas on tap that taste like total dog-shit and never think to have their mixture fixed, taps cleaned, or maybe carry a variety of Gatorades for their non-drinking customers.
As far as complaining about the equipment goes, anyone paying table time should expect a business to keep their equipment in excellent shape, after all every owner wants people to spend their hard earned money on table time.

Tables:
1. run straight and true
2. no dead rails / all rails play the same
3. tables recovered at least once a year with 860 Simonis
4. good set of balls like centennial or super aramith pro (I can't say how many times I gotten a rack of balls just to look down and see the rack is made up of balls from 2 or 3 different sets)
5. true red circle cue balls
 
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Mr Nobody

Banned
Telling people how to spend their money will get you broke . Offer a clean room with quality equipment , kept up , great service with a smile and you'll make money . I'm not buying in or prepaying unless it's worth it . That's the key , is your offering enough value for the customer to reach into their pocket and hand over their hard earned money or is it the same ole same ole ... When I ran my rooms , my people brushed and wiped the table down as soon as the balls were brought up . Haven't seen that happen in over 35 years . Gone the way of the dodo , like nap cloth ...;)
 

Ruark

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
From the customer's point of view, you have no right to complain. Sometimes I might buy a drink or some food, but if I pay your price for a table, and then use that table, I'm getting what I paid for, and it's kinda off-putting for you to be complaining because I don't "buy more." That's like buying a meal at a restaurant, and then the management getting upset because you didn't buy a dessert.

Obviously, you need the income, but that's really not the customer's problem; he's not there to bail you out or "support your business." He's just a customer who is purchasing a product that you offer, period.
 
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Colonel

Living The Dream
Silver Member
There are a lot of ways to do it, generally geared on what type of hall you have.

I had a 10,000 sq ft. hall with a full service kitchen & bar. Here's the way I did it. During the week from 12-5 if you bought lunch pool was free for you during those hours. League nights Tuesday & Thursday with discounted appetizers & drink specials. Monday nights all you could eat wings special. Wednesday Ladies night. Friday & Saturday take care of themselves if your equipment is in good shape & you have a bar. Sunday tournament 12-4,Sundays 5-closing $10 a player all night. If you have good food & drink, coordinate that with the specials, league nights, ladies nights, most customers will spend $. Utilize free time with a lunch purchase to fill up slow days. Weekend nights the tables give patrons who are drinking recreation. Utilize ideas to help others want to spend their $ instead of dictating to them, you'll find more success.
 

Banks

Banned
I helped upgrade the bar I hang out at with 4 diamonds. The strong players wanted something really cheap. I knew that wouldn't fly. Bars are built around sales, not around renting out 4 tables for cheap while the rest of the patrons have to figure out something to do. My final decision was to do something in between.

I got a small vac(used it last night), diamond ball polisher(used it last night), made the tables 50c and offered reasonable hourly rates - one table *must* remain available for challenges. That makes sure people come in there planning on spending money. Too much use and your tables take a beating and are hogged all day/night by the same people. It was a bit of trying to maximize(realize) profit on both sides - pool and the bar, favoring the bar, since pool would never pay the rent.

So far things have been working out pretty well after only a couple of months. Well enough that we've been working on ideas for the next step. All I need to do is recover my deposit and save up a little.

Even last night, I talked to the bartender and he's noticed several new faces that have been coming in more and more. I think that just before he kicked everybody out, there were 3 tables in use. People recognize the superior quality and are more apt to play. Are people going to play the original Play Station if it's laying around or the Play Station 3? Even regular folks have made comments that they're the best tables around.

It's also a social game and people will partake more in a social atmosphere, imho. If people are kept quiet and away from the game while it's being played, it sort of bores them and turns them off. Give them something they can feel involved with and they won't be able to get enough of it.

Ruark, while some may feel that way, it could be considered similar to going to a Denny's and ordering a coffee with plans of sitting there all night long, drinking refills. It's understandably frowned upon. That's why some people that spend $$ on food and drinks will be given discounted or free time by places.
 

LWW

MEMGO5
Silver Member
There are a lot of ways to do it, generally geared on what type of hall you have.

I had a 10,000 sq ft. hall with a full service kitchen & bar. Here's the way I did it. During the week from 12-5 if you bought lunch pool was free for you during those hours. League nights Tuesday & Thursday with discounted appetizers & drink specials. Monday nights all you could eat wings special. Wednesday Ladies night. Friday & Saturday take care of themselves if your equipment is in good shape & you have a bar. Sunday tournament 12-4,Sundays 5-closing $10 a player all night. If you have good food & drink, coordinate that with the specials, league nights, ladies nights, most customers will spend $. Utilize free time with a lunch purchase to fill up slow days. Weekend nights the tables give patrons who are drinking recreation. Utilize ideas to help others want to spend their $ instead of dictating to them, you'll find more success.

IMHO that's a pretty decent business plan.
 
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