4 Ways to Drive up Traffic in Your Cyber Cafe

Posted on: Dec 07, 2017 By admin in Tips,

You already know that increasing traffic is one of the most basic ways to drive up profits, but there’s a limit to how many flyers you can hang up around town. When it comes to getting more people through your doors, a little ingenuity can go a long way.

The truth is that if you want to bring in new faces, then don’t put your business in a box.

You need to be creative and willing to experiment if you want to grow your customer base. After all, many of your potential customers can throw their own LAN parties at home. Access to free wifi is as simple as a trip to a local fast food joint. So what can you do to keep gamers coming to you?

Expand Your Services

If you’re still seeing your business exclusively as a provider of Internet and gaming, it might be time to expand your services.

The first step is to consider what your patrons actually need, not what you want them to need. Generally people are going to LAN Centers and cyber cafes for perks they don’t get at home like socialization, so get creative with what additional services you can offer them. Could you include private gaming rooms for special events and parties? Do you currently offer a good concessions selection, complete with meal options and energy drinks to help gamers boost up?

Consider offering the following:

  • Party services
  • Gaming packages
  • Console gaming
  • Extended gaming hours
  • Co-working space
  • Board games and tabletop games
  • Increased concession selection
  • Loyalty and reward programs

Reimagine Your Target Demographics

You might think you know the type that should be coming to you business, and that may or may not align with who actually does step through your doors. Recognizing who you are currently servicing can get you to think about how to cast a wider net.

For example, you may be attracting a lot of the local college students on the weekend, but during the week there’s a lull because most of them are in class. In this case, you might consider offering fun gaming specials that target younger kids and their parents during the week, like Mario Kart or Super Smash Brothers. Or if you want to attract adult patrons, you might consider offering a gaming “happy hour” with specials they can take advantage of after work.

Remember, everyone has the potential to be a customer. So while you may currently have a setup that attracts hardcore gamers, try having a selection of lighter games, and hire employees that are friendly and willing to assist newcomers in using your facilities.

Be the Ultimate Third Place

One of the major reasons anyone would game outside of the home (aside from not having access to certain games or equipment at home) is for socialization. Gaming at home can get very lonely, and as gaming becomes a more mainstream hobby, there is a greater demand to make it more sociable.

But this need isn’t unique to gamers or computer users–the concept of the third place has found its way in the community building vocabulary since Ray Oldenburg published The Great Good Place over 20 years ago. The general concept of the third place is that it is a social space, one outside of the workplace and home. The third place is the anchor of a community.

When considering how to make your center a hospitable third place, consider Oldenburg’s following quote:

“The character of a third place is determined most of all by its regular clientele and is marked by a playful mood, which contrasts with people’s more serious involvement in other spheres. Though a radically different kind of setting for a home, the third place is remarkably similar to a good home in the psychological comfort and support that it extends…

Set up spaces in your cafe for lounging, with tables for eating, and sofas for relaxing. Try to create an inviting atmosphere that encourages people to chill out and converse. You may even consider providing handheld consoles and board games for checkout. Find a way to lose some structure and craft areas that encourage spontaneous hangouts and socialization.

Create a Hybrid Business

Some of the most successful LAN centers and cyber cafes have multiple streams of revenue. Consider other needs gamers and computer users have in your area. Perhaps you have a good relationship with a distributor and you can sell equipment, or maybe you can sell collectibles or comics. Other hybrid ideas include:

  • Space rental
  • Event hosting
  • Game selling/renting
  • eSports viewing parties
  • Comic shop
  • Computer or console repair
  • Arcade gaming
  • Bar or restaurant
  •  Gaming summer camp
  • Code tutoring

Don’t drive your business in the ground by ignoring other potential streams of revenue. While it may be difficult to wear several hats in one business, it’s imperative to diversify and keep testing what increases traffic and what doesn’t. Gaming and computers can be at the core of your business, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to attract new customers and increase revenue.

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