(Topic ID: 156023)

What price in a bar is fair?


By Ibanezshreader

3 years ago



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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by mainelycoasters
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There are 179 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 4.
#101 3 years ago

I'd do fifty cents for a bigger cut.

#102 3 years ago

Payrange looks like a good idea! I am on 50/50 a split with the owner.

Would you all rather:

-High dollar acceptor 1,5,10,20 change machine

-Bill acceptor on each machine

-Payrange

Because this is a new venture I personally feel like I can train clients to use payrange from the beginning. I also believe that I can award frequent players with discounts, program "happy hours" and email promotions using the payrange services.

#103 3 years ago
Quoted from PINQUEST:

Would you all rather:
-High dollar acceptor 1,5,10,20 change machine
-Bill acceptor on each machine
-Payrange

In my experience the best option is a nice change machine CLOSE to the pins PLUS a DBV on each game that accepts it. Granted you need to up your prices to make the DBV worht it. If you go to $1/ 3for$2 and .75/ 3for$2 then the DBVs are a must.

We have Payrange on 4 games at one location with 12 machines and after 6 weeks it does not appear to be used much at all and definately no uptick in play. We are debating on adding it to 4 more games to have the 8 on the concourse (other 4 are in the bar) with payrange so we can more easily run some lunch specials. Problem is that the payoff on payrange is pretty steep. First you are losing 4% per transaction for their 'service" and on top of that you are looking at $80 per device (reality at a 50/50 split that is like paying $160 in coin drop). PayRange model currently is VERY pricey for what it is IMO. I would like to see the user interface of Payrange made better and I personally think they need to offer more incentive for players to adopt it. They are making damn good money for what they charge and more needs to be put into it at teh current cost to the operator.

I think you should spend some time at your location and watch to see what is the type of player you are getting. Payrange may work for you IF you have a 20-30yo player base. Young kids or guys in 35+ range and you are better with a change machine and DBV.

#104 3 years ago

I'll give you my opinion as a user who's in the 40+ age bracket. I'd go Pay Range. I never have more than a little change or dollar bills. I always have my phone. I'm already used to paying for things with my phone. I'm probably ahead of the curve since I work in technology. I tend to be an early adopter.

#105 3 years ago

I'm a change machine person myself. Nothing like getting $20 in quarters and feeling like a high roller stepping up to the machines.

#106 3 years ago

I can also say that dealing with change is by far the easiest thing to count. Put it on the scale and done.

That said, coin mechs can be a pain in the butt.

Sure in an ideal world I would love if everybody used payrange and we could do away with coin counting all together. Would be great to have 100% be electronic but that will never happen and since coins and bills remain that means payrange is just another thing to deal with and manage when I am trying to find ways to simplify the 'business" side of being a hobby operator.

#107 3 years ago
Quoted from DefaultGen:

I'm a change machine person myself. Nothing like getting $20 in quarters and feeling like a high roller stepping up to the machines.

#108 3 years ago

I think $2.50 for a pint is fair.

#109 3 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Sure in an ideal world I would love if everybody used payrange and we could do away with coin counting all togethe

The tax man would like that too. No way to skim off the top when it's all electronically going into your bank account ...

Can you put a Payrange on the coin changer machine?

Then you could get the best of both worlds. And only have to pay for one payrange.

rd

#110 3 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Can you put a Payrange on the coin changer machine?
Then you could get the best of both worlds. And only have to pay for one payrange.

that is a GREAT idea!

#111 3 years ago

I'll definitely show up for the lunch specials. $0.75 for 4 quarters!

#112 3 years ago

If I was at the local bar drinking a few beers and I notice a few pins over in the corner. Of course I'm going to check it out and see what they have. If its a dollar a game I'd probably play a few games then go on my way. I find it pretty hard to pay anything over a dollar for a single game of pinball. Generally, most pins I see outside of an arcade are beat to hell, over priced, and play like crap. It's going to be hard to get anyone to put more than a dollar or two in a game like this. Which seems to be a pretty common occurrence...

If I'm going to play at the arcade then I expect a little more. I'm lucky enough to have a local pinsider with over 50 games on route near me. His collection of route games puts some private collections to shame. MM, MB, CC, TAF, AFM, WOZ, TZ, SS, STTNG, CFTBL, and a ton of other classics I haven't mentioned. Guess.. what? All of his games are .75 cents with $2\3game option. A few of the alpha numeric and a handful of older games are .50 cents..

This immediately tells me.. Wow who ever is running this place is fair. The quality of games on the floor makes me jealous, all the replays on the games are more than fair, all the great titles, and guess what .75 cents a play for anything including the LE Hobbit or WOZ. With that said I commonly drop 20-30 dollars every time I'm there and that's about once a week. Part of that goes to $1.50 PBRs while I'm playing. But still I wouldn't waste much time anywhere else playing pinball when you have something like this local. If all the games were a dollar I probably wouldn't be dropping as much money because I'm only looking to play the games I'm good at and know how to play. Here I'm more inclined to play games I normally don't touch because ... the price is fair and the replay as well. So it's like being a kid at the candy store... I'm looking to play stuff I never touch.

I think when you have a good combination like this... great games, fair prices, fair replay. Your going to get people like me who are return customers that are willing to spend 20-30+ bucks every time just based on the fact that I support what the operator is doing. I want the location to thrive and do well so I can return again and play all the new stuff. I don't feel like someone is just trying to snag my quarters to make a quick buck off me because they're so worried about making their money back.

#113 3 years ago

You can't call me an "early adopter," but Payrange (or something like it) is surely a direction "the world" is heading. Thanks, Nevus for pointing it out. Had not heard of that one before. Yeah, I don't get out much.

Anyway, we might have VHS vs. Betamax ahead of us... who knows... but y'all watch. Things like Payrange, ApplePay, etc. will grow. Personally, I hope a single clear winner emerges. Say what you will about "monopolies" but it sure makes life easier and I'm all for that!

#114 3 years ago

At $0.50 per game, I'll play games, drink beer and eat food all evening. And, I'll come back often. I don't expect any free games or special #/$ deals. This is the model of the 1Up / 2Up in Denver. Easily my favorite venues.

#115 3 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Can you put a Payrange on the coin changer machine?

A very interesting idea! Biggest issue I could see with doing this is not being able to disable it if something goes wrong (hopper out of coin, jam, breakdown, etc...) and people are expecting change to be dispensed. If anything goes wrong with a changer, it shuts down the DBV to not accept bills until the error is cleared.

#116 3 years ago

I called and spoke to a payrange rep as the coin machine was my first thought too... Apparently there is a legal issue with it because it then basically turns a coin machine into an ATM machine, therefore they will not function with change machine.

1up and 2up are excellent locations!

#117 3 years ago

Another idea to keep in mind that Payrange makes easier to do is having specials. Locally, East Side Pinball does this quite often where the pins are discounted (most recently Easter weekend).

You could do something across the board for regulars looking to save a bit, use payrange and get two for ones on Tuesday or something. Or for a limited time put the latest machine on 75c etc. Or even discount the pins for slow days to get plays up or whatever makes sense.

I'm a big fan of the concept of Payrange and hope it becomes more common but so far I haven't been impressed with the application (on Android). It's not difficult to use but frequently seems to have difficulties connecting. Haven't tried the update I saw just come out yet though so maybe that's all figured out now.

#118 3 years ago

It's basically impossible to raise rates once you start, but you can always discount them after if you aren't getting the action you want.

#119 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

It's basically impossible to raise rates once you start, but you can always discount them after if you aren't getting the action you want.

I disagree.

It would be very easy to increase rates on his newest games over night. Some people will be bummed at first. Players or regulars will adjust and still play the games they like.

Randoms (likely where most of his coin drop comes from anyway) will not remember fromt he previous time and play based on theme or cost. He will still have the same themes and still have cheaper options.

#120 3 years ago
Quoted from PINQUEST:

I called and spoke to a payrange rep as the coin machine was my first thought too... Apparently there is a legal issue with it because it then basically turns a coin machine into an ATM machine, therefore they will not function with change machine.

So, if the change machines dispenses tokens (branded and no cash value), a person could use pay range in a token machine?

I hope that is true, but my guess would be they would hand wave a bit about something, and try to sell me 10 individual units instead of one.

#121 3 years ago
Quoted from smokedog:

So, if the change machines dispenses tokens (branded and no cash value), a person could use pay range in a token machine?
I hope that is true, but my guess would be they would hand wave a bit about something, and try to sell me 10 individual units instead of one.

should be able to.

I am guessing that it will work just fine on a change machine dispensing coins also but legally they need to tell you it wont.

I am not exactly sure how they would ever know what you are hooking it up to anyway? To me the change machine sounds liek the no brainer idea on how to utilize Payrange. Sure you dont get the opportunity to do specials, but you do get the ability to make sure those that rely upon no cash and phone have the ability to still play your games.

#122 3 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Sure you dont get the opportunity to do specials,

You could still do discounts to an extent (use pay range on Sunday and receive a bonus token!), but you would have to manually adjust machines for specials.

#123 3 years ago
Quoted from Bwilson:

The quality of games on the floor makes me jealous, all the replays on the games are more than fair, all the great titles, and guess what .75 cents a play for anything including the LE Hobbit or WOZ. With that said I commonly drop 20-30 dollars every time I'm there and that's about once a week. Part of that goes to $1.50 PBRs while I'm playing

I'm relatively new to the hobby but I have recruited 10 other people who now play pinball on location. I totally agree with Bwilson. At 75 cents a game I will drop more money than if the games were priced at $1. Also I won't play multiple games on a machine without a price discount.

#124 3 years ago
Quoted from smokedog:

You could still do discounts to an extent (use pay range on Sunday and receive a bonus token!), but you would have to manually adjust machines for specials.

The other risk would be people "loading up" on tokens during your special period, and then coming back later.

But in the big scheme of things, if people are going to game it, so be it, as long as your overall revenues are good.

#125 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

The other risk would be people "loading up" on tokens during your special period, and then coming back later.

True. But I think the key fact is 'coming back later'. Please do! And keep drinking the pints I pour for you Try the fish! Because we all know the money isnt in the pins, it's the consumables at the location.

#126 3 years ago
Quoted from smokedog:

True. But I think the key fact is 'coming back later'. Please do! And keep drinking the pints I pour for you Try the fish! Because we all know the money isnt in the pins, it's the consumables at the location.

I'm with you. I think the token hybrid solution is a very good one. Plus any tokens that go home and never come back you've been paid for, where as unused Payrange credit gets kept by Payrange.

#127 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

where as unused Payrange credit gets kept by Payrange.

that is part of my issue with Payrange also.

I feel like there should be a "location account" If a person buys $20 of payraneg credit from the location then that should stay in that account for them to use.

I understand Payrange's desire to have these devices in every game in the world but reality is that in our area I think we are the only people trying it out and likely to ever try it out for pinball.

#128 3 years ago

Problem with a token machine would be that it's a 1 transaction and Payrange has the 4% fee. So if you could find a way to hook one up to a token machine, you are always losing money when that gets used.

On top of that, if you are set up for tokens, you are more likely that people will be using Payrange instead of stuffing a 20 in there. A location with 4 machines locally uses tokens. If you put a 20 in, you get $25 worth of tokens out. On top of that, they have 3 newer Sterns and a WOZ, and the Sterns are set to 2 tokens a play, 3 plays for $1. If you do the $20 in the token machine and the bonus buy, you are playing new games for .25 a game. Don't do this, anyone. This place is a kiddie fun center and just do a token collection and so they don't really care.

#129 3 years ago

I think Kiddie fun centers are looking at the big picture of their operation. The pins are likely there for parents anyways, who are the ones dropping $200-$300 for a birthday party (I've been one of those multiple times). Totally different model, so I wouldn't compare their price of games.

#130 3 years ago
Quoted from desertT1:

So if you could find a way to hook one up to a token machine, you are always losing money when that gets used.

If people go the location (to play pins or just buy a coffee), it's a win regardless.

I think providing pay range is a no brainer (or something like that). All about convenience, and separating people from their money. In order to do debit/credit also costs a fee, but by restricting yourself to a strictly cash business you lose a lot more than you gain.

$1 dollar gets you two tokens. 2 tokens for new(ish) pins. 1 token for older titles. Oh, and that beer you are drinking is marked up 250%

#131 3 years ago

Even at my infrequent charity nights when my token machine is running, people still show up without cash. You have to conceded to which way the wind is blowing and give them more options to pay.

There's also the whole thing about people living their lives in debt. I didn't put them there, but if they want to charge to their credit card a night out, I'll damn well take it and not judge them.

#132 3 years ago
Quoted from Russell:

At $0.50 per game, I'll play games, drink beer and eat food all evening. And, I'll come back often. I don't expect any free games or special #/$ deals. This is the model of the 1Up / 2Up in Denver. Easily my favorite venues.

I love this as a consumer as well, but the OP is splitting the coin drop 50/50. 1up/2up own the games and get all the coin drop and are making significant money on the drinks/food. This is how they can only charge 50 cents and still make money. the OP is not getting any revenue from the venue and only half the coin drop, so .25 cents a game is gonna suck once stuff starts breaking and parts need to be ordered, etc.

#133 3 years ago

Ok so I set my new sterns, walking dead, and Kiss for $1 or 3 for $2 all others are at 50c

#134 3 years ago

$1, 3 for $2, is better than $.75, 3 for $2. Like I've said before, more people won't play one game if they have a dollar bill because they won't get $.25 back.

#135 3 years ago

Offering to set the games at G Unit pricing (fifty cents), is a good bargaining chip to get a better percentage.

-5
#136 3 years ago

If we want more general public (GP) people playing on location why not focus on changing the balls per game, as that would probably justify the $1 game threshold.

I found an Avengers at a local sub shop the other day. The pricing was $0.75 or 3/$2.00.

Not knowing the rules, outside the instruction card (does the GP read them?), the 3 ball games were very short and rather frustrating; although I have been playing pinball for 25 years. It doesn't bother me because with additional plays and reading the rule sets on internet sites I will learn the rules and game play times will become reasonable.

Let's face it, game rules are much more complicated now then they were up until 1992. Wizard mode on Avengers is a long process. This is not Addams Family where you hit the ramp, hit the scoop for a mode, hit the bookcase to start multiball, and learn the rest as you go along.

If the GP has to insert a buck for a game, how long does 3 ball play last and what is the entertainment value - it's probably about the amount of time it takes me to roll 5 balls on my skee ball machine; in my mind not enough satisfaction for the $1. In my mind, the GP should get at least 5 minutes of entertainment for their buck ( or $12 an hour)

If you want more play from the GP increase the number of balls slightly, if you want to charge more (ie $1). At the same time you would have to increase the replay values for the seasoned players.

Simply my two cents.

#137 3 years ago
Quoted from Scoomie:

In my mind, the GP should get at least 5 minutes of entertainment for their buck ( or $12 an hour)

Every time I go to Dave & Busters I buy a $40 power card, and that lasts my family exactly 90 minutes, and that is with each of my kids taking turns with the card. 1 picks something and plays it, the card goes to the other, they wander around, pick a game and play it. So that isn't even solid play time, that includes wandering around and picking a game.

I'm not sure when or how pinball was decided to be cheap entertainment, but that is not in sync with what else is going on out there.

#138 3 years ago
Quoted from NY2Colorado:

75c or 3/$2 is fair.
50 cents seems to be the norm with no bonus for multiple games.
$1 a game... I keep walking

This sums it up pretty well to me. It really depends on the location traffic and are the pins the biggest non alcoholic attraction?

#139 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm not sure when or how pinball was decided to be cheap entertainment, but that is not in sync with what else is going on out there.

luckily we dont have to match our expectations to the few that think $1 is too much for pinball.

I have found the vast majority of route pinball players want 1 thing >> GOOD PLAYING CLEAN MACHINES
If you provide that then the vast majority are also very happy to pay $1 per game for access to these new and well maintained games.

For the General public they play largely based on theme. Provide a good recognizable theme and they are typically happy.

Those that play on price should still have options and providing a game or two set at .50 per play is always a good idea where you have the space/room.

#140 3 years ago
Quoted from PINQUEST:

I wanted to get everyone's opinion on what the proper price to play a pinball machine at a bar/brewery is?

I think it should be whatever it costs to keep the games in good shape and on location while still being able to either pay off the game or throw a few dollars in the bank.

Under price yourself and the machines go away and there won't be any exposure for the hobby. Over price and you'll drive people away. I've had people say $1 / game, that's expensive. I politely explain to them that the machine they are going to play costs $5,000 to buy for an entry level Stern. The owner needs insurance and has to pay for parts when it breaks, plus labor if they have employees like the operator in my area does.

Add that to a 50/50 split with the house, and the machine needs 10,000 plays (without breaking) to pay for itself. After that discussion, you normally see a light bulb appear above their head.

#141 3 years ago
Quoted from pinaholic:

$1, 3 for $2, is better than $.75, 3 for $2. Like I've said before, more people won't play one game if they have a dollar bill because they won't get $.25 back.

Great advice

#142 3 years ago
Quoted from Scoomie:

If you want more play from the GP increase the number of balls slightly, if you want to charge more (ie $1). At the same time you would have to increase the replay values for the seasoned players.
Simply my two cents.

three ball play has been the standard for 35 years. New games on 5 ball are ENDLESS, and the games aren't designed that way. I loathe modern machines set on 5 ball play, it just isn't any fun for me.

#143 3 years ago

$1 per game. All games priced at this level, however, should have DBVs/DBAs in the coin door ready to accept currency. While I don't think $1 per play is unfair (anymore), I do think it's asking a lot for the player to:
1. Approach the game to ascertain how much it is to play
2. Get out their dollar to play
3. Realize that they need to get the dollar changed into four quarters
4. Find a change machine to accomplish this
5. Return to the machine
6. Insert four quarters, one-at-a-time.
7. Hit start and play

If you want the $1 (which you do, or at least you should...), you need to do your part to make it as easy to spend/insert the dollar as possible. Fair is fair. Any machines which don't readily accept a DBV in the coin door can be the exception(s) to the rule, but in my view, they should be priced lower as a result.

#144 3 years ago
Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

Add that to a 50/50 split with the house, and the machine needs 10,000 plays (without breaking) to pay for itself. After that discussion, you normally see a light bulb appear above their head.

You should note that what you're referring to there is PAID plays, which is altogether different from TOTAL plays. Replays, high score credits, specials, matches, service credits...these things all add up, and don't count towards the bottom line, but *do* count toward wear. Not all plays are revenue generating.

#145 3 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I just look at mid 90s, when I was in HS and more then happy to pay .50 per game for things like TAF, ToM, TZ, etc... I remember thinking we hit the jackpot when we found a 5 for $2 deal on a TAF on the other side of town.
Now-a-days the majority of the people playing pinball are the same ones that did it in the mid 90s but we are 20 years older and have way more disposable income.
Heck, I can go to a bar spend $5 per craft beer, $10 for a meal, and then $5 on a full night of pinball with a group of guys. Yet some will still complain about the 5 bucks they spent on the pinball
I can lose more in dollar games then I actually spend to play them most nights.

Inflation from the 90's puts that $0.50 at about $0.75-$1.00

#146 3 years ago
Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

Inflation from the 90's puts that $0.50 at about $0.75-$1.00

yup. Still amazes me that for some reason some people expect to pay 1990s prices for pinball when it is 2016.

#147 3 years ago

Not sure if mentioned, but keeping prices on pins lower could mean more patrons sticking around drinking more!!
You are a bar, right?

#148 3 years ago

I have zero issues paying $1 or 3 for $2 for a newer title or A list B/W. I find it laughable that someone would walk away because it's .25 more, my god it's a quarter people, on a machine that costs up to $8K.

#149 3 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

yup. Still amazes me that for some reason some people expect to pay 1990s prices for pinball when it is 2016.

Well, to be fair, the desire of the ruling bodies of operators back in those days was very much into $1 per play all around. Didn't matter the machine (or its type or cost), they wanted $1, and they were really pressing for a new $1 coin here. They finally got it with the Sacajawea Golden Dollar, but since the paper unit never was pulled from circulation, it didn't do them any good. They even had their own little "DOLLAR PLAY IN THE U.S.A.!" slogan at the time, which I thought was complete and utter greed (and it was). There was certainly no issue paying $1 for a "deluxe" game such as Daytona USA (in the twin cabinet) or others like that when they were new, but imagine paying $1 a game for Fish Tales or any standard "monitor with two joysticks and buttons" game back in the day. Never, *ever* would have happened, especially without DBVs.

I fully admit that this attitude pissed me off at the time, and for some time after, since operators were raking money in hand over fist. Twenty years later, $1 for a game (to me) should pretty much be the standard.

#150 3 years ago
Quoted from Jaybird815:

I have zero issues paying $1 or 3 for $2 for a newer title or A list B/W. I find it laughable that someone would walk away because it's .25 more, my god it's a quarter people, on a machine that costs up to $8K.

But it's *their* quarter, now isn't it?

Not to stray too far off the path/subject here, but do you have any Aldi grocery stores in your area? Are you familiar with how they disperse their grocery carts? It's commonplace in Europe at every grocery store to utilize a Euro dollar to "release" a shopping cart to you for your use, and when you're done, you return the cart to the corral, connect it to the others, and get your Euro dollar back. In the USA, they utilize quarters for the same effect, and boy howdy, does it work in *spades*!!! It might be kind of an inconvenience at times, but I'm absolutely *sold* on the concept, because whenever I go to an Aldi, the parking lot is absolutely bereft of stray carts. You *might* see *one*, and I can guarantee you that it won't be there for long, because hey: free quarter! People WANT THEIR QUARTER. And they WANT THEIR QUARTER *BACK*.

I totally understand the desire to not lose a quarter in a game that's $.75 per play. So, apparently, do most other people. $.75 is just such a weird, awkward price for a game. You might as well just automatically boost the price to $1, just because.

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