How to Make Profitable Escape Room - Creating an Escape Room
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Date: 10.02.2021


How to Start an Escape Room Business

Profitable escape room business
The escape room industry emerged in Japan 15 years ago, expanding into Western and Eastern markets by the early 2010s. In this form of community entertainment, players work together to solve puzzles and complete tasks within a set timeframe.

Interested in creating your escape room? Learn how to make an escape game with creativity, attention to detail, and understanding your audience. Opening an escape room business can be rewarding but comes with challenges, including a high entry threshold and the need for a constant advertising campaign.

Creating an escape room business has pros (high profits) and cons (high entry threshold, constant advertising, and the need for innovative scenarios and effects). Success in this industry requires a mix of creativity and business savvy.
Common types
72% of the modern escape rooms in the US alone are located independently. Some can be found within malls, arcade centers, and theme parks. The latter is more common for the mobile escape rooms — the emerging business model using modified or specially constructed V-nose trailers. Successful companies can become a brand and grow into a franchise.

Market overview
The escape room market is saturated, but not overly so. Even the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 didn’t affect it much. Only 4,3% of facilities were shut down permanently or temporarily (taking the US market as an example). There still was a 2% growth within the industry. The current estimated number of escape rooms worldwide exceeds 50,000 venues.
The current estimated number of escape rooms worldwide exceeds 50,000 venues.

Creating an escape room is a multifaceted endeavor that requires careful planning and attention to detail. To make your own escape room successful, it’s crucial to pay attention to every aspect, from the storyline and clues to the decor and special effects. Engaging in thorough research on the latest trends in escape room design and technology can help you stay competitive in this dynamic industry.

Additionally, building your own escape room involves testing and refining your puzzles and challenges to strike the right balance of difficulty and fun. As you create your own escape room, remember that player experience is paramount, so be prepared to adapt and improve based on feedback and player reactions.

Ultimately, creating an escape room can be a rewarding venture, offering opportunities for creativity and innovation. To succeed, a combination of creativity, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of your target audience will be key to building your own escape room that stands out in this thriving market.

Potential Profits and Costs of Opening an Escape Room

how much do escape rooms make

The market is really profitable. Studies in Asia show that profit margins are 75% in the first years, and the number lowers to about 50-60% later. These are average rates, and the profit can be a lot higher. Keep in mind that the market is localized. There aren’t any franchises which are popular all around the globe, so everyone has a chance to shine, by opening an escape room.

An average escape room charges each person $25-30 for an hour. 10-12 people can play at the same time. The most significant objects of expenditure are payroll, rent and taxes, not to mention expenses and your time spent on creating an escape room. Some escape games are simple and some of them are pretty sophisticated, so expenses vary.

After we examine the market, the next step is to decide what kind of room you would like to open. Would it be DIY or professional? What scenario will your room have? We have collected the most popular themes in this article.

So let’s imagine, you decided to design your own escape room. For this option we have collected some advice for you according to our experience.
How to build an escape room

How to Design Your Own Escape Room

Just follow a simple plan.

1) Creating an escape room starts from an idea. This part of creating an escape room is probably the simplest. Free your imagination, as this is the only option to think up a theme. Your own taste will be a judge. The idea should be thrilling, funny or both. It’s not bad to take inspiration from your favorite books or films. Keep in mind what themes attract your target audience. Kids, for example, will love Cinderella-themed escape rooms, but adults will not.

2) Before opening an escape room, put some details to the project. Just google 10 people or objects that are connected to the theme. Write them down on a piece of paper. The list will contain main characters and elements of your world. For instance, if there is a room on the theme of “House MD”, then even his stick could be a nice option.

3) How to create an escape room idea & make a storyboard. It will be an engine that pushes the game into play. This part’s importance is pretty obvious, but many people forget about it. The only rule remains the same: be creative. Don’t use cliché scenarios, as everybody is already tired of them. There is also a small nuance: if the setting goes on in just one location, it will be easier to manage.

4) Create an organizational chart. The step’s main goal is to put the complete story together. Write down all the timeline points and give each of them a description. Each note will be a puzzle or challenge. A little advice: put as many details as possible. Turning timelines into puzzles is not easy, so you’ll probably spend some time on that.

5) Select puzzles for challenges. If you don’t know what puzzles to use, then you can search for them on the Internet. Sometimes there are ideas so simple and so genius, that you will regret somebody came up with the idea before you.

6) Simplify the game and test it. The step is important because necessary changes will be obvious and you won’t have to spend too much time on accessories and details if something goes wrong. Invite as many teams as possible, as this is the only option to find out all disadvantages of the escape room before creating an escape room.
How to make an escape room

What Equipment is Needed to Create an Escape Room

As we have mentioned before, to do a custom escape room is impossible without proper equipment. Players will have a much more enjoyable experience, and you won’t have to do too much by yourself. All the equipment can be divided into 4 groups.

Command and control software

Room management software allows game masters to track players via camera system, communicate and interact with them. You can send hints, show a countdown timer, add some themed music, trigger some digital props, connect buttons in the room, control the lights via command center. There are too many features to describe all of them. The software is a suite that most businesses rely on, as it saves lots of money and increases productivity.
How to start an escape room business

Puzzles and gadgets

If you don’t want to think up puzzles by yourself, you can buy them too. It’s pretty convenient, because there are lots of them on the market, so it won’t be a problem to find a product that is suitable for a specific theme. Puzzles made by professional engineers are entertaining and good-looking, and that’s probably the most important quality.

The majority of puzzles sold on the Internet are plug-and-play. Good electronics and engineering skills are not necessary to set up them. All the goods are made in such a way that even an inexperienced person could understand how everything is done.

Gadgets are used to make our lives easier. The same goes with escape rooms. The number of goods in this section is really high. Moreover, if you have a great idea and you can’t find out how to create it into a real escape room, then experts are here to help you. They will create any equipment you think of for a reasonable price. They will create any equipment you think of for a reasonable price. This is quite a good investment to open your escape room, as making it by yourself will take a few weeks if not months.

Connecting and set up equipment

Equipment for connecting all the objects in an escape room might seem hard for most people. However, everything in this aspect depends on the equipment. If its quality is high and a clear instruction is provided, then setting up puzzles will be one of the easiest tasks you will face while creating an escape room.

Keep in mind that high-quality connecting equipment is not only a matter of convenience. Even people’s safety is dependent on it. Some cheap wires can be a reason for a short circuit or even fire in the building. That’s why you should take choosing all the electric stuff with the utmost seriousness. Check if the equipment works properly right after you buy it.
How to build an escape room business

Costumes and decorations

While making the perfect escape room all the nuances must be taken into account. Nobody wants to go to a place that doesn’t have a unique atmosphere. Costumes for actors are a huge part of it, as poor apparel can ruin even the most pleasant experience. If you were a regular player, would you come back to the escape room where the company cuts corners even on clothing by using DIY props? Probably not.

Decorations are the thing that makes escape rooms special. Imagine a room with none of them. The experience will not be different from some games on PC or mobile phone. Players should be convinced that they are living their lives not playing. That’s the main goal of all the companies in this field.

At this stage we probably have ready and operating room. Now let’s talk about more business aspects.

Owning and Maintaining Escape Room: Expenses

Fixed monthly costs are necessary for normal functioning. They include:
• rent;
• employee payroll;
• utility bills;
• phone & Internet bills;
• taxes;
• bank transaction fees;
• advertising;
• building maintenance (cleaning supplies, air fresheners, control room, vending machines, First Aid kits, fire safety, etc.).

Сosts mostly depend on the number of rooms in the escape room and local requirements for business owners. Some countries don’t have a specific licensing system for escape rooms, some do. Safety permits, marketing requirements, tolls, waivers, and fees also vary from place to place.
Tips for making escape room business profitable

Tips to make escape room business more profitable

If you want to increase your income, the best way to do that is to open several escape rooms. Games should be different in them. There is a huge probability that a satisfied customer will try another room, as well. Here are some factors that affect a profit:
• Location. It’s pretty simple that businesses in populous areas are much more advantageous, as the number of potential clients is higher.
• The games available. Don’t be afraid to be creative. It’s a bad idea to just copy other rooms. The more unusual ideas you have, the more people will be interested in them.
• Staff. There will be lots of negative reviews if your staff is not qualified enough. Employ only those people who seem hardworking and artistic. Let them provide you with their own opinion on the company.
• Decorations. Your room mustn’t look cheap. Players won’t try it, and they will probably tell their friends about all the negative aspects. -Discounts. You’ll lose some money in the short term, but this will result in the increase of your income later. Try coupons, bonus programs and casual discounts.
• Marketing. A profit largely depends on how much potential clients know about the business. Don’t even think about saving money on this part. Opening an escape room won’t be profitable without the right marketing strategy.

What is Better: to Build an Escape Room with Your Own Hands or Seek Help from Professionals?

Create an escape room
Let’s sum up everything we have said by pointing out advantages of DIY and professional escape rooms. We will start with escape rooms people do on their own:

• You won’t spend much money on the project.
• The number of available themes is infinite and depends just solely on the creativity of a person.
• Creating your own escape room is really interesting.
• You are not confined with any boundaries.

Professional escape rooms have also got something to show off:
• You’ll save a lot of time if you decide to buy it.
• There are many features making it easier to organize the escape room.
• There’s no need for thinking up of puzzles, as they are already included in a package.
• All the necessary equipment looks and works great.
• It’s much more convenient to use escape rooms built by engineers.
• Software is completely customizable.
• All the goods pay off quickly.

Gadgets used in professional rooms make a unique experience for players, so why not buy them? Don’t just wonder how to do your own escape room. Use high-quality props and gadgets from our catalog that contains a wide range of equipment, so you will definitely find something that will be useful. Our catalog contains a wide range of equipment, so you will definitely find something that will be useful.
Costs of creating escape room business

So, how much does an escape room cost? Is the escape room business profitable?

The escape rooms world is booming and there’s no reason to believe this will change in the next 5 years. We’ve already discussed an important part of escape rooms’ appeal: easy pop-cultural referencing. From classics like Lord of The Rings to the most recent phenomena like Among Us, they give people the opportunity to live through those worlds.

So, how much do escape room owners make? Market leaders show 75% profit margins in the first two years, followed by 50-60% each year after that. The average venue in the US and Europe brings around €250,000-300,000 annually. America’s first escape room ever, PuzzleBreak, switched from a $7,000 investment to a $600,000 revenue in just 2 years.

The main source of profit obviously comes from how much you charge your guests. Smaller escape rooms in Europe can start with a €7 hourly rate for a person, but successful rooms can easily charge €40 for an hour.
Keep in mind that every concept is different. Some games can allow you to have up to 10 sessions daily, with a 2-12-people team participating in each. With that in mind, you are looking at an approximately €40,000 per month scenario.

Escape rooms business for sale can be tricky but rewarding. Constant diligence and passion are important, but quality is essential. Turnkey projects created by professional suppliers make an excellent start for an independently operated venue.
Date: 10.02.2021

Rating: 4,3

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Do you currently own any escape rooms?
Not yet
Which themed Escape Rooms do you already own?
Size of the space avalible for the Escape Room
Which theme of ER are you interested in?
Where are your ER located?/ Where do you expect your ER to be located?
city centre
shopping mall
city outskirts
Population number in your city
< 50k
What is your budget for Escape Room?
< 10000 $
10000-20000 $
20000-30000 $
> 30000-50000 $
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