For many restaurants, millennials make up almost one-third of their revenue. This generation chooses restaurants that can offer “a new experience.” They look for experience-based environments, like live entertainment, game night, unique ambiance, and unusual food. They’re looking for the ultimate social entertainment venue.
Adam Breeden, the creator of some of the top social entertainment venues in the UK and the U.S., is delivering. The co-founder of Puttshack, Flight Club, Bounce, All Star Lanes, Hijingo, and Kindred Concepts has made entertaining diners his mission, combining sports with technology to create unsurpassed innovative concepts.
The Beginning of Fun & Food
Breeden’s first business was The Lonsdale cocktail bar in London, winner of Time Out Bar of the Year and an overnight success. Then, in 2006, the beginning of his establishments that combined food and fun emerged with All Star Lanes, a concept that brought glamour, good food, and cocktails to bowling. He handed off the successful enterprise when inspired to create the first social ping pong club known as Bounce.
He told EMERGING, “I think the real tipping point was when I created an entertainment concept with ping pong. At that point, no one had really fused an activity that had previously been just for fun with food and beverage.”
Like his first endeavor, Bounce was a huge success, with a second one opening just three years later, in 2015. It opened in Chicago under the name AceBounce and prompted other founders in the entertainment space to wonder what other activities could work. According to Breeden, it was at that point that a lot of entertainment concepts came quickly to the UK. “I think that is why the UK is so ahead of the rest of the world in terms of the variety of concepts that exist there and the competitive socializing space compared to other markets in the U.S.” He was quick to point out that it will soon be everywhere on a global scale.
Competitive Socializing Continues to Advance
Since then, he created a flurry of additional concepts, including Flight Club. Flight Club won the Best New Venue in London award within five months of opening. A second one opened just two years later, in 2017. From there, they headed to the U.S., opening the first one in Chicago, with plans to roll out across the nation. It offers a twist on the classic social darts game at British pubs, combining state-of-the-art technology with one of the oldest established English pub games, including instant video replay.
Of course, the enterprising entrepreneur didn’t stop there. His thoughts turned to other sports that could fit into this concept, and the world’s finest mini golf experience was born. The Jolliffe brothers, founders of Topgolf, helped bring their golf technology to mini golf. “The two guys that invented Topgolf came to me with a technology that is effectively a computer in a golf ball, which enables you to automatically score mini golf.”
Called Puttshack, it combines the best food and beverage, transforming miniature golf into a social entertainment concept. It’s launched in the UK and the U.S. Breeden shared that they’re looking to open 10-15 units a year in the U.S. and follow in the footsteps of Topgolf in terms of target valuations.
The next social entertainment concept to open was Hijingo, bringing a bingo concept to a younger audience. This bingo has transformed into a “very high-tech focused game with great lighting and sound, making it like a theater production.” Again, it’s been a huge success in London.
On to Formula 1 Racing
Not one to rest on his laurels, he then headed into the world of racing. “I think this is the biggest thing I’ve done yet. Formula 1 follows the same playbook, which is taking an activity, combining it with phenomenal food and beverage, and great design, and then forensically going through how to gamify the activity such that it can appeal to everybody. It’s racing for all standards, all backgrounds, and ages.” In February, Breeden and Motorsport Games announced a global agreement with Formula1 to create the next-level competitive socializing experience. Breeden’s most ambitious project yet is an immersive state-of-the-art F1 racing simulation experience introduced to a mass audience. Formula 1’s commitment is apparent as the global brand has taken a meaningful equity position. Up to 30 venues will roll out worldwide in the next five years. Like Breeden’s other concepts, it will cater to families, corporate events, social gatherings, and everything in between.
Technology Makes the Difference
According to Breeden, “I can certainly vouch for the fact that bringing technology into these businesses is the game changer. One of the things that we’re doing in the new F1 business is the systems architecture. We’re building in the back end of the business, which is critical in terms of our ability to upgrade and control the business. The data we can capture and analyze and what that means regarding property acquisition, procurement and supply chains, and loyalty, leverages and enhances our opportunities.”
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