One room. One game. And that's it. Or is it, actually? We used to think that escape room is one-and-done type of entertainment, but what if there are certain ways to advance past this shortcoming?
If you are an experienced escape room owner or just starting to sketch up your future business plan, you probably know these three words – "customer lifetime value". Simply speaking LV is the amount of money each customer can potentially give you, assuming he purchases every product you offer for the time being. Besides that, the escape room business is very lucrative in its fundamentals, but that incredibly limited LV leads to some fundamental flaws.
First of all – the cost of attracting a new customer (via Google AdWords, Facebook or whatever) will be basically the same if you have 1 escape room and if you have 10 of them. Once the customer is yours (assuming you provide a quality product and service) – you will barely need to spent money to re-attract customer to play second room, than the third and so on. So the more rooms you have – the less (per room) will you have to spend on advertisement. On the other hand – if you are looking to compete on over-saturated market, you can very likely face the situation where the big escape room franchise can afford to spend much more on customer attraction, pushing the cost-per-click numbers beyond your possibilities.
The best case scenario is usually having as much rooms/games as possible for as little money as possible. Saving money on rent is an obvious path, but quality never comes cheap – the less expensive place usually means less income projected. But what if we can save money on rent without forfeiting the quality and double the amount of games available for customer (and double the LV, too)?
Pro-tip: Our suggestion is – run 2 different games in 1 room. Sounds weird? Let me explain.
Some of the popular escape room themes can share the interior look, while being having completely different narrative, puzzles and atmosphere. For example – "Hangover" and "1408" both normally take place in a hotel room, so the basic construction work and interior décor can match for both themes. Assuming we need the difference in atmosphere – the lights and sounds can do the trick, while having 2 parallel puzzlelines with different props is not that complicated as it may look at first glance
Working on the "1408" scenario we found out that the floor plan was quite similar to the one we used in "Hangover" previously. And the more we thought about it – the more reasonable it seems to put both games in one room, saving tons of money on rent and doubling the possible income for our customers.