The Line Item that Can Make or Break a Bowling Business: Maintenance

Several costs are considered, whether starting a bowling business from the ground up or managing an existing one. New bowling centres will have various start-up costs, but after the lanes are up and running, the most significant ongoing expense for bowling proprietors will most likely be equipment maintenance.

Bowling equipment maintenance costs can impact your bottom line in two primary ways:

On-site, full-time mechanic for pinsetters, ball returns, etc.

Lane downtime as a result of breakdowns

The most significant contributor to these maintenance costs is the traditional free-fall pinsetter. There can be thousands of moving parts for most free-fall pinsetters, any of which can malfunction and cause a breakdown. That’s why many bowling alleys have an on-site, full-time mechanic to make sure the lanes stay up and running.

At the same time, finding an experienced free-fall mechanic isn’t easy. There are fewer experienced free-fall mechanics in the US than in previous decades. As a result, with higher demand and lower supply of mechanics, salaries have gone up.

Even with a professional on hand, some breakdowns can be much more costly than others and may require a very timely and complicated repair process or require a complete replacement. The more complex the situation, the longer the lane will be offline and not generate revenue for your business.

Many bowling businesses turn to the string pinsetter because the free-fall pinsetter results in so much required maintenance and associated costs. Widely used in Europe, the string pinsetter eliminates the need for a full-time mechanic, and any of your existing staff can conduct the majority of the repairs and maintenance.

Today’s growing entertainment bowler is less concerned about the type of pinsetter you use. Instead, they want to have a great experience with friends and family.

String pinsetters have significantly fewer moving parts, and therefore are easier to maintain and repair. With substantially fewer maintenance costs and a better customer experience, string pinsetters are transforming the bowling centre model and bringing more profitability to bowling lanes worldwide.

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