Net Cafe/Gaming Lounge Question Page 1 / 2

haybales, Mar 6, 9:17am
I live in a pretty small town, and we had 1 web cafe attached to a computer fixit shop open office hours only. And then we had another 1 open longer hours catering more towards gamers. Its totally been done really badly, they just blacked out the windows and put a few computers on the existing furniture(it was a closed down lunchbar b4), real ghetto styles. They never seem to have any customers and was wondering how a regular well setup business of this nature should work?And I was thinking how exactly the numbers should stack up? What sort of internet connections are needed? Because of what I sell, I wonder if in a small town that isnt even due for ADSL2+ for another 12 months, if it would work? And also because of what I sell, whether I could set one up, but go heavier ob console type games, if thats even legal? If anyone here operates something similar, how do your numbers stack up? Id be interested to 'pick your brain'

masarius, Mar 6, 9:33am
Looks like the 'Mana Bar' that was set up by Yug and Yahtzee in Brisbane is doing quite well - might be something you would like look at for ideas.
http://brisbane.manabar.com.au/


haybales, Mar 6, 9:45am
Wow, thats impressive. I was thinking more along the lines of not a bar. Id suspect most of the patrons would be kids as theres not even a movie theatre in town, so nothing for entertainment. I think I definitely favor using consoles though. How many xbox live games or psn network games could you run through a DSL connection before the lag got excessive?

masarius, Mar 6, 10:48am
I have no idea, I imagine it would depend on a lot of things including the quality of your local internet infrastructure (perhaps someone more knowledgeable will be able to answer?).

But something to think about is that most of the games on offer at the mana bar are party games (rock band, mario kart etc...), fighting games and shooters. These games aren't being played online but on single consoles - through split screen or whatever. I think you could certainly provide some online multiplayer but it looks like the money might be in trying to achieve a party atmosphere where people can challenge each other old school arcade style.

(hope that makes sense ??

vtecintegra, Mar 6, 10:56am
Depends on a lot of factors but in a lot of areas 1 is pushing it on an average ADSL connection.

Also its probably against ISP terms of service to share out and charge for the connection, you'd need a proper business connection which is likely to be far more expensive (and is certainly not going to give you unlimited traffic)

haybales, Mar 6, 11:23am
All good points, its only an idea at this stage, so talking with people in the know might give me a better direction for a decent business plan. The party games networked through a hub is a valid point, games like mario kart/halo etc are a lot of fun even offline. you could possibly get away with only half of the machines having an online presence, less than half if you take wii into account.

None of the ISP's give unlimited traffic now so its user pays anyway. I didnt think you could hook up to a 80gb telecom plan and for it to do everything. But then 80gb is a LOT of gaming also if you take out the biggest bandwidth hugger...downloading. xbox live only uses about 40-80mb an hour??

My initial thoughts were 8 xbox 360, 8 ps3, 4 wii's (estimates to put in the biz plan)

smac, Mar 6, 7:27pm
Talk to some ISP's about business plans/connections. Totally different world to what you'll see advertised for home user. You'll probably need to pick up the phone to get decent info.

haybales, Mar 6, 9:55pm
Yeah, the telecom website has some business plans, 60gb for 97+gst and $1.50 per gb over that.
Does anyone know what the occupancy rates would be typically for internet cafes? I know its a 'how long is a piece of string question'. But there would have to be a magic number, if you have 20 spots available on an hourly basis, what % could you reasonably expect to fill in an average week.

masarius, Mar 6, 10:27pm
In all honesty I think that if you are in a small town and targeting kids as your primary market then your peak hours will be after school between 3:30 and 6pm and weekends... How well you do during those times will be entirely reliant on your marketing.

haybales, Mar 6, 10:41pm
Initial thoughts are 3pm-8pm weekdays, and weekends. I dont think marketing is too much of an issue as the only other thing to do in town is a skate park. It would be nice to partner up with someone on the PC side of things as well to add another facet to the business like PC repairs/upgrades etc.
I know stereotypically this type of biz is pc dominated with charging for their related services, to which the existing internet cafe in town caters for. But thinking outside the square and seeing a gap in the local market for a demographic of 14+ year olds right up to 30's?
Or is it unreasonable to expect people to pay for something that they might already have at home. Unless its more about the social interaction.
Maybe a regular video arcade might be easier.

masarius, Mar 6, 11:24pm
I can certainly see it working with consoles, perhaps even more so than a stock standard arcade. I went to uni down in Dunedin and throughout my degree I was meeting up with people for gaming. At first it was LAN parties with my PC, then after I got an xbox we would network them together and have 8 player halo matches (team of 4 people on each xbox split screen). It was great - the party atmosphere you could get at a LAN is just something you just can't replicate online. People would be yelling, challenging each other, arguing, laughing...

Add to that a good atmosphere, some comfy couches, and some food (for sale of course) and I think there you'd have a winner.

thenexus, Mar 6, 11:27pm
Im somewhat involved in what you're talking about doing - for me it is a project, a hobby even. I still have a day job and intend to keep it. We're making money, but I can make more doing what I am doing now, rather than running a net cafe/gaming centre, so its largely left up to our staff to manage.

Unreasonable to expect people to pay for stuff they have at home - not at all, we have customers that started out on our PCs and 360s that have since bought them (in some cases they've bought our old gaming PCs), and still come in regularly. Its very much a social interaction thing for them, plus they've only got 1 360, or a couple of computers, so playing multiplayer with friends is hard... Younger ones cant just set up a LAN party at home, because parents will say no, and these are also the customers that can't afford to fork out for the lastest gaming release, or afford the new graphics card that the game demands.

Would be happy to discuss this with you further, and maybe discuss some ideas on the console angle, as this is something we've only recently (late last year) got in to, and we're probably not doing it as well as we could be!

william
@
[username]
.co.nz

haybales, Mar 7, 12:32am
awesome, i'll email you now and shoot a million questions at you..lol

haybales, Mar 7, 9:17am
I live in a pretty small town, and we had 1 web cafe attached to a computer fixit shop open office hours only. And then we had another 1 open longer hours catering more towards gamers. Its totally been done really badly, they just blacked out the windows and put a few computers on the existing furniture(it was a closed down lunchbar b4), real ghetto styles. They never seem to have any customers and was wondering how a regular well setup business of this nature should work!And I was thinking how exactly the numbers should stack up! What sort of internet connections are needed! I wonder if in a small town that isnt even due for ADSL2+ for another 12 months, if it would work! And also because of what I sell, whether I could set one up, but go heavier on console type games, if thats even legal! If anyone here operates something similar, how do your numbers stack up! Id be interested to 'pick your brain'

masarius, Mar 7, 9:33am
Looks like the 'Mana Bar' that was set up by Yug and Yahtzee in Brisbane is doing quite well - might be something you would like look at for ideas.
http://brisbane.manabar.com.au/

haybales, Mar 7, 9:45am
Wow, thats impressive. I was thinking more along the lines of not a bar. Id suspect most of the patrons would be kids as theres not even a movie theatre in town, so nothing for entertainment. I think I definitely favor using consoles though. How many xbox live games or psn network games could you run through a DSL connection before the lag got excessive!

masarius, Mar 7, 10:48am
I have no idea, I imagine it would depend on a lot of things including the quality of your local internet infrastructure (perhaps someone more knowledgeable will be able to answer!).

But something to think about is that most of the games on offer at the mana bar are party games (rock band, mario kart etc.), fighting games and shooters. These games aren't being played online but on single consoles - through split screen or whatever. I think you could certainly provide some online multiplayer but it looks like the money might be in trying to achieve a party atmosphere where people can challenge each other old school arcade style.

(hope that makes sense ??

vtecintegra, Mar 7, 10:56am
Depends on a lot of factors but in a lot of areas 1 is pushing it on an average ADSL connection.

Also its probably against ISP terms of service to share out and charge for the connection, you'd need a proper business connection which is likely to be far more expensive (and is certainly not going to give you unlimited traffic)

haybales, Mar 7, 11:23am
All good points, its only an idea at this stage, so talking with people in the know might give me a better direction for a decent business plan. The party games networked through a hub is a valid point, games like mario kart/halo etc are a lot of fun even offline. you could possibly get away with only half of the machines having an online presence, less than half if you take wii into account.

None of the ISP's give unlimited traffic now so its user pays anyway. I didnt think you could hook up to a 80gb telecom plan and for it to do everything. But then 80gb is a LOT of gaming also if you take out the biggest bandwidth hugger.downloading. xbox live only uses about 40-80mb an hour!

My initial thoughts were 8 xbox 360, 8 ps3, 4 wii's (estimates to put in the biz plan)

smac, Mar 7, 7:27pm
Talk to some ISP's about business plans/connections. Totally different world to what you'll see advertised for home user. You'll probably need to pick up the phone to get decent info.

haybales, Mar 7, 9:55pm
Yeah, the telecom website has some business plans, 60gb for 97+gst and $1.50 per gb over that.
Does anyone know what the occupancy rates would be typically for internet cafes! I know its a 'how long is a piece of string question'. But there would have to be a magic number, if you have 20 spots available on an hourly basis, what % could you reasonably expect to fill in an average week.

masarius, Mar 7, 10:27pm
In all honesty I think that if you are in a small town and targeting kids as your primary market then your peak hours will be after school between 3:30 and 6pm and weekends. How well you do during those times will be entirely reliant on your marketing.

haybales, Mar 7, 10:41pm
Initial thoughts are 3pm-8pm weekdays, and weekends. I dont think marketing is too much of an issue as the only other thing to do in town is a skate park. It would be nice to partner up with someone on the PC side of things as well to add another facet to the business like PC repairs/upgrades etc.
I know stereotypically this type of biz is pc dominated with charging for their related services, to which the existing internet cafe in town caters for. But thinking outside the square and seeing a gap in the local market for a demographic of 14+ year olds right up to 30's!
Or is it unreasonable to expect people to pay for something that they might already have at home. Unless its more about the social interaction.
Maybe a regular video arcade might be easier.

masarius, Mar 7, 11:24pm
I can certainly see it working with consoles, perhaps even more so than a stock standard arcade. I went to uni down in Dunedin and throughout my degree I was meeting up with people for gaming. At first it was LAN parties with my PC, then after I got an xbox we would network them together and have 8 player halo matches (team of 4 people on each xbox split screen). It was great - the party atmosphere you could get at a LAN is just something you just can't replicate online. People would be yelling, challenging each other, arguing, laughing.

Add to that a good atmosphere, some comfy couches, and some food (for sale of course) and I think there you'd have a winner.

thenexus, Mar 7, 11:27pm
Im somewhat involved in what you're talking about doing - for me it is a project, a hobby even. I still have a day job and intend to keep it. We're making money, but I can make more doing what I am doing now, rather than running a net cafe/gaming centre, so its largely left up to our staff to manage.

Unreasonable to expect people to pay for stuff they have at home - not at all, we have customers that started out on our PCs and 360s that have since bought them (in some cases they've bought our old gaming PCs), and still come in regularly. Its very much a social interaction thing for them, plus they've only got 1 360, or a couple of computers, so playing multiplayer with friends is hard. Younger ones cant just set up a LAN party at home, because parents will say no, and these are also the customers that can't afford to fork out for the lastest gaming release, or afford the new graphics card that the game demands.

Would be happy to discuss this with you further, and maybe discuss some ideas on the console angle, as this is something we've only recently (late last year) got in to, and we're probably not doing it as well as we could be!

william
@
[username]
.co.nz

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