Is Now the right time to open a pool hall

LWW

MEMGO5
Silver Member
A little more insight

In Archers new room pool time is a single digit number or % of total sales. In other words he could remove all the pool tables and still have a solid business.

Think about that. A pool room without pool tables is the new formula.

Pool less pool rooms, a new trend sweeping the nation.

Who would have thought?

Best
Fatboy
Let’s call it 10% pool and 90% everything else … how many room owners would dance the Charleston on the highway while blindfolded if they could increase their income tenfold … even twofold.
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Little more insight

Need full liquor, poker machines(legally), full kitchen, promotions, pool is just a activity in what I’d define as a 2022 “pool room” it’s not the core biz. Drinkers are your core customers.

Need to be in a market where rent is 75¢-$1.00/sf a month. Anything more than 1.50/ft your just making the land lord money. This biz just doesn’t work in high NNN lease buildings.

Bar boxes are the key, only to smash more drinkers into the venue. Johnny could add more pool tables-but they would get in the way of the drinkers & karaoke(makes more than any pool table ever).

So I revised my “smash as many bar boxes into the whole place as possible” formula. That’s not correct. That’s too much pool.

Revised idea is take 50% of your space and smash in barbox’s and the other 50% with tables chairs. Low tops, high tops. Karaoke/live music space.

The pool tables are really a side show, a activity like darts at this point in running a profitable biz.

No of course not, this isn’t my dream pool room. But I’m talking about making $ and pools being a small part of it. Very small now. But that’s the reality of the current biz environment we live in.

The biz I just described in the right markets (the south) is ripe. I’ve seen it first hand-it’s working.

Just remember it’s not about pool, it’s about making $.

Want a pool room? Be ready to lose, and that’s ok if your deep enough and it’s worth it. Not all biz have to be profitable. Some guys build their hangout win or lose.

That’s my 2022 poolroom revisited ideas for profit. Less bar boxes more drinkers

And equally as important be in a City/Town/County that wants you to be there. Go set up shop where your wanted and celebrated. In any biz venture for that matter.

Avoid areas where they hate you from day 1. Hardtimes Bellflower was a prime example of that in 88. They (city of bellflower) hated Chuck-ask Jay.

You have to open where everything lines up, rent, customer base, licensing, does the town/city embrace or tolerate you?

If everything doesn’t line up. Game over. Huge losses. If it does, good return on a investment. It’s not $1M to open a joint in the south. 350–450 gets it done.


Good luck
Fatboy
If I open a bar in a town of 100,000 to 200,000 people . iyo am I better off to make it a bar with dancing.....live entertainment .....or pool tables?
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If I open a bar in a town of 100,000 to 200,000 people . iyo am I better off to make it a bar with dancing.....live entertainment .....or pool tables?
Bar if you can get a license

I don’t like retail biz’s. Can’t scale them. They are a job at best.

But gun to my head, liquor over pool. Ideally both
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bar if you can get a license

I don’t like retail biz’s. Can’t scale them. They are a job at best.

But gun to my head, liquor over pool. Ideally both
Sorry I wasn't clearer. We both agree it's a bar, would you add pool. Or entertainment /dancing in some fashion with extra floor space, or just make the thing a bar period?
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sorry I wasn't clearer. We both agree it's a bar, would you add pool. Or entertainment /dancing in some fashion with extra floor space, or just make the thing a bar period?
I’d add everything that would draw people. Trial and error. Live music, sing along machines, contests, pool, what ever works. Sports on a bunch of TV’s. I wouldn’t just open a alcoholic’s bar. A fun festive atmosphere where the party is as. And good front of house staff-good looking girls & guys for all job positions. Positive vibes. What your selling is “fun”. Make the joint a fun joint and your dollars per sf of sales will be a better number each month.
 

LWW

MEMGO5
Silver Member
A fun festive atmosphere where the party is as. And good front of house staff-good looking girls & guys for all job positions. Positive vibes. What your selling is “fun”. Make the joint a fun joint and your dollars per sf of sales will be a better number each month.
So many people miss that.

Happy customers return.

Happy customers stay longer.

Happy customers spend more, both in total and per hour.

If one wants a successful business, the best advice I can give:

- The customer will never be treated better by your employees than the employee is treated by you.

- Pay fairly, supply fair benefits, give training which encourages success, treat people well … it does pay off. The productivity of people who are happy vs unhappy is substantial.

- Never forget that the customer is paying for everything a successful business does. The customer pays the heat, lights, phone, cable, Wi-Fi, mortgage, taxes, salaries, benefits, advertising, licensing yadda yadda yadda.

- If you are, after becoming established, paying part of this out of your money … you aren’t successful, at least not yet.

- Anything which is not growing/supporting the business needs to be cut and the monies reinvested or taken to the bottom line. And to come full circle, any bottom line profit is paid by the customers.

- Want more profit? Find more paying customers, keep good employees, provide a good/service people are willing to pay for.

- Realize that each week contains only 168 hours. In one way or another you must spend all of them that week. Spend them wisely.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So many people miss that.

Happy customers return.

Happy customers stay longer.

Happy customers spend more, both in total and per hour.

If one wants a successful business, the best advice I can give:

- The customer will never be treated better by your employees than the employee is treated by you.

- Pay fairly, supply fair benefits, give training which encourages success, treat people well … it does pay off. The productivity of people who are happy vs unhappy is substantial.

- Never forget that the customer is paying for everything a successful business does. The customer pays the heat, lights, phone, cable, Wi-Fi, mortgage, taxes, salaries, benefits, advertising, licensing yadda yadda yadda.

- If you are, after becoming established, paying part of this out of your money … you aren’t successful, at least not yet.

- Anything which is not growing/supporting the business needs to be cut and the monies reinvested or taken to the bottom line. And to come full circle, any bottom line profit is paid by the customers.

- Want more profit? Find more paying customers, keep good employees, provide a good/service people are willing to pay for.

- Realize that each week contains only 168 hours. In one way or another you must spend all of them that week. Spend them wisely.
Very well said!👍💪
 
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Reactions: LWW

LWW

MEMGO5
Silver Member
Very well said!👍💪
Thanks, but one thing I forgot that has worked for me ... and that is dealing with the 'BAD' employee.

I always considered it a company and personal failure if I had to discharge an employee ... with one exception. I WOULD FIRE A THIEF INSTANTLY AND WITHOUT HESITATION! And, don't ever lie to me ... jokes and such aside.

I fired a guy who went to college with me over stealing $40.00. My primary business mentor once fired a guy over a $2.00 gas receipt. He explained it this way. Everyone can be dishonest for the right amount under the right circumstance ... but the guy who would steal $2,000,000 wouldn't likely ever steal $2.00, but they guy who would steal $2.00 is likely stealing just because they can.

Every employee knew there I stood.

Be honest with me and I'll stand up for them at all times. If things are rough, talk to me. I might not take you to the CHOP HOUSE ... winner of the El Duya seal of approval ... but neither will I allow you to go hungry, but don't ever mistake kindness for weakness.
 

chefjeff

If not now...
Silver Member
I think that a community center type of place is in demand now, moreso than a happy place.

2 years without much of that has folks jonsin' for it.

My opinion.


Jeff Livingston
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks, but one thing I forgot that has worked for me ... and that is dealing with the 'BAD' employee.

I always considered it a company and personal failure if I had to discharge an employee ... with one exception. I WOULD FIRE A THIEF INSTANTLY AND WITHOUT HESITATION! And, don't ever lie to me ... jokes and such aside.

I fired a guy who went to college with me over stealing $40.00. My primary business mentor once fired a guy over a $2.00 gas receipt. He explained it this way. Everyone can be dishonest for the right amount under the right circumstance ... but the guy who would steal $2,000,000 wouldn't likely ever steal $2.00, but they guy who would steal $2.00 is likely stealing just because they can.

Every employee knew there I stood.

Be honest with me and I'll stand up for them at all times. If things are rough, talk to me. I might not take you to the CHOP HOUSE ... winner of the El Duya seal of approval ... but neither will I allow you to go hungry, but don't ever mistake kindness for weakness.
I went through 68,000 employees in the credit biz from 96-08. Call centers have very high turnover. My executive staff of 40-45 people I had almost no turnover.

It took me probably 10 years of being a biz man to really learn how to be a good employer. Now it’s automatic, but man did it take a long time and a million mistakes to learn that skill set. Possibly the most important part of being a biz man.

I’m not a shop keeper. I rarely go to my businesses or job sites. I just get my daily numbers and progress pics etc and go from there.

Getting in front of problems by hiring the right people at first is the real trick. And that’s the hardest part to learn. Reading people. Student of human moves/nature thing.

Carrying myself as a leader and being respected is key as well. Also I’ve never bounced a payroll check on my life. Payroll was $350,000/week from 2000-2007. Never missed once. That matters a lot too. I tend to over pay people just a hair. Holds them better.

Best
Fatboy
 

Fast Lenny

Faster Than You...
Silver Member
I honestly believe right now I am part of managing one of the highest earning and nicest places with more than a dozen tables in it that is in the country. It was quite the process these past 5 plus years fine tuning it to what it is today and we continue to learn stuff and make changes. I believe that is the thing to do is make the changes as needed to reach the numbers you would like. It started out as Freezer's which was more a poolroom and we later become more of a sports bar which worked a bit better. Now I would consider us an adult entertainment center where grown folks can come and have lots of fun, kid friendly early on and date friendly too.

I think a traditional poolroom with chips and soda isn't going to cut it in this day and age. Remember cheap air sucker water drinking complaining pool players are not customers but problems taking up space. I would go the sports bar route and have some pool tables along with darts. You need a full liquor license, lots of TVs, music, great staff and one of the most important things is great food. You can have a hole in the wall and if the food is good you will have people beating down the doors. Location is certainly important along with parking. We have nearly 200 parking spots and many times we use them all up but thankfully we have some extra parking from the bank across the street which we got permission for.

The place is 16,000 square feet, seating for over 400 people and have around 80 TVs, full bar and full menu, arcades and darts. We also have some free gaming like ping pong, foosball, shuffleboard and cornhole. For pool there are 12 seven foot Diamonds and 10 nine foot Diamonds, when we started we had over 30. League 4 nights out of the week but never on Friday and Saturday night and no tournaments on those nights. There is a waiting list most Friday and Saturday nights and its drinkers and fun players with no serious players there which we like because these people spend money.

The real money is from parties and events since we have so much to do there and alot of space. We do multiples on each night from birthday parties to corporate parties. Since we are near ASU we also do college nights and it can be quite interesting with 400-500 kids showing up to party so we will have a good amount of security to handle that. I think one big key thing is if you can own the building or get a very good price per square foot renting. I think for many that is the biggest nut to crack. Make it a place that ladies like to come and the men will follow with their wallets. Staffing and turnover is high especially when near a college but you put your aces in their places and it makes running things much smoother.

Here are some images of our place now. Our owner Jason Chance is no longer with us as he passed away not long ago. I learned a good deal from him as he was a great businessman with a heart of gold which you don't see that combination very often. He certainly is missed.

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Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
On my way! Wow that looks great. I need a trip to Phx anyways. When I’m back I’ll figure it out.😃💪

I met Jason, he was a hell of a nice guy. I was very sad to hear he passed. I didn’t know what happened to the room. I saw scott 10-12 days ago in Vegas but I didn’t ask. I thought there was some drama there, wasn’t sure. Scott & I are cool. Didn’t want to ask a weird question.

Looks like a formula for a modern era room that will be successful. The ASU idea I always thought was the best insurance policy for that room, when I first heard of it.

Happy your there Lenny, I wasn’t sure if that either. Sorry I didn’t call you, I missed my flight to Wyoming about a year ago. 8 hours at the airport🤬. And I didn’t get on the plane.

I have a couple pics from a long time ago I’ll txt you when I’m back or maybe sooner. Nobody has them. I don’t post pics online of friends etc ok hot girls I do😇.

Take care,

Fatboy 😃
 
Last edited:

trentfromtoledo

8onthebreaktoledo
Gold Member
Silver Member
I honestly believe right now I am part of managing one of the highest earning and nicest places with more than a dozen tables in it that is in the country. It was quite the process these past 5 plus years fine tuning it to what it is today and we continue to learn stuff and make changes. I believe that is the thing to do is make the changes as needed to reach the numbers you would like. It started out as Freezer's which was more a poolroom and we later become more of a sports bar which worked a bit better. Now I would consider us an adult entertainment center where grown folks can come and have lots of fun, kid friendly early on and date friendly too.

I think a traditional poolroom with chips and soda isn't going to cut it in this day and age. Remember cheap air sucker water drinking complaining pool players are not customers but problems taking up space. I would go the sports bar route and have some pool tables along with darts. You need a full liquor license, lots of TVs, music, great staff and one of the most important things is great food. You can have a hole in the wall and if the food is good you will have people beating down the doors. Location is certainly important along with parking. We have nearly 200 parking spots and many times we use them all up but thankfully we have some extra parking from the bank across the street which we got permission for.

The place is 16,000 square feet, seating for over 400 people and have around 80 TVs, full bar and full menu, arcades and darts. We also have some free gaming like ping pong, foosball, shuffleboard and cornhole. For pool there are 12 seven foot Diamonds and 10 nine foot Diamonds, when we started we had over 30. League 4 nights out of the week but never on Friday and Saturday night and no tournaments on those nights. There is a waiting list most Friday and Saturday nights and its drinkers and fun players with no serious players there which we like because these people spend money.

The real money is from parties and events since we have so much to do there and alot of space. We do multiples on each night from birthday parties to corporate parties. Since we are near ASU we also do college nights and it can be quite interesting with 400-500 kids showing up to party so we will have a good amount of security to handle that. I think one big key thing is if you can own the building or get a very good price per square foot renting. I think for many that is the biggest nut to crack. Make it a place that ladies like to come and the men will follow with their wallets. Staffing and turnover is high especially when near a college but you put your aces in their places and it makes running things much smoother.

Here are some images of our place now. Our owner Jason Chance is no longer with us as he passed away not long ago. I learned a good deal from him as he was a great businessman with a heart of gold which you don't see that combination very often. He certainly is missed.

View attachment 638529View attachment 638530View attachment 638531View attachment 638532View attachment 638533


View attachment 638538View attachment 638539View attachment 638540View attachment 638541
I LOVE IT!!! I AM SERIOUSLY GOING TO FLY OUT TO THIS PLACE!! Hats off to you sir!!

TFT
On my way! Wow that looks great. I need a trip to Phx anyways. When I’m back I’ll figure it out.😃💪

I met Jason, he was a hell of a nice guy. I was very sad to hear he passed. I didn’t know what happened to the room. I saw scott 10-12 days ago in Vegas but I didn’t ask. I thought there was some drama there, wasn’t sure. Scott & I are cool. Didn’t want to ask a weird question.

Looks like a formula for a modern era room that will be successful. The ASU idea I always thought was the best insurance policy for that room, when I first heard of it.

Happy your there Lenny, I wasn’t sure if that either. Sorry I didn’t call you, I missed my flight to Wyoming about a year ago. 8 hours at the airport🤬. And I didn’t get on the plane.

I have a couple pics from a long time ago I’ll txt you when I’m back or maybe sooner. Nobody has them. I don’t post pics online of friends etc ok hot girls I do😇.

Take care,

Fatboy 😃
IM IN< LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU ARE GOING!!

TFT
 
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