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The $100,000 Mistake

MoreCashA proper laser tag attraction layout can literally increase your potential revenue by $100,000. I know what you’re thinking. What silly gimmick are we trying to push here? How can operators leave $100,000 on the table? Depending on the layout of your facility, it may already be too late.

Having a proper layout doesn’t just mean a well-designed arena. In fact, your briefing and vesting room layouts are even more important. We know that there are operators who will lay out their attraction based on either their own designs or on the recommendations of someone else. If you don’t know how to design a laser tag attraction that can increase your revenue and the people giving you advice don’t have your best interest in mind, you may be missing out.

Let’s take a look at two designs, first being a layout that combines the briefing and vesting room into one room.

attract design 1 webThis type of model exists in many laser tag arenas across the country. Chances are, there’s one in your area to go see. One way into the arena and one way out for your players to the lobby (ignoring your emergency exits of course). This type of construction will allow for usually 3 games per hour. Pretty average.

This layout means that your customers in your lobby who want to play will have to wait until your customers currently playing get done unvesting to get into your briefing/vesting room combo to get their 3-4 minute brief on how to play the game.

Many operators are fine with this kind of layout. In fact, some operators may even tell you they were ADVISED to construct this way. Would they be fine if they knew $100,000 was on the line? Probably not.

Now let’s take a look at the separated briefing and vesting design.

attract design 2 webHere we have the separated rooms. The difference for your players is that now one group can be getting briefed by your Game Marshal while the game currently in progress is coming to an end. While you are finishing your briefing, your current players are hanging up their vests and exiting to the lobby. This process will save you about 4 minutes each game, allowing for the potential of running 4 games per hour.

The difference between the two are roughly 180 square feet of space. Not a lot. What if I told you this 180 square feet was the difference between making or losing $100,000 per year? Let’s break it down.

What is the big deal about one game per hour? Is this really a thing? Let’s look at the numbers and see why we’re making this claim.

To calculate revenue for your facility for your laser tag attraction you only have to know a few numbers that you can probably spout of the top of your head.

  1. # of vests your attraction uses – for this, we’ll take an average attraction for a family entertainment center, say 20 vests.
  2. # of games per hour – we’ll show the difference between 3 and 4 here.
  3. # of hours open per week – on average, a facility is open 45 hours per week.
  4. $ you’re charging per game – on average, a facility charges approximately $7 per game.
  5. # of weeks in a year – 52 obviously
  6. % capacity utilization – for every major attraction in the entertainment industry, 30% is the average capacity utilization.

So knowing these numbers let’s look at the difference in potential revenue for our attraction.

For 3 games per hour: 20 vests x 3 games per hour x 45 hours open per week x $7 charge per game x 52 weeks x .30 utilization = $294,840

$294,840 is the average amount of money you can expect to make with a 20 player system. That’s not bad, not bad at all.

Ready to see the difference one game can make?

For 4 games per hour: 20 vests x 4 games per hour x 45 hours open per week x $7 charge per game x 52 weeks x .30 utilization = $393,120

The difference between running 3 games per hour to 4 is approximately $98,280, almost $100,000, if you’re just doing average business!

I know this sounds too good to be true, but use your own numbers and do the math. There’s no bloated sales hype here that you’re going to run on 75-100% of your utilization. We’re talking just average numbers. Your store could do more based on your actual utilization.

So why isn’t everyone doing the 4 games per hour scenario? The sad fact is that some can’t. They don’t have the right layout to accommodate 4 games per hour or are afraid to speed things up to reach these numbers. If you’ve never seen these types of layouts before and you own a laser tag attraction, the question you have to ask is: Why didn’t we start with this kind of layout?

Did your laser tag provider recommend separating your briefing and vesting rooms to allow for more throughput? Did you build your attraction yourself and not realize this is how you should have laid things out? Did your arena provider neglect to tell you these things or convince you to use the 180 square feet of space for another minor attraction that won’t even make you half of what you COULD be earning? Regardless of the situation, now you know.

Running 4 games per hour can take some getting used to, but when your staff learns how to do it right, your own sales can start increasing immediately. But they can only run 4 games per hour if your facility is designed to handle it.

Don’t make the mistake of going the easier route of combining your briefing and vesting rooms. Leaving that 180 square feet of space for briefing can be one of the biggest income boosters for your entire facility.