Toby Harris told the Casual Dining Show in London last week that there was scope to create a “far bigger business” overseas, compared to the UK.
Social Entertainment Ventures has opened both darts bar Flight Club and the Bounce ping pong concept, named AceBounce in the US, in Chicago since 2016. Flight Club UK operates as a separate entity.
Harris says the company is focusing on rolling out Flight Club over the next two years to fill what he sees as a gap in the market for "competitive socialising" across the pond.
“Chicago is a very larger corporate market, there are relatively limited leisure or social entertainment [concepts] that do quality food,” said Harris.
“It’s remarkable how far, we have seen, most of the US cities are behind London in that respect.
“[The] roll-out potential is so many times greater than that of the UK. If we could get it right in Chicago, why couldn’t we get it right in 50-70 metropolitan areas within the US?”
He added that he could see scope for three to four Bounce sites in London, and no more than one each in cities such as Birmingham and Leeds.
Social Entertainment Ventures also owns the Puttshack crazy golf brand, which opened in Westfield London in 2018 and has further sites lined up in the City, intu Lakeside and Watford, with more regional openings to come
“[Opening in the] US will take a little bit longer to land for Puttshack, but we’re hopeful of opening our first site in Chicago either downtown or in a suburb,” said Harris.