How to open an escape room business

The minimum set of information needed for those who want to open an escape room.

Read other articles about creating an escape room:


>> Escape room scenario - necessity or whim?
>> Key tips on designing an escape room
>> Electronics, props and puzzles for escape room



In many ways opening the escape room is like opening up any business. It takes a certain amount of time and effort to begin make profit. Certainly, escape room business has certain nuances, the main ones of which we will now consider.


Format


Determine what format will be an exit game. There are 2 main options:


  • In the room. Initially, it requires substantial investments. On the other hand, it’s safe for visitors, is maximally protected from various force majeure. Despite initial significant investments, maintenance is usually quite inexpensive;


  • Playing in a city or in nature - low cost of opening, but strong dependence on weather conditions. Inability to fully ensure the players safety can lead to serious reputational losses.


Legal registration of business


Most countries do not require a license or permission to open an escape room business. However, in some states strict rules apply to any restriction a freedom of movement, where permits will still be required.


For a city exit game you need the local authorities permission, coordination of time, venue.


Required:


  • registration a legal entity;


  • registration of the right to use an premises/territory;


  • instructing with disclaimer, which must be signed by players before a game;


  • observance of fire safety, sanitary norms.


Choosing a location


For escape game in an open area, a location must match scenario. The terrain must be as safe as possible - games are not allowed in dilapidated, ownerless buildings, near high-risk facilities - railway tracks, large motorways, power lines. To ensure that players don't get lost, need's to place border signs, set up loudspeakers or give out walkie-talkies.


Find premises for escape room easier. It should be good transport accessibility, have parking nearby. Advisable to choose non-residential houses - noise may interfere with residents.


Space size depends on plans scale. For one exit game, an average of 35-40 м² (25-30 м² game zone + 10 м² at reception, administrative zone). If you expect to attract corporate segment, an area of 60 м² + is required, to comfortably accommodate large number of people.


I recommend finding a large premises where will can be open 2-3 games, even if you don't plan to open them at the same time.


Doesn't matter: repair condition (almost certainly have to redo everything), windows presence. These shortcomings may greatly reduce rent cost.


The cost of opening an escape room


Although cost is an individual indicator for each individual project, basic approximate costs can be calculated for the following items:


  • The cost of legal entity registration. This also includes compulsory business insurance (some countries);


  • Scenario;


  • Electronics, automation;


  • The price of repair, making scenery, props, puzzles;


  • Furniture, office equipment, video surveillance system;


  • Rent during a construction period;


  • Marketing costs, website creation and booking systems.


There are also constant operating expenses. This is rent, taxes, wages, advertising, current minor repairs, unforeseen circumstances.


Based on operating costs, profitability is calculated, reasonable price level, which don’t scare visitors and gives good net profit.


Independent work / Professional ER designer / Franchise


All options have their advantages and disadvantages.


Independent work guarantees full creative freedom. It's free. But creation an escape room without experience is a difficult task. At any time there is a risk of occurrence of reefs. Some of them can be very expensive, up to the project complete collapse.


Buying a franchise, you may get a free scenario, advisory support, good marketing tools, advertising. But the franchise purchase is already quite expensive, and it will not bring you much closer to an escape room creation: props, equipment, construction constitutes separate cost item. Also, many franchisors refuse to work if there is no strict compliance with their requirements, which will not allow you to feel themselves a full-fledged business owner.


Designer's services are a compromise option. It's not free, but cheaper than buying a franchise. In addition, the business remains completely under your control. Competent ER designer can create an escape room of dream (considering a budget, advisability and reality of implementation), maximally protecting you from errors and unforeseen expenses.


If you need ER designer's services write to me at me@superengineer.ru, or contact me through website. I've been creating escape room from scratch around the world for more than 3 years now. In my work I put emphasis on a customer's wishes and possibilities. I don't neglect quality, I make sure that a project can be inexpensive in construction, but at the same time interesting to visitors, and therefore commercially successful.


With respect, Vladimir Kalugin.


Portfolio

Click on the picture and go to the page with a detailed story about the escape room creation:


Creation of "Edison - The Machine of Spirits" escape room.

Ashdod, Israel

An epic story with photos about how the real escape game is built.
With the sending of scenery and electronics from the RF.

Creepy "Mad Vet" escape room.

 Nice, France


A story from which you will learn how to save on decorations 10 000 euros. 

And how to build the most atmospheric escape room in Nice.

Mystic escape game
"Room 1408".
Nice, France

An exciting story from the escape room construction about the hotel in which strange things happen. 


Photo report about escape room for children.

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Photo from the process of building a children's escape room "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
WITHOUT sending decorations and electronics from the RF.

Creation of the "Matrix" escape room. Dusseldorf, Germany



The biggest escape room that I built. Read the construction report at the link below.



How the Mossad escape room was built. Ashdod, Izrael



Detailed photoreport about creation process of the escape room "Mossad - Shadow Wars" in Israel.


I provide the following services

All the work is done personally: a script writer, an engineer, a decorator in one person.
You do not need to search for different performers and coordinate their work.
You ask the result from one person.

Making props for the escape room


Making photorealistic parts of bodies and corpses in full size if you are doing a terrible escape game.


Go to the propshop...

Script for the escape room

The script, which describes the puzzles and the plot, is the main document for the escape room construction.

With the help of a well-written script, you will build a successful and popular escape room that will receive good feedback from players and profits.


Soundtrack for the escape room

Background audio accompaniment.
Sounds of environment and special effects.
Professional processing by the sound engineer. Audio legend of the escape room by the voice of a professional announcer.
Average price: $ 500
The creation time is 3-7 days.

Download the archive with examples of sound files for the escape room...

Thank you for visiting my site

Ordering a script or building a escape room from me you get:
Builder with 3 years of experience building a escape games;
Engineer with an experience of working with electronics for more than 8 years;
Designer and decorator who will perform the creation of all the necessary objects of entourage for your escape room;
The scriptwriter who writes not only an interesting script with unusual puzzles, but also thinks how to save you money.


Sincerely, Vladimir Kalugin

Escape rooms creation services in the USA, Canada, Asia, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, England, India, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal.
Script + making scenery + automation.