"Do not tell me what is new; tell me what is never old"

When Henry David Thoreau, the American author, poet and philosopher, spoke this advise, there was no such thing as a family entertainment center (FEC) or location-based entertainment center (LBE) as we know them today. Yet, these words of wisdom have a lot to offer the FEC and LBE industry.

Success in the FEC and LBE industries is all about the basics and executing them well. It’s not about chasing the next big thing, but rather how you serve up proven basic attractions. Attractions such as bowling, laser tag, miniature golf and go-karts have stood the test of time. They work. The secret is how you serve them up to match to a particular target market, both age-wise and socioeconomically.

It is like chicken. People have been eating chicken for who knows how long. But you can serve it up in different ways. If can be fast food fried chicken to capture a particular market, or BBQ chicken, or a gourmet chicken dish served at a white-table cloth restaurant.

The problem we see at many FECs, including new ones, is many of their attractions are not time-tested ones that never get old, rather just the next big thing that could well be a fad, and what attractions they serve up, whether new or time-tested, are not served up to match the majority potential market, upper-middle and higher income customers. It is sort of like trying to sell KFC fried chicken to a white-table cloth restaurant customer. It just doesn’t work. It’s the same issue we discussed about the two worlds of bowling in the previous article.