The evolution of eatertainment—from the kid-focused animatronic robots of Chuck E. Cheese’s to the grown-up playgrounds of Dave & Buster’s—has spelled opportunity for Punch Bowl Social. The growing brand, which plans to open 10 new units over the next year and a half, is known for its from-scratch kitchen and craft cocktail program as well as its wide selection of games.

“We’ve determined we work best in urban and quasi-urban environments. The pure suburban play doesn’t work well for us,” says CEO Robert Thompson. “We’re most successful when we have ‘free-range millennials.’ They’re living in their natural habitat in urban environments and that is where we really excel.” It also thrives when units (some around 30,000 square feet—though a condensed, 12,500-square-foot prototype is launching in Fort Worth, Texas, this year) are near a central business district, he says. About 25% of the brand’s revenue comes from private events. 

Design is so central to Punch Bowl Social’s makeup that it stopped outsourcing architecture and design last year, bringing a team in-house to focus on a brand aesthetic Thompson calls “dirty modern,” a mishmash of lodge, industrial, Victorian, midcentury modern and other styles.

2017 Systemwide Sales ($000)$28*
YOY Sales Change39.6%
2017 U.S. Units11
YOY Unit Change37.5%
2017 Average Unit Volume ($000)$3,000*
Future 50 Year2018
FranchisingNo
*Technomic estimate

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