How did you get into the children’s entertainment industry?

As a kid growing up in the 80s, I frequented the local arcades and mini-golf courses in Eastern PA every summer. In 2005, my wife and I started what would quickly become the largest youth flag football league in the state of Maryland. After successfully running it for over 12 years and our kids growing older and eventually moving out, we knew that we wanted to continue to provide a safe and fun establishment for our local community to enjoy. We reflected back to some of our family vacations down in the Orlando Florida region where we experienced an outdoor glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course at Universal Studios. Soon after, the idea of creating Scary Strokes came about and 5 years later, it has become a local staple and attraction destination for our community and outreaching the entire DMV (Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia) area.

What’s New in the Business or in the Scary Strokes Franchise Model?

Scary Strokes thrives on having the most current attractions and state-of-the-art technology. In 2019, we became only the 5th venue in the nation to acquire and incorporate our latest Virtual Reality (VR) attraction, the Omni Arena. It is a full-motion, 360-degree treadmill where players literally walk (or run) in various virtual worlds. The Omni Arena has seen customers come from as far away as New York and New Jersey to participate in our weekly and monthly esports competitions. Customers also get a video automatically sent to them via email that records their personal perspective during the game as well as a recording of them on the treadmills themselves.

Where do you See Opportunities or Challenges for the Franchise/Business Moving Forward?

Opportunities – Brand awareness and growth. We’ve created a culture inside of Scary Strokes which provides second-to-none experiences and cleanliness. Our online reviews regardless of the platform are higher than ALL our like competitors. We consider Scary Strokes a “High End” family entertainment center. Our slogan since our inception has always been, “Where every experience matters.”    

Challenges –  Finding the right people to operate and dedicate themselves to ensure the success of the business. The individual/s need to eat, sleep, and live Scary Strokes. It needs to have owners who believe in the concept and will not sacrifice or lower the bar that we as a company have worked extremely hard to set high and lead the amusement industry.   

What is your Goal for the Scary Strokes Franchise Business Moving Forward?

We continue to lead the way and gain national brand awareness. We’re always adding and staying on top of the latest games and technologies to enhance the experience. Whether it’s a new arcade game or adding animatronics to our golf course, we’re always moving forward.  

Talk to us About Training and Support, How Do You Deliver in the Scary Strokes Franchise System?

We are hands-on with our training and support. We are only an email, call, or visit away. The Scary Strokes brand has a positive reputation that was established since our doors opened and it’s our biggest priority to new franchisees that they are properly set up to continue and provide the same level of experiences that our corporate location offers. If they are not properly trained or supported, the brand suffers. We are one team and we prepare all our owners to be as successful as possible. If they succeed, we succeed.   

Your most difficult moment in the Franchise Business?

Finding the right staff is by far the biggest challenge. It takes a certain work ethic and personality to be a great fit for Scary Strokes. We have procedures in place to find the best of the best. Depending on the talent pool, this can be a longer than anticipated event.    

Define the Scary Strokes Franchise Model:

  1. Training and Support Model? We provide adequate training and support to get owners set up and operating. This ranges from site visits to calls and emails.
  2. What is the Fee Structure? – $35K Franchise Fee / 7% Royalty Fees / 1% Marketing Fees
  3. Territory Definition? We make sure there are exclusions where each Scary Strokes location can thrive. Each will have its own territory. This will be based on each location and the demographics and population.
  4. Day in the life of a Franchisee? Depends on whether they themselves will be operating the business or will hire managers and/or a general manager. We recommend in the beginning the franchisee is 100% involved with operations and all related business requirements. This would range from opening the center, running the operations, and then closing the center. They would also be involved in the background by performing inventories, retail and concession orders, and marketing. There are many different aspects of running a successful Scary Strokes franchise and requires owners who are eager and willing to learn many different business disciplines.

What does Your Franchisee Do in the Business Every Day? See above.  

Who is the Ideal Franchise Candidate? Someone who believes in our slogan “Where every experience matters” and puts it into practice. Someone who isn’t looking to just have an amusement center, but to be the BEST of the BEST amusement center. Someone who isn’t afraid of hard work and understands that the business is a top priority.   

What Goals Do You Have for the Franchise Model in the Future? We want to see Scary Strokes grow even bigger than what it currently is. Offer more attractions, and experiences, be a household name and rival other big box venues while providing superior service and experiences.

For more information on the Scary Strokes Franchise, visit the corporate site: