Eatertainment: The Social Dining Experience

Eatertainment: The Social Dining Experience

Eatertainment: The Social Dining Experience 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

Do you remember the first rule of Fight Club? You DO NOT talk about Fight Club. That was the golden rule of the 90’s cult drama that embraced breaking societal rules and living by a different code. Rather than underground secrecy, the real-life Flight Club is what everyone is talking about, and yeah, there are a few rules too. The high-tech, social dining experience Flight Club ‘Social Darts’ is on target with today’s consumer trends driving eatertainment excitement.

For those who are lucky enough to have maybe grown up in the age of Chuck E. Cheese and graduated to Dave & Buster’s, experience-rich recreation has been around since the beginning of time. Today, a new chain of activity-centric dining concepts, or “eatertainment” venues, are elevating the playing field and capturing the attention of consumers looking for an alternative to a night out.

“In today’s increasingly competitive, experience-driven hospitality landscape, consumers are no longer thinking about the before and after dinner plans. They want great food, entertainment, and drinks all at one destination, and venues that continue to deliver on these experiences will thrive in the years ahead.” – SevenRooms, CEO and co-founder, Joel Montaniel

From casual hangouts to date nights and events, these high-touch and high-energy experiences are themed around some of the simplest competitive leisure activities including, ping-pong, darts, mini-golf, and more.


AceBounce is an English spin on the table tennis trend and a British import from London. The concept combines ping pong and partying with the best of hospitality. More than a dozen tables serve as the center court entertainment and social hangout. Semi-private spaces, “The Gallery” and “Garage” are available for rental for the ultimate exclusive experience. Game Gurus help facilitate the festivities and ensure the fun level is kept at full tilt. Turn it down for what? The space goes from Daylight to UV Light, flipping the energy switch for guests from day to night.


Upscale tech-infused mini-golf experience Puttshack has a night-club vibe complete with curated Spotify playlists, DJs, and live events. The brand’s propriety Trackaball technology keeps track as you score (no cheating). Rounding out the above-par experience is a global food and drink menu. Scoring points with Millennials and Gen Xers, Puttshack plans to expand from Chicago and Atlanta to some of the biggest metropolitan markets, including Pittsburgh, Miami, Boston, Scottsdale, St. Louis, and more.

Flight Club

Inspired by the origins of darts, British Victorian fairgrounds, and traditional pubs, Flight Club Social Darts guarantees “Unexpected, Ridiculous, Joy.” The concept’s 1900s English vintage vibe injects a dose of twenty-first-century tech to create a super-charged social gaming experience. Individual game zones and semi-private “oches” create the perfect scenario for a head-to-head challenge. Evoking a lively entertainment attraction, Flight Club is planned for expansion from Chicago and Boston to Houston, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. Reserve your spot now though, spots are rumored to book up months in advance.

Interestingly, the main entertainment attraction, gaming, is not where the money is at for most of these concepts—it’s the food. Rather than focusing on turning tables, guests are encouraged to linger a little longer. Eat, drink, and be social. According to Food Newsfeed, looking at these eatertainment venues, 75 percent to 80 percent of their revenue comes from food and beverage. As much thought invested in the game, upscale, chef-driven menus are being crafted for a social scenario of sharing and grazing. Hand-crafted cocktails and tapas with local influences and global culinary fusions are fueling sophisticated palates.

According to a nightlife study from hospitality platform, SevenRooms commissioned through third-party research firm YouGov, “eatertainment” is on the rise: nearly one in three Americans prefers to go out to a bar that offers food, drinks, and activities all in one place, and 24% of Americans surveyed wished that there were more “eatertainment” venues nearby them.

The entertainment value extends beyond consumer interest to real estate developers and major retail properties looking to draw traffic and create social community hubs. These eatertainment concepts are the perfect immersive playgrounds for today’s consumers eager to hang out and high-five.

Craving more restaurant perspectives? Check out our insights article: The New Restaurant of the Future Formula.

Photo Credits: Puttshack Press, AceBounce Press

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