View Full Version : What does it take to run a pool hall?

08-02-2006, 12:49 AM
I am wondering what it takes to run a pool hall. What type of things happen behind the scenes of just a pool hall, no bar/restaurant intergration. In my local place I don't see much of the behind the scenes things occur. I am looking for things that the regular visitor of such a place would not know about. What it takes to keep the place going. If anyone here has any experience in the field I would love to know.

08-02-2006, 09:51 AM
I don't have experience, but I have an idea what goes on. Initially, you need to come up with all the equipment, cues, balls, racks, ball holders, counters, chalk, scoring beads (if counters aren't on the tables), lights, pool tables, small tables for setting things on, chairs, ashtrays if you are in a area that allows smoking, and cleaning supplies. If you are going to sell accessories then you'll need to build up an inventory. Tips, maintenance tools, cases, cues, etc. If you are going to provide tip replacement service then you'll need a lathe and glue. Then you'll need the shop owner accessories, cash register, software & computer or time stamp and forms if done manually. You'll need floor/carpet cleaning stuff, brushes, vacuum, ball cleaner, window cleaners, bathroom supplies, etc. Advertising will need to be done. Phone book ads acquired and paid for yearly. Utilities and rent will need to be paid. You'll need a mechanic or learn table maintenance. You'll most likely want to buy your own cloth to get it as cheaply as possible. You'll want to encourage league and/or tournament play to help fill the room, so you may need to contact the league operators for the more popular leagues in your area and poll customers to see if they are interested in starting a team or start one yourself and poll for additional members. You'll need to figure out what hours will work best for your area. Some people think that it is beneficial to have a couple of coin operated tables for kids that come in and don't want to pay by the hour. Pinball or video games may be another consideration. While you may not want the headaches that serving alcohol can bring, you will definitely need some sort of drinks. You can invest in an ice machine/soft drink system or a refrigerator and cans of soda bought from Costco or a distributor. Bottled water would be a good idea. Then you have to deal with all the vendors and service people that will be contacting you on a regular basis trying to ply their wares. Then there are the two biggest hitters. One is the time you will need to spend getting started and then keeping things going. I would plan on spending most of every day for the first couple of months at least. The 2nd one is dealing with the public. It takes a special person to deal with all the crap people dish out and still maintain a cheerful and welcoming attitude. As you no doubt know already, few places nowadays know how to treat customers right. It's pretty easy to maintain your cheerfulness for the first few years, but if you don't have the right personality, it can kind of be like what you see happen to cops where they get jaded after awhile and start treating everyone like a criminal. I'm sure there is plenty I left out, but this should give you a start. Others will probably fill in what I left out.

08-03-2006, 07:56 AM
I do have "some" experience. The same things as every bisnis: keep your personel from stealing, get your guests to behave civelized.
The most important thing that i see collegues forget is: get personal, make a family atmoshere where one feels welcome to walk in on ones own, have a good game, be treated with respect and make new friends.
If you wanna see how it's done contact me at club 8 Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

08-03-2006, 09:21 AM

08-08-2006, 11:00 AM
Im thinking youll need minimum of 60 thousand dollars and probably should start with 100+ thousand.
after that you can expect a relativly low paying job for as long as you can keep the doors open. Wanna get rich ? Open 20 pool halls. Once isnt going to do it.
Selling out 20 tables at 10 bucks an hour for 10 hours a day is only 2.000 a day .. Realisticly this isnt going to happen. Youll sell about 5 tables for 7 hours a day on average even if you have 20 tables. Expect to take in 300-500 a day and no more. Pay a bartender and your taxes and your broke still. Its not a great business model. The best clicks does 100k per month which includes full liquor . and a staff of 10 employees darts , games , dozens of telivisions and very high rent. Nobody is getting rich off one location.

08-14-2006, 05:41 AM
I was intially just looking for more information about what it takes to run a pool hall but have since had much more interest in owning a pool hall. I am thinking about it more and more as I explore this as a business.

sofy60 - so that would put the yearly bet income around 30-40k?

Any ideas on where I can inquire about table leasing or purchasing?

Any pitfalls I should be looking for? I would like to explore this some more.