Axes and Alcohol - is that safe?
When I first got into the axe throwing business, I got talking to my Axe throwing Liability Insurance agent, and one of the questions that popped up is are we going to serve alcohol to axe throwers.
Since my business was mainly a paintball business and we were just going to have a few axe lanes to start, and combine that with the expense of getting a liquor license in Texas, we decided to no put in a bar to serve alcohol.
But we allow BYOB for Beer and Wine for Axe Throwers.
Axe Throwing Beer & Wine
Depending on your insurance, you may see different pricing or options on what people drink. For example, we went with BYOB for Beer for our axe throwing guests. We also allow Wine will axe throwing. Both of these are kept to a 2 drink maximum while throwing.
Obviously, if anyone comes in to the facility and is obviously intoxicated, we will not let them drink or throw, but instead, kindly ask them to leave, and if they’ve prepaid for their reservation, we will refund them or tell them they can come back another day and drink after… not before axe throwing.
But we have not had a single incident in any of our three locations that all do BYOB in years or running and thousands and thousands of customers.
Profit in Alcohol Sales and Axe Throwing.
So is their profit in alcohol and axe throwing? Well, depends. I have some customers with a dozen lanes or so that don’t do any alcohol and still do over 100K a month. I know some with BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) or beer and wine licenses, or full alcohol licenses that do great too.
One of the great things about running your own business, and the axe business, is there are many ways to set your business model.
I know bars that have axe throwing.. and maybe some darts, a pool table, etc. Their main focus is making money in the bar and axe throwing is an attraction to bring them in to drink.
There is also the model of just having an axe throwing facility that tries to get a little extra profit per customer by offering alcohol.
Then some places offer food as well, and some offer food, just because certain jurisdictions will not allow you to offer alcohol without food, and some might even require certain percentages of sales in one category or another.
Alcohol Sales Percentage of Profit
I have had several customers that were really geared as an axe place that also had beer and wine report that the beer and wine sales was a little below 20% of their revenue. I’ve had some with full bar say they ran 25% in alcohol. So much will depend on your demographic and location, and model.
Are you opening 1 business of 3?
One think I like to point out to new entrepreneurs is that opening a business is hard. Especially if it’s new to you. So, if the axe business is new, you will learn as you go and hopefully make more profit than mistakes!
And if you are doing a bar, and food, and axe, you are really opening 3 different businesses at once. You’ve probably seen an episode or two of Bar Rescue where they place hidden cameras and see the bartenders are stealing money by pouring free drinks and pocketing big tips. Or you’ve seen Kitchen Nightmares where food is stolen, wasted, cockroach infestations, shut downs by health inspectors etc.
If you are not experienced in this area, I would highly suggest you start with just one business, Axe Throwing, or you hire a good food and beverage manager to oversee the aspects of the business you are not famialir with.