I Have a Question

by TheFireHallGirl. Posted on Sep 16, 2020    2    14

So back when the pandemic took off, I got thinking and thought that having my own cookie store might be a good idea. My boyfriend and I got talking today about a different idea and I wanted to know what your thoughts were on it.

Here it is: having a board game cafe as a business. People would come and buy different things from the staff at the food and drink counter and take it to one of the tables inside the business. Along one or two of the walls would be a variety of board games and card games that could either be played in the business or be bought. Some of the games can be brand new and some can be used. People can also come in and do game trades or get accessories for the games they have at home. I didn't want to go down the road of selling Dungeons and Dragons or those Magic card games because in the nearest city, there's a game and comic book store that already sells that kind of stuff. I also like buying graphic t-shirts, so my boyfriend thought that selling graphic t-shirts would work as well.

What are your thoughts? I would love any constructive criticism and would take any suggestions you guys had. I've never written a business plan and have no idea how to start a business.


supertiffy 1

These type of cafes do great in the UK. One recently opened in Plymouth called Twist, and they sell food like nachos and sharing platters, as well as cocktails and beer. It looks awesome! Check them out if you want an idea of how well they are doing.

greg220 1
SafetyMan35 1

And if OP is not familiar with the DC, Northern VA area, the two areas where these are located are popular hang out spots for professionals ( Trade association staff and government contractors) after work and 30 somethings

LostWanderingWizard 1

There are board game cafe's to consider replicating if your area has none of them. But they are more of a borrow and use the game for the evening type of thing. Rather than a store.

  TheFireHallGirl 1

OK. The town I live in has over 5,000 residents and the closest city has roughly 70,000 residents. There is a comic book store in the city that also sell Dungeons and Dragons and other games like that.

There is a brewery in the city that has board games for people to play and a section at the front where they can buy beer and merchandise. At the back of the brewery is an Independent burger company that merged with the brewery and makes food for people.

LostWanderingWizard 1

I've never seen anything like that. But a café might still attract a different crowd than a brewery maybe? I'm in a city of around a million residents, I'm not sure how that compares with the percent of people and how it translates to make a business like that viable. Probably need to differentiate from the comic book store and the brewery, as little context as I have my only idea is to focus on service and experience over merchandising.

kippypapa 2

People don't play boardgames all that much. There is for sure a small group of dedicated European board game enthusiasts, but it's niche. You see board games as kind of a nostalgia thing at brew pubs and the like, but the board games aren't the real draw. The real draw is the boozing. Physical item discretionary sales just aren't what they used to be since the turn of the century. People are poorer than previous generations, have less space and more digital options to turn to for everything.

I would re-visit the cookie idea, but don't start a store off the bat. Start baking them for catering to start and see where it takes you. If you can build a local following, then it would be a good idea to invest in a bakery after people know about your cookies.

Dribblenuts-4343 1

Yeah, It's like the idea of darts or pool in a bar... You say "Let's go play some darts", so you don't have to say "Let's go drinking" Darts sounds fun... drinking sounds like a problem.

The pubs and cafes that have games use cheap well used games that can be easily replaced when they're damaged... They're something fun to make eating or drinking at your establishment a better choice than others...

Local market research is the best bet... If you think it's viable, build a business plan. Find out what the financials would have to look like if it were to survive. If it still seems viable do some market research... anonymous surveys... infiltrate like minded social media groups, pay attention to what they wished was better, find places that are already doing similar things and frequent them... talk to the owners if you can (Some are pretty tight lipped about things they deem proprietary... But a lot will give you a good amount of general knowledge, and pitfalls)... Things like that.

  TheFireHallGirl 1

OK. Yeah everything is an idea right now. I definitely don't have enough resources or product to have a brick and mortar facility. Thanks.

LavenderAutist 2

I'm going to be honest.

The market doesn't seem that huge.

But it all depends on your location.

Also, obviously COVID isn't a great time for something like this.

Online is where it's at right now.

A lot of those LGS's (MTG and Yu-Gi-Oh shops) are going out of business right now unless they pivoted to online.

WorkfromhomePE 3

Also 1990s coffee shops had a rack of random board games which were inevitably missing pieces

Note the players rarely did more than a drink a piece. So that’s a lot of time for seats to be occupied for one $4 drink

stevepra 3

I'm your target market and I think the market is too small. Most of the people who would go to your place already go to the game shop in the nearest city. And they are more interested in the games than they are in buying food and drinks.

The second problem you will have is that the pieces for all of the games that you leave out will go missing. I have never seen a game that had all if the pieces if it was available to the public.

I would pass if I were you.

  TheFireHallGirl 1

What are your thoughts on a store that just sold board games? The city I live near has a Toys R Us, a couple video game stores, a Walmart, and an independent comic book/Dungeons and Dragons/Maguc cards store.

stevepra 1

I saw your other answer that this is in a town of 5000 people. I'm not really sure about how viable it would be. Someone else may have more insight into a town that size.