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How to Open an Escape Room Business in 8 Steps

How to Open an Escape Room Business in 8 Steps

Escape rooms have become one of the most popular entertainment trends in recent years, offering participants a thrilling and immersive experience. By 2027, it is expected to be worth USD 8.1 billion!

The escape room market is anticipated to reap the benefits of technology that enhance the gaming experience and the increasing interest in escape rooms among younger travelers. The recent steady growth of this industry can also be attributed to the emergence of virtual escape rooms and the expansion of escape room franchises.

So if you’re considering starting your own escape room business, this comprehensive guide will take you through the eight essential steps to launch a successful venture.

Step 1: Conduct market research and a feasibility study

Before diving headfirst into the escape room industry, conduct thorough market research to assess the demand in your target area. Identify your potential competitors, their themes, pricing, and customer reviews. 

Determining whether your business location has sufficient foot traffic and potential customers to sustain your venture can be achieved through a feasibility study. A feasibility study involves assessing the practicality of your proposed project plan or method by analyzing various factors such as technical, economic, legal, operational, and time feasibility. Essentially, your question is, "Is this business feasible?" A feasibility study can be conducted by hiring a consultant or doing it yourself.

Step 2: Handle legal, regulatory, and safety matters

When running a business, you must be aware of your legal obligations. One of the first steps is to register your escape room business and obtain any necessary permits, licenses, and insurance. 

In addition, make sure that your venue meets safety regulations, such as fire codes and accessibility standards, to provide a secure environment for your guests. 

Establish clear safety protocols and ensure your team is trained to handle emergencies. Regular safety inspections should be conducted to monitor the condition of your escape rooms, including props and equipment, as well as testing and resetting puzzles to maintain functionality.

Lastly, obtaining insurance is essential for protecting your business and guests.

Step 3: Secure the perfect location

Choosing the right location is crucial for the success of your escape room business. High-foot-traffic areas, popular entertainment districts, or places near tourist attractions are excellent choices. 

But of course, these kinds of locations can be costly to rent/ buy. Factor in your budget when deciding, and if required, instead of paying for a prime location, opt for a location a little further out that is more affordable but right next to a public transport facility. This way, guests deterred from attending venues in busy or built-up areas will be drawn to your location.

Step 4: Create a unique and captivating theme

The success of your escape room business largely depends on the theme you choose. It should be exciting, immersive, and capable of engaging diverse players. 

Whether it's a historical adventure, sci-fi mystery, or horror-based thriller, make sure your theme stands out to attract guests.

Some popular themes include Mystery, Fantasy, Horror, Prison, Crime, and Steampunk.

Step 5: Develop challenging and thoughtful puzzles

Puzzles are the heart of any escape room experience. Collaborate with a team of puzzle designers to craft challenging and well-thought-out puzzles that match your chosen theme.

Remember to strike a balance between difficulty levels to cater to both beginners and experienced players.

Once you’re ready to build your space, hire skilled craftsmen and carpenters to bring your ideas to life. Invest in high-quality props, decor, and technology to enhance the experience.

Step 6: Hire and train friendly and enthusiastic employees

Creating an exceptional guest experience is crucial for any business that wants to succeed in the long term. And while many elements contribute to this, one of the most important is having an enthusiastic team fully committed to delivering top-notch service. 

So it's essential to train your team members to be friendly, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about the escape rooms that you offer. They should know all the details about the rooms, the puzzles, and how to guide guests through the experience. But beyond that, they should be encouraged to be creative problem-solvers and attentive to guest needs. 

By fostering a culture of enthusiasm and commitment, you can create a truly invested team in providing an exceptional guest experience. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction, more positive reviews, and, ultimately, more business. So take the time to train your team and encourage them to be their best. The results will speak for themselves!

Step 7: Build an online presence

It is crucial to have a robust online presence in this day and age. A website that is easy to navigate and displays your escape rooms, themes, and booking options is vital. 

To increase traffic to your website, consider hiring an SEO specialist. They can suggest strategies like using keywords to optimize your content, creating specific landing pages, promoting your site through digital ads, sending emails that link to your website, and more.

ROLLER’s progressive checkout feature is specifically designed to meet this objective. Learn more about the feature here

Also, ensure that you leverage social media platforms to engage with your audience, run promotions, and share customer experiences.

Read this next: ROLLER’s Progressive Checkout Reduces Time To Book A Party By 30%

Step 8: Choose a venue management solution

Once you’ve researched, landed on a theme, found a location, and designed and created your space, it’s time to consider which venue management system will be best for your venue.

Having more than one system to manage your business's different functions or working with outdated systems can unnecessarily complicate your operations and reduce profitability.

All-in-one systems help streamline and simplify your business operations, and techniques like ROLLER also offer many features that help escape room operators better manage their businesses, like the ability to sell tickets in-store and online, powerful POS, reporting and reconciliation functionality, a robust payments processor, guest feedback collection and analysis tool, and much more.

Help your guests escape the everyday

Opening an escape room business can be thrilling but requires careful planning and execution. By following these eight steps, you'll be well on your way to creating an engaging and successful escape room business in 2023. 

Remember, the key to success lies in providing captivating themes, challenging puzzles, and above all, delivering an unforgettable experience that keeps guests returning for more thrilling adventures. Good luck on your escape room journey!

Reach out to us if you need any help getting the business started, and we can talk through how ROLLER can help streamline your operations, increase conversions, and reduce business risk at your escape room.