The 5 Primary Types of Bowling Business Models

Those that have invested in bowling understand the value that bowling has beyond the direct revenue. With lanes typically accommodating up to 6 people, one game can take an hour or more. That’s an hour where customers are within the business’s four walls, increasing their chances of making additional purchases such as food, drinks, other entertainment options.

But beyond the dollars and cents and pricing models, there are a few common strategies that business owners make when it comes to incorporating bowling into their business model. First, while there is no wrong model, it is critical to understand your audience. From your business’s location to the demographic makeup of your surrounding communities, it is essential to match your model to your target audience’s interests.

Traditional Bowling Alleys

The traditional bowling alley puts bowling first. While many also offer billiards, game rooms, arcades in some cases and a bar, the focus of the business is bowling. In many cases, food is not much of a guide with a limited menu available. However, drinks play a significant role in overall revenue for the business.

Family Entertainment Centers

As the name suggests, the family entertainment centre or FEC is built around offering a night out that the entire family can enjoy. Often these are large and diverse entertainment experiences where bowling is one of many entertainment options. Additionally, FECs typically offer a more expansive food menu to accommodate the entire family and drinks, which are a critical revenue line for the business.

Boutique Bowling Centers

For many of these boutique bowling venues, the focus is primarily on socializing and nightlife. Typically a platform for casual bowlers, these centres offer a more contemporary and one-of-a-kind bowling experience that is not available in a traditional bowling alley or an FEC. The atmosphere and environment are highly customized and memorable, and while bowling may be the draw for some, the food and drink offerings are typically also very high-end.

Non-Traditional Bowling Venues

Increasingly, as different variations of bowling installations increase in popularity (mini bowling, duckpin bowling), businesses not typically associated with bowling are starting to bring bowling into their companies. These different game variations require less space both in width and length, making them very attractive for non-traditional bowling venues such as breweries, hotels, bars, restaurants, corporate offices, event halls and more. Depending on the platform, bowling is often used as a critical differentiator for these businesses but is usually not the primary revenue driver.

Hybrid Bowling Experiences

Business owners are getting increasingly creative in introducing bowling to their businesses, combining various aspects of each of these models, unique and personalized bowling experiences can be born. Often hybrid centres combine elements of the FEC and boutique bowling, and in some cases, they even break out bowling experiences into different rooms for private parties, adult/social bowling and family entertainment.

Pick Your Bowling Model

Make sure you have a strong understanding of your target audience and find ways to build or upgrade your bowling business to meet the desires of this group. In addition to this understanding of your audience, you must have a strong vision for the kind of bowling business you want to have. Your creativity and personal preferences are essential in developing a unique and exciting bowling experience that your customers won’t forget.If you need any information, contact us to discover unique and new products of Viva Bowling!


  • Address: Kennington Park Business Centre, 1 -3 Brixton Road, Vassal, SW9 6DE, London