Game Company or not?

Hey guys, pretty new to this forum.

I’m working at a little pizza buffet restaurant, mainly focusing on younger kids. Thus, the subject “game company or not?”

We’ve been with this game company for about 8 years, well i guess since we opened the place. The games take a big hit on the weekends, thus needing to be repaired. Sometimes these problems are very simple, like ticket jams or token jams. Other times, the computer goes down. Every time there is a problem we have to call this company, then we get angry customers when there is nothing we can do until an employee from the game company show up. Generally speaking I, myself can fix every problem we have with the exception of computer problems, but i could easily learn.

The point being is, we we’re thinking about getting away from this game company and getting our own games. We would just like some insight from others who own or have owned a similar buffet style place with games. We would like some thoughts from someone who has been with a game company and switched to getting their own games.

Do you think its a good idea?

Whats the downfall of doing this?

Is there a long-term profit from owning your own games?

Who would you contact for more advance internal problems? Such as a fried motherboard>

Anything that you can add to this would be great.


I think the answer is in your last couple of lines/questions. Especially

Who would you contact for more advance internal problems? Such as a fried motherboard>

What sort of split do you have with the game company? If it’s less than 50/50 you’re making nothing, paying for the game co’s electricity, and taking up room that could be better used in your restaurant.

If it’s 50/50, you’re doing about as well as you can. Last I looked into any games, and it has been a few years, payoff was pretty long, like 3 years. Of course, it depends on what you charge per game, and what games you have. has forum members that could help you repair motherboards or send it to them for repair.

I have purchased three arcade games for my pizza shop and have been able to get them working 100 percent myself. The newer the game (post 1990/Jamma) the easier they are to fix.

video games can take a while to pay for themselves,about 2 years in my case.once they are paid off they are all profit ,there is no sales tax either,and they use very little electricity.50/50 is the split on video games.your store may be a lot busier or slower then mine and the games will take a different amount of time to pay themselves off.they will have a trade in value but depreciate based on age , number of plays can affect value too.
on the other hand they are expensive to repair on the rare occasion they do break down and a pain in the but to sell once they need replaced,because after about 3 years or so it will be time to get 1 or more different ones to keep people interested.
some things can be fixed easily because some parts are an easy swap out, once you figure out what part went out.
sometimes the company that does your vending will repair machines that are not theirs for an astronomical price,other times you could run into an ex employee of said vending company or current that does work on the side.
buffets are usually considered good earners in the vending should have a crane or two in there,the video games,and a rack.the rack will be the hardest to do on your own since you would have only one unit.if you buy a dud toy you will be stuck with it while a vending machine operator can swap it out and put it in a different location where it might sell better.I would never use service vending.I started a small vending machine business after putting a few in my pizza shop,I “chat” with other vendors who taught me the ins and outs on .I may be able to refer to you an operator for that service if there is anyone I network with in your area.

We own are own games - bought them at auction. We have a claw machine and then we have a game that plays all of the old games like Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids etc… We go to the Dollar store to refill the claw machine. We actually dipped the claws claw in a rubber which helps the kids win about every 3rd time - its $.50 to play. The other game we let the kids play for FREE!.

As parents of 4 children,we know how nice it is for us to have a couple free moments together when we are at dinner. So we took that idea and have had a huge SUCCESS.

1st kids want to come to our place because they know they can play games and probably win something.
2nd Parents want to come because its a safe environment for their kids to play games while they get 5 minutes together.

We obviously dont do the games to make money off them, but make so much more because families choose to come to our place instead of the others .

Big giant thank you for all the feedback so far!

Here’s a little more detail about our store that may help:

Specifically our store is about 7,000 sq ft. This is seating at a total capacity of about 200+. We devote approx. 1800 sq ft to our game room.

In the game room we have a mix of crane, ticket redemption and just for fun play games. Outside of our game room we use a huge ticket redemption machine. With over 20 games in our game room, this is obviously a big decision for us.

If anyone has experience with this size and commitment to a game room, your thoughts and feedback would be greatly appreciated.