“Eatertainment” is an innovative dining concept that goes beyond the traditional restaurant experience. The meal is just one part of the overall experience in eatertainment establishments. These unique venues aim to blend food with entertainment, offering patrons a chance to savor their meals while enjoying a wide range of captivating activities, immersive themes, interactive performances, or fun games. Where does eatertainment stand in 2023 (and beyond)?
Dave & Buster’s, a popular chain of restaurants and entertainment centers, is facing challenges in increasing customer visits post-pandemic, with Q2 2023 same-store sales down 6.3%, attributed to macroeconomic factors beyond their control. The eatertainment industry, including Dave & Buster’s, is experiencing traffic declines as consumers shift toward at-home entertainment. The company has responded with six growth initiatives, focusing on digital marketing and loyalty programs. They plan to roll out a new food and beverage strategy and continue store remodeling. Despite challenges, Q2 2023 revenues increased by 15.7%. Dave & Buster’s is modernizing its stores to improve guest engagement and drive traffic, with remodels planned through 2024.
Eatertainment: Emerging and Growing Concepts
Traffic declines aren’t stopping entrepreneurs and investors. Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake have collaborated to open T-Squared Social, a massive sports bar in Midtown Manhattan. The 22,000-square-foot space offers craft cocktails, upscale pub food, and indoor sports activities. While open to the public, members can access various benefits for $250 per quarter, including reservation privileges and exclusive perks. The bar features golf simulators, duckpin bowling lanes, dart bays, and over 30 TVs, including a 200-inch screen. The drink menu includes craft cocktails and an extensive beer selection, and the food ranges from standard bar fare to gourmet options, with some unique twists.
Robert Thompson, founder of Punch Bowl Social, has recently secured over $200 million in investments for his new eatertainment concepts, Camp Pickle and Jaguar Bolera, under parent company Angevin & Co. Investors include industry veterans Bill Allen and Stephen King. Camp Pickle is a pickleball and dining venue designed for a broad age range, featuring indoor and outdoor spaces with pickleball courts. Thompson emphasizes that most emerging pickleball models are paddle clubs, while Camp Pickle integrates eatertainment successfully, leveraging his decades of experience in the industry to attract a wide range of consumers.
Puttery, an eatertainment venue featuring indoor mini-golf, food, and craft cocktails, has just opened on Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza after a year and a half of anticipation. The 24,000-square-foot space has three nine-hole mini-golf courses with different themes, including nods to art and urban landscapes. Owned by Drive Shack, with an investment from golfer Rory McIlroy, Puttery plans to have 50 locations by the end of next year. The menu includes entrees like Sticky Ribs and Ahi Tuna Bowl, and appetizers and pizzas. The venue also has three bars and space for private parties.
It will be interesting to see how these concepts fare. In the meantime, if you’re seeking to open your own eatertainment venue and need expert consultation from branding to menu engineering, please contact Synergy.