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Subject: Opening new cafe - advice needed. rss

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Dave Koert
Canada
Stratford
Ontario
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Hello, I am helping open a new Cafe here in Stratford, ON. It's called Knight and Clay. We will be offering over 250 games of all sorts and also have a ceramic painting area with our own kiln onsite, as well well as a full service kitchen with snacks and sandwiches, and a candy bar.

I was hired on as a shift supervisor, and I am leading the gaming side as well. I will be training staff in the kitchen and serving as I have 25 years exp in the front and back of house in the restaurant industry.

What I am mainly looking for is some advice on easy to learn hard to master type games that range from 1< hr playing time, 1-3 hr and 3+.

Some of the games that I feel fit that I have played a lot are... any of the Ticket to Ride, Stone Age, Pandemic, Blokus, Power Grid, Carcassone, 7 Wonders, Stratego, most all of the Classic games, many card and dice games.

I am also going to run some trivia nights, and dart tournaments.

We will not be selling any games onsite.

Wish me luck, and any advice appreciated!

Dave



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Greg S
United States
Gloucester
Massachusetts
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The boardgaming collection of the boardgaming cafe near me /collection/user/TheCastleBeverly?own=1&subtype=boardgame&ff...
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George P.E., PMP, DM
United States
Austin
Texas
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When I go to a FLGS or cafe to play board games, I'm hoping to play games which interest me but I haven't bought, yet. The main reason I haven't bough it yet is because it's >$25 or so. Right now, those games are Eclipse and Twilight Imperium (Third Edition).

I know that when I walk into a place and people are playing miniature games like Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game or Wings of Glory it definitely catches my eye and makes me want to check it out. Players laughing a lot has a similar draw, like when we play The Red Dragon Inn.
 
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Nothing says "I love you" like a new dice bag
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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Qwirkle, or Qwirkle Cubes, have a familiar feel, but add a new element (with minimal rules) and are durable. They seem like a good fit.

Can't Stop
is another one.

Machi Koro, especially with the expansion.

No Thanks

Splendor

Tsuro
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Chris Graves
United States
Oregon
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Catan is essential. I'd also include: King of Tokyo/New York, Munchkin Deluxe, and Tsuro of the Seas (for me, more fun than Tsuro).
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Wim van Gruisen
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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I'd say that your collection can't be without a game like Cluzzle
 
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Hive or Hive Pocket
Easy to learn (but hard to master) and no setup time, plus it is immune to any spilled beverage.
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Steffen Eichenberg
Germany
Bretten
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My newest favorite game: Ekö

Quick to explain, every game I played so far took less than an hour, looks good on the table, the playing pieces are made of wood, besides the map there is no cards or cardboard, can be played on small coffee tables and delivers a rich gaming experience (the game has an arc, different strategies and tactics to explore, variable setup, 4 mini expansions delivered with the base game).

+1 to Hive


Edit: add referece to Hive
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Kyle
Canada
Toronto
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Your list would be good for attracting new people, but would likely not do much at all to attract already seasoned gamers, so if you want to tap into the existing market, you would likely need to make sure you took things a step beyond basic.

Hive is definitely a great recommendation, excellent game, quite thoughtful, very small footprint, indestructible.
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darthain wrote:
Your list would be good for attracting new people, but would likely not do much at all to attract already seasoned gamers, so if you want to tap into the existing market, you would likely need to make sure you took things a step beyond basic.

Hive is definitely a great recommendation, excellent game, quite thoughtful, very small footprint, indestructible.
I'm not so sure seasoned gamers would be such a good thing.... they tend to play longer games, which means turnover of tables is much less. OTOH, the OP did ask for 3+ hour games, so it looks like there's a plan for that anyways.


<1 hour
Hive
Sushi Go
Can't Stop
Love Letter
Coup
Avalon/The Resistance
Dominion

1 to 3 hours
Progress: Evolution Of Technology
Ticket To Ride
Settlers Of Catan
Sheriff Of Nottingham

3+ hours
Eclipse
Battlestar Galactica
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Raymond Morehouse
United States
Redlands
California
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A lot of people will want games they are familiar with. Monopoly, Clue, Risk, etc. will get played. And help introduce other, better games.
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George P.E., PMP, DM
United States
Austin
Texas
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Soldier wrote:
A lot of people will want familiar with. Monopoly, Clue, Risk, etc. will get played. And help introduce other, better games.


I'm ashamed to post here that my non-gaming wife will only play CAH, Exploding Kittens, and Monopoly - and maybe Pass the Pigs. It's hard to get her interested in anything heavier, like what I want to play.
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Matt Simpson
United States
Tampa
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Forbidden Island or Forbidden Desert

Dark Moon might be a better alternative to BSG since it's shorter

and of course Codenames
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Raymond Morehouse
United States
Redlands
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In all seriousness, being ashamed of popular games may be what dooms BG cafés. I see people playing cards, checkers, dominoes, Monopoly, etc at pubs all the time. People like those games, and a business would be foolish to not have them on hand. Plus you could be well stocked after a couple of trips to a thrift store.
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Bob Zurunkel
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You might consider having theme nights, either as a regular feature or for special occasions. Say, for example, that Cthulhu games are popular in your area, have one night each week or month dedicated to Cthulhu games. Or less specific, such as "Mystery Night" for that type of game.

I agree with the others about having a wide range of games available; don't be a game snob.
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GeorgeMo wrote:
Soldier wrote:
A lot of people will want familiar with. Monopoly, Clue, Risk, etc. will get played. And help introduce other, better games.


I'm ashamed to post here that my non-gaming wife will only play CAH, Exploding Kittens, and Monopoly - and maybe Pass the Pigs. It's hard to get her interested in anything heavier, like what I want to play.


Texas gets invaded by gamers every November. Start saving your nickels for a BGG.Con ticket.
 
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George P.E., PMP, DM
United States
Austin
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indigopotter wrote:
GeorgeMo wrote:
Soldier wrote:
A lot of people will want familiar with. Monopoly, Clue, Risk, etc. will get played. And help introduce other, better games.


I'm ashamed to post here that my non-gaming wife will only play CAH, Exploding Kittens, and Monopoly - and maybe Pass the Pigs. It's hard to get her interested in anything heavier, like what I want to play.


Texas gets invaded by gamers every November. Start saving your nickels for a BGG.Con ticket.


I've already purchased my BGG.CON Spring pass. I think I can get her to go to Dallas for the weekend but probably not to the con as she'd rather shop or go to museums. I think I'll start another thread on suggestions to get her interested in the BGG.CON Spring. Thanks.
 
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Lina B
United States
Colorado
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Out of curiosity, how are you going to keep games clean? The dust alone from the ceramics side will be challenging. Then add glazes, slip and the like, and cardboard games don't stand a chance.
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Nothing says "I love you" like a new dice bag
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Lina688 wrote:
Out of curiosity, how are you going to keep games clean? The dust alone from the ceramics side will be challenging. Then add glazes, slip and the like, and cardboard games don't stand a chance.


Glass wall/doors?
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HuguesDePayens wrote:
Call me crazy, but the idea of a library never really drew me to a game store. Keeping up with the Joneses is the name of the game when it comes to libraries, and that costs resources, time, and money. I would much rather go to a game store where they have playable copies of games they sell rather than a massive library of games that I have to go elsewhere to buy.

I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I am just offering my $.02
I'm sure others are with you there, but for me, the appeal of a games café are... having others to play with, and a venue to do so. Those are the bottlenecks that are keeping me from playing more games.* I don't really care about buying games b/c I would just buy them online. Again, games are pretty useless when you don't have anybody to play them with, or don't have a lot of value when you don't game often enough.


* I will digress that if I were in an area with a gaming café, I'd probably have much more local groups to game with, and then wouldn't really need a gaming café.


EDIT: Also, selling game can be an expense. A bg café is still a café, and it could cut back on some of that if they focused on answering questions about the game, and food service.
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Bill Gallagher
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Soldier wrote:
A lot of people will want games they are familiar with. Monopoly, Clue, Risk, etc. will get played. And help introduce other, better games.

Agreed. Having a good selection of children's games (Candy Land, Mouse Trap, The Game of Life, Operation et al) will also get a lot of play by families who bring their kids.

As the board game café is a social experience for many, having larger tables holding up to 8-10 people for Coup, The Resistance, Shadow Hunters and others of that ilk would be a plus.
 
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Flex Dolphynn
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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Jungle Speed and Quoridor are easy to pick up.

King of Tokyo fits as well.
 
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I Need More Coffee
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When I see people talk about board game cafes I am curious how the effect of the same group taking a table for up to 4 hours (to finish a longer game) at a time and not necessarily ordering anything new after their initial purchase does to revenue? I've always been under the impression that restaurants need to maintain a certain amount of traffic per table per night to make any money, but if all the space is taken up and the table never turns more than once a meal shift how do you offset all of that? I see places charge people by the hour, but the places I've been to its usually a paltry amount, or quickly forgotten about and never collected so I just wonder how you make money on the arrangement compared to a normal restaurant?
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Ringo Stalin
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Draughts London have now been operating for over a year and have been going absolutely gangbusters.

I recommend taking a look at how they operate.

EDIT: Further thoughts about this - Draughts really came into its own when they introduced table service, as opposed to patrons queueing at the bar for drinks - it reduced crowding, waiting times, and staff stress. I was a KS backer so I've been watching their progress from the beginning and it's been really interesting to see them grow and learn from their mistakes.
 
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Ahmed Bulbulia
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Hi,

Im also planning on opening a BGC in New Zealand later this year. Do you know if there's a forum for people in this industry? If not, I think it would be a really valuable resource.

Good luck.

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