Editor's Corner

In this issue, we are taking a look at a rapidly mushrooming segment of the out-of-home entertainment industry: location-based children's play, enrichment, tutoring and birthday party centers. The number of children hasn't changed that much since the last boom and bust of the soft-contained-play, pay-for-play centers, better remembered as the days of Discovery Zone. But all of a sudden, entrepreneurs are opening centers of all types to cater to young children. We've provided an overview of the types of centers sprouting up and our observations on the entire phenomena.

May was the month for the annual mega National Restaurant Show. We are surprised that so few people in the location-based entertainment industry attended, since food is so essential to an LBE's success. Based upon our research, location-based entertainment centers, and that includes family entertainment centers as well as all the types of children's play and entertainment centers, require destination foodservice if they are going to prosper. A destination restaurant drives frequency; entertainment alone does not. When destination dining and entertainment are combined into what is called eatertainment, per square foot sales are easily three times those generated by entertainment alone destinations. Read our article that summarizes some of the new equipment we found at the show, as well as important restaurant industry trends that were evident.

As usual, our eNewsletter contains a number of other informative articles, including information on a free webcast about trans fats and data on historic demographic trends in who spends how much on restaurants and out-of-home entertainment. And as you'll see from the last article, we are busy as ever working on a number of exciting and diverse projects.

Randy White