How to Start a Family Fun Center

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Family fun centers offer a variety of entertainment for adults and kids designed to keep them busy for hours on end. Many entertainment centers feature miniature golf, a climbing wall, go-carts, laser tag, video game arcades, jungle gyms, bowling alleys, pool tables, nightclubs and lounge bars. They also host birthday parties and other events. The construction is costly; however, if your area lacks clean, indoor recreational activities, with proper planning, your center should prove highly lucrative. Start with a detailed business plan.

Things You'll Need

  • Business license
  • Insurance
  • Designer or architect
  • Contractor
  • Amusement equipment
  • Liquor license
  • Food permit
  • Employees
  • Hit the streets and poll college students, parents and kids to find out what type of amenities your family fun center should have. Find out how many local schools are in the area to give you a better idea of your target demographic. Begin creating a list of popular and affordable amenities. Then contact a business liability insurance provider to learn what the insurance costs will be for each. Visit family entertainment centers in your area to help you get a better idea of the type of amenities you want, as well as to gain insight on usage.

  • Select a location for your family fun center. Look for a high visibility area with easy access, such as near a mall, near new housing developments, downtown or situated near a highway. Then contact your zoning department to obtain zoning approval.

  • Hire a licensed contractor and an architect who specializes in designing entertainment centers to help you construct your site and connect you with equipment distributors. Or contact distributors directly to get connected with a specialist who can help you design your entertainment center. Submit copies of your plans to your building department.

  • Obtain all the required licenses from your local city hall and health department. These may include food handling permits, a sales tax permit, federal tax ID and a liquor license. Schedule an inspection of your kitchen with your health department.

  • Hire cooks, waitresses, a DJ, bartenders and a manager, if necessary. If serving alcohol, ensure that all employees hold the required permits and understand the importance of checking identification.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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