Fort Smith will host the state’s first 810 pool and bowling franchise in early summer.
810 Billiards and Bowling, based in Myrtle Beach, SC, has just started its franchise campaign, with the Fort Smith location being one of its first non-corporate locations.
Erik and Deborah Covites have decided to move the business – which includes bowling, billiards and a bar and grill – to Fort Smith after the couple sold their printing business in Florida after 13 years in business.
âEveryone is clamoring to get out of the house these days,â Covites said.
The couple have lived in Fort Smith for about four years and said they saw a need for the brand in the city, adding that they were excited to start a business in the city that provides fun and entertainment for adults, couples. and families.
âIt was time for us to do something new,â Erik Covites said in a recent interview. âWe wanted to take on a new challenge.
The location at 5609 Rogers Ave. consists of approximately 24,000 square feet and will include 14 bowling lanes as well as a VIP section with four additional lanes, an arcade, a full service bar, as well as catering offerings. It is expected to open in June and will employ around 40 people.
According to the International Franchise Association 2021 Economic Outlook for Franchising, a FRANdata report released in March, if covid-19 continues to decline, the franchise industry will have returned to near 2019 levels in most key metrics, including business growth, employment, economic outlook and the contribution of sectors to gross domestic product. FRANdata is an independent research and consulting firm focused on companies that use the franchise business model, according to its website.
The report predicts that more than 26,000 franchise businesses will open in 2021. By the end of the year, the industry will employ 8.3 million workers, a gain of around 800,000 new jobs. Most of the new jobs will be in the retail, food and service industries, where workers have been hit hard during the covid-19 pandemic.
810 Billiards & Bowling President Michael Siniscalchi said that since the company began about six years ago, five corporate stores have been added in South Carolina, Arizona and Texas. The Fort Smith location, an Arizona franchise operation and a new location in South Carolina currently under construction, are the company’s first franchises.
He said the 810 Billiards and Bowling combines a creative menu with a premium entertainment experience. Excellent and attentive service is the hallmark of the brand, he said.
At 810 Billiards and Bowling, the first part of the day is all about family groups and parities, Siniscalchi said, with a transition to a younger crowd and a sports bar atmosphere as the evening progresses. .
Siniscalchi said the chain was initially scheduled to shut down operations to deal with covid-19 restrictions, but now business has largely returned as people seek pleasure and entertainment. One thing that has not returned to pre-pandemic levels are parties and corporate-sponsored events for their employees, such as Christmas parties, he said.
âAmerican businesses are still biding their time,â he said.
According to Arcade, Food & Entertainment Complexes in the United States, a report by market research firm IBIS World, the sector’s revenues declined significantly in 2020 due to social distancing restrictions and temporary closures caused by the pandemic. The report notes that since industry performance is tied to consumer confidence and discretionary spending, the economic fallout from the pandemic could affect the segment in the short term, but revenues are expected to increase in 2021.
The report predicts growth over the next five years as spending on food and entertainment tends to increase alongside economic revitalization. The sector’s revenues are expected to grow 5.5% per year to reach $ 3.4 billion by 2026.
Siniscalchi said construction at the Fort Smith site is expected to begin around the first of the year. He said the company’s franchise plan did not focus on geography, but focused on finding the right franchisees and the right place to open an 810 pool and bowling site.
âWe are delighted to come to Fort Smith,â said Siniscalchi. “It seems like a good fit.”