What Bowling Alleys & Bowling Business Owners Need to Know About the Modern Bowler

From a business perspective, the mentality of today’s bowler has changed. While alleys were built around leagues and the competitive nature of the sport, today’s bowlers are treating it more as an after-work/happy hour experience. In other words, it is more about entertainment than sport.

According to data shared by commercial real estate consultancy White Hutchinson, bowling centres once generated roughly 70% of all business from bowling leagues, while more recent years showed that number drops down to 40%. The study went on to say that the modern bowler has shifted from the blue-collar, league bowler to a white-collar, entertainment bowler.

Bowling business owners who recognize this and focus on building exciting bowling “experiences” will have a better chance at attracting the modern, casual bowler and keeping them coming back.

In many cases, today’s bowling alley finds profitability in food and drink. While many come to play a game or two, businesses that invest in a complete refreshment offering are better positioned to maximize profitability. Yes, people come to an alley to bowl, but alley owners must think of ways to maximize the value of each customer visit.

While the food might drive profits, the bowling experience is what drives return visits and loyalty. Having a great menu but a poor bowling experience won’t be effective. Today’s casual bowler wants both, and the businesses that can deliver on all aspects of the experience will have the most excellent chance of success.

Focusing on the bowling aspect, the speed of the game is critical. One of the most significant factors that can impact the game’s pace is your pinsetters and ball returns. From an entertainment perceptive, string pinsetters coupled with reliable ball returns enable the fastest possible gameplay.

String pinsetters should be the foundation of your bowling alley business because they deliver a seamless, efficient, exciting and reliable bowling experience. The speed of each pinsetter varies by brand, but the importance is that a faster pin reset means more games per hour, which means more revenue per lane.

String pinsetters should be the foundation of your bowling alley business because they deliver a seamless, efficient, exciting and reliable bowling experience.

A faster, quieter and more reliable bowling lane means a better bowling experience for today’s casual bowler. Additionally, having various gameplay options and interfaces gives your bowlers a chance to enjoy the different flavours of the standard 10-frame game. These kinds of modern twists to the long-standing sport of bowling allow you to offer new and exciting bowling experiences.

Another critical feature that you can’t afford to overlook is the ambience of your bowling alley. From seating and furniture to lighting and murals, you want to leave an impression by offering a one-of-a-kind bowling atmosphere if you attract a first-time customer. Combine the environment with speedy bowling equipment (pinsetters), unique gameplays and a full menu of food and drink, and you’re set up for success.

Every detail of your bowling alley needs to come together to offer today’s casual bowler an exciting, fun and unique bowling experience.

There are many other aspects of your bowling alley that require the same kind of thought and care as these areas. Your lane colours, accessories (shoes, balls, etc.), and everything else you need to run an alley require thought and consideration. Every detail needs to come together to create an overall experience, and more importantly, you need to invest in the right equipment and software. Failures with your machines can destroy the entire experience for your customers.

Today’s bowler isn’t the bowling purist from the past that wants to compete and bowl. Instead, today’s bowlers are open to new experiences and, more importantly, are looking for places to come together and enjoy the company of family and friends.

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