A toast to retail gaming: the first report about Food, beverage and gaming in Italy
A new game in the new normal: this is the goal of the industry emerging from the pandemic. The survey carried out by TradeLab for Gioco News on gaming retail with a view to Food & Beverage and more, helps the operators for the creation of the new retail offer.
The reconstruction of public gaming after the pandemic proposes new scenarios and new challenges in the retail for the creation of safe, welcoming spaces, in line with the new – health and technological – needs of consumers. In this “new normal” of gaming we can see several opportunities, which it’s worth deepening, to create new spaces to host the usual public of these locations, but not only. Trying to extend the horizons towards a general public, perhaps even among those who are not a player. Or rather, it is not yet.
For a challenge in the challenge that the insiders are preparing to face in this restart year, in which we will also have to use imagination to dare something more and try – why not – even to anticipate some trends, as well to support those already in place. But without relegating development to unpreparedness: on the contrary, relying on scientific analysis and evidence of data. In this sense, the survey carried out by TradeLab for Gioco News on the potential of Food & Beverage in gaming is a valuable tool for retail gaming operators. A research work developed over the last eighteen months, which we talked about some time ago, when the project was being defined, and which has just been completed, giving life to a very complete and detailed report, in which we can find a series of interesting ideas on the reality of Italian gaming and – above all – on the wishes of the users attending the rooms and all the places where gaming products are located.
In fact, in this long and in-depth survey, created to explore the possibilities of creating or developing a serving offer within gaming venues, other aspects have also emerged that interest consumers, also in comparison with what they can already find. Providing very important ideas for those who are called to rethink the layout and organization of their gaming locations. In this sense, therefore, the research has taken on a new and further meaning with the explosion of the pandemic, which changed – in part – the timing of implementation, but without compromising the results. Indeed, providing further food for thought, that today become even more precious. If, as we have also seen in previous issues of the magazine, consumers today have new needs, following the spread of the virus and the new containment rules that have radically changed the offer of retail stores of any kind, these new trends intersect with those already detected during the TradeLab survey among the players, thus allowing to analyze the new needs and find the offer to be considered “ideal” for the consumers of the new normal.
Moreover, even before the arrival of the new coronavirus, retail gaming was facing a series of challenges, dictated in that case by the evolution of legislation and by local restrictions which, in addition to pushing towards a new geography of public gaming, due to the so-called “diastimeters” applied by many municipalities, required the creation of more welcoming spaces that were able to appear safer and more welcoming than they already were, to counteract and subvert the negative image that still has today public opinion of the sector. Well, among the merits of this survey, there is also that of proposing the world of gaming in a new way, also combining it with a sector – on the contrary – with a strong trend, such as that of the so-called Food & Beverage or “away from home”. In fact, already today we are increasingly dealing with ultra-technological and innovative locations, welcoming environments, often with an offer of administration or even catering. Indeed, the latter seems to be the hottest trend right now, confirming the fact that the industry is increasingly worrying about the user experience, trying to make it more complete and attractive, instead of limiting it to just the gaming offer.
In fact, the money that is spent with greater satisfaction by users is precisely those for entertainment, in the broadest sense of the term: which includes the whole world of “away from home”, from gaming to catering. Two of the most prosperous economies in our country, that don’t seem to be experiencing a crisis. So why not combine them and exploit this enormous potential, making it even more effective?
Food & beverage & gaming
The data indicate that over 34 percent of the adult population is used trying their luck in Italy, that is over 17 million people. And whatever people say, the vast majority of citizens have a calm relationship with gaming, albeit in cultural and territorial diversity. Indeed, we must also take into account gaming without cash winning, often ignored in the statistics, which instead represents a kind of entertainment widespread among young people and families and in shopping centers, Fecs (Family Entertainment Center) and tourist resorts. In these last locations, not by chance, there is already an F&B offer, often also of a high level. But the same can be found in many locations also dedicated to (commonly called) “gambling”. More in detail, there are approximately 225,000 gaming venues in Italy and over 4,800 of these are skilled points offering a mix of gaming and entertainment. Some are proposed as points of complete offer (“One stop shop”), ranging on various forms of entertainment (games, restaurants, cultural events and entertainment). It is therefore more than evident that the F&B offer in gaming places is increasingly important and that it will create new business opportunities for operators in the supply chain.
For this reason, Gioco News wanted to bring to value its experience on the gaming retail market and on the world of consumption in general, creating (and spreading) an analysis to understand the role, potential and development of the F&B offer in gaming places, both from the point of view of the manager and the visitors. This is the first survey of this kind carried out on the sector (indeed, between the two sectors), which starts from the assumption of exploiting and enhancing the fact that consumption outside home is an important, growing market that has not been affected by the crisis. As reported by Trade Lab, a company skilled in surveys on retail channels and in the world of consumption, which was entrusted with the survey. Not only. According to the data proposed by the same company, in the most commercially developed countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States or more similar to ours such as Spain, the incidence of consumption outside home is greater: and this means that there is still room to grow. Socio-demographic trends and changes in consumption habits and lifestyles also support the growth of the global F&B and catering market. So, it’s time to study, also taking into account the change of scenery that the gaming will have to face anyway, due to the political and environmental factors that affect the evolution of the business. And maybe this could be the most consumer-oriented format of various kinds that can assure the survival of the gaming premises. For a 2.0 and finally sustainable gaming retail. The survey, launched at the end of 2019, thanks to the support of Sisal, Snaitech and Sks365, was completed in recent months and will be shortly presented to the gaming world, through an ad hoc event. Also looking for a further synergy between the two sectors and also giving to the gaming world a visibility outside the traditional contexts, which certainly is not bad. Also presenting the gaming world as a form of excellence, from a retail point of view.
(The full article about this report is published on Gioco News January 21 magazine, available also on digital version, here)