How games rooms improve staff morale in a working environment

The fact that games rooms improve staff morale in working environments is nothing new – back in 2003, Kevin Desouza of the University of Illinois at Chicago found the benefits include on-site entertainment and inter-department competition.

Yet many workplaces still fail to provide any form of employee entertainment for break times, missing out on a valuable opportunity to boost engagement and productivity, while getting employees back to work sooner.

Coin-operated pool tables are one way to add some breaktime entertainment that your workforce will appreciate, and you have plenty of flexibility when it comes to setting the price per play, or even offering free play as a perk.

At Manco Automatic we supply coin-op pool tables to all kinds of premises, including pubs and clubs, as well as pool tables for workplaces across Greater Manchester, and we’ve seen time and time again the positive impact they can have.

Keep employees engaged

Employee engagement is largely about feeling ‘at home’ in the workplace, and while nobody wants their workers to become too relaxed at the cost of productivity, there’s an important balance to strike.

Providing entertainment in the form of a coin-op pool table for break times is a good way of increasing engagement on the employee’s own time, while getting maximum productivity once they return to work.

As Kevin Desouza found, employers also see the benefits of running inter-departmental competitions such as mini pool leagues and knock-out tournaments as a way to increase team morale in addition to individual morale.

There are plenty of ways to do this – either by having employees compete in one-on-one games as part of a team, participating in doubles matches, or even more flexible rules that allow entire teams to compete in the same game.

Why have on-site pool tables?

You might wonder why it’s useful to have a games room in the workplace, as opposed to letting those employees who want a game of pool to go to a local pub on their lunch break.

There are multiple benefits, even on top of the engagement and morale mentioned above.

You get good control over the pool table – so it’s more likely to be available when someone wants a game, and people are more likely to be civil about taking turns.

It can represent an additional revenue stream or a way to raise funds for charity if you charge per game, or you can offer free play as a staff perk.

And finally, by keeping employees on-site during breaks and lunch, they are more likely to return to their desk on time than if they go off-premises and are delayed.

This all adds up to make Manco Automatics pool tables the ideal addition to a workplace games room to boost staff engagement, morale and productivity alike.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378720603000272

What are the most popular tunes for juke boxes?

In 2022 the UK music charts reach their 70th anniversary – that’s a lot of music, so what are the most popular tunes for juke boxes?

The answer isn’t an easy one. It can depend on your particular clientele, the quality of new music releases, and even on the day of the week.

Because of this, Manco Automatics provide audio and video juke boxes for pubs and other venues that give you plenty of ways to customise and update the music you offer.

One example of this is the Sound Leisure VenueHub Digital Jukebox, known as VHub for short, which offers exclusive access to regularly updated UK Singles Chart music.

Give it an internet connection and it will update on a weekly basis, so whatever the most popular UK singles are at the time, it should have them available for your customers to choose.

Networked jukeboxes can also offer vast libraries of on-demand music, so you can give far more choice than what’s stored directly on the digital juke box hard drive.

Even if you don’t have a suitable internet connection, digital juke boxes have as many as 30,000 songs and albums stored internally – plenty of choice for your customers.

Improve what you offer

As soon as your digital juke box is installed, you can start to improve the music library you offer – which can mean making it smaller, as well as bigger.

Some tracks might not be suitable for your venue. These can be removed from the library or from the menus and search results on the juke box so they can never be selected by customers.

Some songs might only be unsuitable at certain times of day – for instance, you might be happy to offer songs with swearing in them later in the evening when no children are around.

Dynamic profiles can be created that automatically adjust the availability of those songs over the course of the day, so you don’t have to manually switch profiles every evening when your family friendly hours end.

VHub even supports soundjack, an app that means customers can choose songs directly from their smartphone – reducing congestion around your juke box and allowing more songs to be queued overall.

By combining all of these techniques, you can create a music library that is perfectly suited to what your customers want, whether that’s the latest chart music or the old classics dating back 70 years or more.

Pub fruit machines put the cherry on your vegan cake

We supply pub fruit machines to all kinds of establishments, from traditional local boozers to gastropubs and microbreweries that sell on-premises too.

One niche that is rapidly becoming more mainstream is vegan pubs, which play an important role in allowing vegans to enjoy a night out in the knowledge that the food and drink served to them supports their lifestyle choices.

This is about more than just a dairy-free, vegetarian menu, as many alcoholic drinks, along with other beverages, meals and bar snacks, can contain a wide variety of different animal-derived ingredients and processes.

In May 2019, Mintel’s ‘Pub Visiting’ report noted a growing number of pubs that are increasing their vegan-friendly product range, and this includes venues that take the extra step by deciding to only stock vegan food and drinks.

So if you’re going animal-free, our pub fruit machines are the perfect form of entertainment – the clue’s in the name!

Traditional fruit machines are naturally vegan-friendly, with their reels filled with images of cherries, lemons and other delicious fruits that might even help to drive sales of bar snacks among your fruitarian customers.

Completely free pub fruit machine hire

If you’re opening a new vegan pub and you want to minimise your setup costs without missing out on revenues from entertainment, our completely free pub fruit machine hire could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

We can deliver and install pub fruit machines to your premises with no setup costs or long-term contracts, so if you’re taking a gamble on opening a vegan pub in a new area or an untested market, you can reduce your risk.

You get a reliable additional revenue stream thanks to the long-term house edge on each
slot machine we supply, and we share the profits – so we only make money when you make
money.
It’s a great way to offer some on-premises entertainment to your vegan customers and their friends, helping your venue to look like a fully fledged traditional pub on its opening day or following a vegan-friendly refurb.

Pub slot machines offer customers a range of benefits. It's not just about cash prizes -there’s entertainment value in playing a losing game too, and you’ll often see groups of friends crowded around the machine to offer advice on the best tactics and features to claim.

With jackpots from £100 to £500, our pub fruit machines have the promise of substantial payouts for lucky players, while retaining a reliable house edge over the long term, so that there are plenty of revenues for you and profits for us to share in too.

https://reports.mintel.com/display/957534/

Fruit machines through the ages

The first fruit machines were slot machines, but the first slot machines were not fruit machines.

That’s because the term ‘slot machine’ originally applied to all coin-op machines, including vending machines and automatic horse racing machines similar to those still found in amusement arcades to this day.

Starting from the 1880s, if you won on one of these horse racing machines, you might receive a prize in the form of cigars or drinks – yes, pub slot machines have existed since the very first days of coin-op gaming machines!

Interestingly, these machines led to a commonly used saying for games that almost (but not quite) landed on a prize – “close, but no cigar”.

 

One-armed bandits and fruit machines

Towards the end of the 1880s, coin-op machines started to pay cash prizes. These included ‘tip the balance’ machines similar to modern-day coin dozer/push-off machines, and ‘wheel of fortune’ style games.

By the mid-1890s, American inventor Charles Fey had created the first slot machines similar to the pub fruit machines you see today.

Fey’s second slot machine to enter mass production was 4-11-44, a one-armed bandit based around the three winning numbers in the lottery game Policy.

Soon after, he created Liberty Bell, and the benchmark was set for modern slot machines. The reels still did not feature fruits, but the combination of playing card suit symbols, plus lucky horseshoes and bells was a big step towards the fruits we know and love today.

 

20th century fruit machines

Fey’s factory – and almost all the first-generation Liberty Bell machines – were destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

This disaster may be partly responsible for the rise of 20th century fruit machines. In 1910, a partnership between Fey and the Mills Novelty Company produced Operator Bell, a new version of Liberty Bell with – at last – fruits used as the symbols on the reels.

During the decades that followed, these Mills-produced fruit machines evolved to use wooden cabinets that were much lighter than the original cast iron, and much quieter mechanisms.

 

Modern pub fruit machines

The past 50 years have seen pub fruit machines evolve yet again, with the introduction of secondary feature boards and much more complex gameplay and gamble options.

In the 21st century, touchscreen fruit machines have become more commonplace, with pub quiz machines adding to the gameplay options for patrons too.

The choice is wider than ever – and with new games, features and rules being introduced all the time, who knows where fruit machines will go next??

Putting pub pool tables outside for summer

Putting pub pool tables outside for summer

We’re often asked about putting pub pool tables outside for summer, and despite the notoriously unpredictable British weather, the answer is yes, you can.

However, there is, of course, some care and attention needed to make sure you don’t end up with flooded felt or boggy baize following a seasonal downpour.

The Manco Automatics team have got you covered – and your outdoor pub pool table should be covered too, just in case!

 

Outdoor locations for pub pool tables

Most of the rules of outdoor locations for pub pool tables are the same as for indoor pool tables, including:

  • Relatively flat, level, stable ground.
  • Adequate cue clearance on all sides.
  • Not blocking emergency routes or creating a hazard.

If the basics are all accounted for, then there’s usually no reason why you can’t put a pool table outside in a beer garden or on a terrace.

And by doing so, you can also free up the equivalent space inside, which is ideal if you plan to screen major sporting events this summer or just want the floor space for tables.

 

Extra considerations for outdoor pool tables

You may have seen outdoor pool tables at pubs and bars in Mediterranean holiday resorts, but it’s important to realise that the UK is unfortunately not a Mediterranean country.

Our climate means it is very likely, if not inevitable, that the summer months will see heavy rain – and our clients in Greater Manchester will know that more than most!

Because of this, you need to take some precautions if you want to put pub pool tables in the beer garden or elsewhere outside.

A suitable shelter or canopy is essential. Ideally, it should provide a permanent cover to protect the table surface against rainfall, allowing for the fact that rain can blow in at an angle in squally weather.

For security reasons, coin-operated pool tables should ideally be in an enclosed area such as a fenced-in beer garden and/or supervised directly from the bar or via CCTV.

 

Need help with an outdoor pool table?

We’re happy to help you decide if an outdoor pub pool table is a sensible decision for your premises and to troubleshoot any additional preparations you should make before installation.

Our team can deliver and install an outdoor pool table or if you already have one of our pub pool tables indoors, we can come and professionally relocate it to your beer garden.

To find out more, contact your Manco representative today and we’ll get the cue ball rolling.

Manco Automatics Ltd
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