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TOPIC: More screens or cafe?

More screens or cafe? 10 Mar 2008 09:32 #29569

  • jacker5
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The theater I am looking at has an upstairs. It is large enough to house 2 more screens which the owner has blue printed out.
My dilemma is do you think there is more money with two more screens in addition 2 the excising two downstairs.
Or should I consider some type of cafe or better yet an arcade.
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Re: More screens or cafe? 10 Mar 2008 13:50 #29570

  • NSCInemas
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Without knowing the particulars of your situation, and your numbers I will make this guess... If it was me I would add the screens *IF* and *ONLY IF* you have the room and the money to do it properly, not just throw a couple of small rooms with used equipment that was not good when it was new. I would do it if you have the room to put in two nice sized well designed rooms with good sound systems and good (not neccesarily new but GOOD used) equipment.

Every "cafe" I have seen in a theatre has been pretty lame. Most of them become a pay roll burden and are often not staffed. Most of them are only open during certain shifts on the weekends or must share staff from the main stand. People who want something either think it's closed or must wait 5-10 mins to be noticed and have someone walk over there. From what I have seen they do not sell enough to justify the payroll and the cost of the equipment, and maintenance.

I have a friend who opened up a first class coffe shop. He spent over 200,000 not counting his lease and downpayment. Most theatre cafe's will not spend that kind of money on "coffee makers"

I know they can make some money but video games can be a pain. They eat peoples money and break down, they also invite kids and teens to loiter. If you set up the deal where you empty the machines you can make more money off of them but then you have to deal with emptying, counting, and depositing all that change and the auditing that goes along with it. If you have the vending company do it then you make less money. As I said though this has all been my experience and yours may differ.

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Re: More screens or cafe? 10 Mar 2008 18:26 #29571

  • BurneyFalls
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With digital projection coming into play in the not so far off future, don't forget to consider the added cost of the two additional projection systems to your analysis.
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Re: More screens or cafe? 11 Mar 2008 16:48 #29572

  • Big Guy
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Speaking from my own experiences, a cafe is a horrible idea. The per-item cost to the business is crazy and it can easily destroy a well-balanced payroll. The most popular drinks in this area are fruit smoothies and drip coffee. An Icee machine can be put in at concessions and a drip coffee maker can be also. I know Icee's aren't exactly the same as a smoothie, but they also don't cost nearly as much and offer that frozen alternative to a soda.

A cafe in a theater, based on my experience, is a money pit that can drag your entire business down with it.
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Re: More screens or cafe? 11 Mar 2008 18:17 #29573

  • Santikos
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The current cafe concept that we are using with gelato and Starbucks Coffee accounts for 22% of our total F&B revenue which on a Saturday requies six people behind the counter.

With all that said 99% of the cafe's in theatres never become profitable after food cost, labor and equipment.

Richard

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Re: More screens or cafe? 12 Mar 2008 10:29 #29574

  • NSCInemas
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At Loews we had what they called the NesCafe which was powdered coffee drinks by Nestle made with a machine that mixed the powder and hot water. The stuff was garbage, and never sold well. The machine was a nightmare, the powder would clog it constantly requiring the whole machine to be stripped down and cleaned. It was very labor intensive to keep operating. It connected directly to the water supply and one time the water line connection burst creating a nice fountain in our lobby! The only decent thing we sold were frozen drinks like Mochachinos with whipcream and chocolate/caramel syrup. Whenever we staffed it we would sell almost nothing but as soon as we closed it, or the staff person running it went on break someone would want something. It was such a headache! I think Loews replaced all thier NesCafe's with Starbucks maybe?

The best coffe machine ive seen for a theatre is the Green Mountain "K-Cup" machine. This machine also is connected directly to the water supply and keeps a reserve of hot water. They have like 50 or so different flavors of coffee that come in little tiny plastic cups with a built in filter, to brew a cup you select the flavor you want open a little draw and place the "K-cup" in. You place the coffee cup below the spout. The machine punches holes in the plastic K-Cup and runs the hot water through it and one cup of fresh brewed coffee is dispensed below. To clean up you open the drawer and throw away the empty "K-cup". This machine was great! It never malfunctioned, Never needed any serious cleaning, you could sell a huge selection of coffee flavors with NO waste. One cup at a time, EXTREMELY fast! I would reccomend this machine to any theatre looking to add coffee. Every cup id brewed fresh with no waste, ever!
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Re: More screens or cafe? 15 Mar 2008 18:39 #29575

  • jacker5
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I think I will lean towards more screens. They will house minimum 100 each after early specualtions.
I had a feeling about the pros and cons of a cafe and my freinds here helped me see the lite as usual!
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