A Division of H. Betti Industries, Inc.

A Division of H. Betti Industries, Inc.

February 10, 2020

Why You Should Add an Arcade Game Room to Your Bar or Restaurant

There's nothing quite as fun as spending time with friends at the local bar to get together, have a few drinks, and talk the night away.

If you own a bar or restaurant, there's always something you can do to make your place more appealing to your valued customers.

Adding arcade games to your venue is an awesome way to bring people in and enhance the customer experience. Check out this helpful guide that explains why a game room can reap lots of benefits for your bar or restaurant.

Arcade Game Room

Cash in On Extra Space

Maybe you've been wondering what to do with that awkward, empty area toward the back of your bar. Why not earn some extra revenue and add a few arcade games to the mix?

When you create a game room, it's a smart use of space, and it gives your customers a place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the main bar area. From an old conference room to a former storage area, make use of this space with some fun pinball machines or arcade games.

Wasted space is also wasted money, so it's a good idea to make some use of it. When you add the games, you'll not only attract new people to your bar, but you'll also gain new income.
If your business has a lot of foot traffic or tends to have long wait times, a game room is also a wise choice. This gives customers something to do while they wait to be seated, and it makes the experience fun right from the start.

There's no doubt that people are naturally drawn to the allure of an arcade game. Whether you install a vintage Atari or the latest, hottest game, people will flock there to check it out and enjoy their gaming experience. 

Everyone Loves Arcade Games

Adding a game room isn't just reserved for adult bars. These awesome games are fun for all ages, which makes them perfect for restaurants, pizza joints, and cafes.

Some customers may not like to see a bar or restaurant that tries to make extra money selling merchandise. But an arcade game is something that's universally loved, and it still gives you some extra money on the side.

Whether your new game room is packed with games or just has a few in the corner, it's a fun addition to any venue that will bring more visitors through your doors. Parents also love game rooms since it keeps the kids entertained while they enjoy a meal and conversation.

Once people get word of your new game room, it will likely spread, giving your business some free word-of-mouth advertising. In some cases, just having arcade games in your place of business can bring new people in and encourage them to return.

One of the most appealing things about arcade games is that it brings a sense of nostalgia for many adults. Kids who grew up in the 80s loved the awesome Pac-Man arcade in the back of the local pizza joint. You can recreate this nostalgia with some vintage games that will bring in generation Xers and millennials alike.

Increase Dwell Time

Outer Orbit, based in San Francisco, brings food and fun together offering spirits and Hawaiian-inspired dishes & desserts along with 9 Pinball machines available for guests to enjoy a long and exciting stay after they’ve finished a meal or are enjoying a few cocktails. To draw a bigger crowd to their establishment, Outer Orbit also hosts Pinball tournaments – each with a different theme, teaches Pinball basics classes, and generously allows a ‘Free Play Wednesday’ every Wednesday to bring in more foot traffic and gain more regulars. Which leads to our next benefit.

Pinball Machines

You Can Create Special Events

When you set up a game room in your bar or restaurant, you can take advantage of this new attraction by creating a few special events. For example, if you have pinball machines, come up with an awesome "Stern Army tournament" to bring customers in.

Special gaming events are a ton of fun, and it's very likely your visitors will enjoy a few food items and drinks as they hang out and watch everything unfold. Offer a prize or two for the winners of your arcade-playing contest to encourage people to participate.

These special events can help you create a sense of community, and they may just turn into a tradition at your establishment. Market the special event online using social media to help spread the word.

Having arcade games at your bar or restaurant can make the place seem much more laid-back and lighthearted. Use the games to your advantage and see how many different special nights you can come up with.

When you add an attraction like a fun game room for your business, it encourages people to spend more time there. When people spend more time at a bar, they're probably going to spend more money, too.

The Corvette Diner is one of many restaurants that are part of the Cohn Restaurant Group that has arcade games as an important part of the footprint and experience for customers. The themed location creates an atmosphere that's perfect for parties for young and old.

Ask your employees for some suggestions for a fun event that features your games. A Sunday brunch gaming tournament with delicious food and mimosas is a great option. You can also offer to rent out your venue for other special events like wedding receptions, parties, and other get-togethers.

Mix Things Up

Once you create your game room, you can come up with new, innovative ways to change things up. Your game room doesn't have to just feature arcade games, so consider a few other things you can add.

Dartboards are a popular choice among bar-goers. If you have extra wall space, install a few dartboards away from the arcades where patrons can have some dart throwing fun.

Pinball machines go great with arcades, and they're a classic game that kids and adults of all ages love. And if you have the room, add several pinball machines to the game room and line them up against the wall for a fun look.

Depending on how much floor space you have, you can even add a pool table or two. Draw out a sketch of the room before you purchase games and create a layout. This will make it easy when it's time to set up and install all of your new games.

Lighting is especially important in a game room, so make sure you have ample light in this space. Pendant lights over pool tables are a classic accent that provides your customers with the light they need to make the shot.

A jukebox is another classic way to entice customers into your bar or restaurant. Rather than playing music over the speakers, try a digital jukebox with thousands of songs for customers to choose from.

The sky really is the limit when it comes to creating your game room, so don't be afraid to mix things up! Remember that your goal is to spread the word about your business, encourage customers to visit, and to make extra revenue.

Target Your Customer Base

Think about all of your goals as well as your targeted demographic when you set up your game room. For example, if your customer base tends to be older, darts and pool tables are a great option. Younger crowds will love pinball games and freestanding arcade games.

Once you create a comfortable, fun place for your customers to hang out, the game room will do the rest of the work for you. Even if your place isn't big enough to host a bowling alley or a basketball court, arcade games will bring in repeat customers again and again.

Place a few barstools in front of the games so people can sit down while they play. Put high pub tables nearby to make it easier for customers to put their beer down as they compete against their friends for the highest score.

All of the little details you add will ensure that you've created something inviting, fun, and memorable for patrons to enjoy. As time goes on, you'll be able to hone in on your particular customer base to make your establishment their first choice.

You can even tweak your menu to focus on the games you have. For example, if you've got a ton of retro arcade games, make new drink names that incorporate the name of the game on the menu.

In time, you might even come up with an entirely new business model centered around your game room!

If you're not sure where you source your games, there are plenty of reputable distributors who can sell or lease games to you. Whatever you choose, make sure you practice good maintenance on all games to keep them in good working condition.

A reputable arcade distributor will help you select the perfect games and they should provide you with a service contract. Shop around to find a distributor near you who can make your game room dreams come true.

Fun Times and Extra Revenue with a Game Room

Now that you're aware of the many benefits arcade games can bring, it's time to set up your new game room. Make the most of any extra space you have and create a place where customers new and old will want to spend their time and money. To learn more about how we can help with your game room installation visit our Bars & Restaurants page.

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James Liess

James Liess leads marketing and communications for Betson Enterprises focused on working with manufacturing partners to grow awareness of products and services. He has more than 15 years of experience working with global brands in the sports and entertainment industry. 


  • I loved that you mentioned having a game room will provide fun for your family. My husband and I are thinking about moving to our new house, and we are looking for advice about how to decorate our basement. I will let him know about the benefits of having a game room in our basement to help him decide.

  • I liked that you pointed out that if you want to add an arcade game to your restaurant you will want o think about who comes into the shop. My sister wants to open a small cafe near a college this spring. It seems like finding some classic old school games that most college kids grew up playing might be a smart thing for her to get for her shop.

  • Our world class escape room will give all members of your family lots of enjoyment. Plus, we have the latest state-of-the-art arcade games to challenge your skills. Serving classic Johnny Rockets burgers and shakes, combined with their full bar making it a great place for dinner or to watch your favorite team! 

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