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qaFranchise Q&A

Where is Putt-Putt Franchising at this time?

Putt-Putt, LLC is franchising locations throughout the United States and other countries. However due to the nature of our product, locations in warmer climates tend to be more successful.

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What are the requirements for becoming a Putt-Putt Fun Center franchisee?

The following are guidelines for becoming a franchisee whether you are applying as an individual or investor group. You or your group should meet or exceed the following financial requirements in order to build and operate an effective Putt-Putt Fun Center. The financial requirements vary depending on what type of Putt-Putt Fun Center you plan to operate.

The following financial guidelines are for the three basic levels:

  • For a 36-hole golf only franchise
  • Net worth of at least $1,000,000 with $200,000 cash to invest in the business.

  • For a 36-hole golf and game room franchise (Requires a building of at least 3,500 square feet)
  • Net worth of at least $2,000,000 with $300,000 cash to invest in the business.
  • For a multi-attraction family entertainment center with golf, games, party areas and at least one other attraction
  • Net worth of at least $3,000,000 with $500,000 cash to invest in the business.

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What are the initial franchise fees and ongoing royalties for a franchisee?

The initial franchise fees are:

  • Putt-Putt golf only location - $20,000
  • Putt-Putt golf and games location - $30,000
  • Putt-Putt family entertainment center location - $50,000

The royalties are 5% on gross sales payable to Putt-Putt, LLC and 1% on gross sales payable to the Putt-Putt Marketing Fund. This fund is used for the development of marketing programs and support for franchisees and is managed by an Advisory Board of franchisees. A portion of the percentage paid to the Putt-Putt Marketing Fund will be credited to you as marketing credit for your facility.

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What are the estimated costs from construction through opening for a Putt-Putt franchise location?

The following are estimated costs and do not constitute a contract. They should be viewed as general estimates to understand the investment required in constructing a new franchise location. Putt-Putt LLC will assist franchisees in obtaining actual costs and developing a more accurate budget based on their geographic location, construction costs, attractions, building size and other factors that are unique to each location. These costs do not include the purchase or lease cost for land.

Putt-Putt Golf (36 holes) only:
  • Franchise fee $20,000
  • Construction and other estimated costs through opening $550,000-$800,000
  • *Total estimated costs $570,000-$820,000
Putt-Putt golf (36 holes) and Games (3,500 sq. ft. building):
  • Franchise fee $30,000
  • Construction and other estimated costs through opening $950,000-$1,400,000
  • *Total estimated costs $980,000-$1,430,000
Putt-Putt Fun Center (36 holes of golf, go-karts and batting cage outdoors, bumber cars, game arcade, snack bar and party rooms in a 6,000 sq. ft. building):
  • Franchise fee $50,000
  • Construction and other estimated costs through opening $2,100,000-$3,000,000
  • *Total estimated costs $2,150,000-$3,050,000

*The costs for purchasing or leasing real estate is not included in any of the estimated costs provided above.

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What are the basic qualifications for a Putt-Putt franchisee?

Putt-Putt is looking for individuals, families, and groups with the basic financial and management requirements, as well as a strong desire to build and sustain a business in the family entertainment industry. Potential franchisees must be interested in operating a hands-on business and cannot be concerned about rolling up their sleeves and working at the facility. If your only interest is in owning the franchise as an investment, Putt-Putt can manage your location for a fee. Your Putt-Putt location will become part of your community, and represents our brand in your community. How it is managed and cared for is critically important for your financial success and the growth of our brand.

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Is it necessary for me to work at my park?

Everyone wants a business where they invest a little money and don't have to work very hard; a Putt-Putt franchise is not it. We know from experience that you must have a person at the park virtually every day watching every aspect of the business. It is not a difficult business to run, but it requires constant attention from someone who cares about the success of the business. We don't require that you work at your Fun Center, but if you are not going to be the general manager, then we strongly suggest that you let us manage your franchise for you for some period of time to get off to as successful a start as possible.

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How do I find a location for my Putt-Putt Fun Center?

Putt-Putt, LLC will advise you on selecting a location and review any options that you have already identified. Location is certainly one of the keys to success in this business, as it is with any retail business. Here are a few initial thoughts for you to consider:

  • You must be located in a safe neighborhood or parents will not bring their children to your park.
  • Your location should be visible from a major road or roads. You want kids and parents driving by to think about coming to Putt-Putt. If you are out of sight, you are out of mind. Locations adjacent to major consumer attractions like malls, move theatres, high volume fast food restaurants and retailers are more likely to be successful because of the visibility and impulse visits.
  • Your location does not have to have an easy entrance and exit, but it is advantageous. Since people are coming to your location to stay for a few hours, they are not as worried about the quick in and out issue like they are at fast food restaurants. You may be able to find a site that other retail businesses are not as interested in, because access is a little more difficult.
  • Think Walmart® and Target® for your target audience. You are after everyday people who have to be careful about what they spend on entertainment for their families. You want to be right in the middle of "middle America." High-income audiences will often go to regional amusement parks and choose more expensive options for birthdays and special family days rather than visit local family entertainment centers. You will want groups to come from schools, churches, sports clubs and other family organizations.
    If you don't have a number of elementary schools within 5 miles, you are probably not in the right place.
  • Obviously a concentration of people is good, but if you locate in too large a city, there will be more competition. We have found that being the only option in a smaller community is better. A market of 200,000-500,000 people within a 20-mile radius is perfect, because the larger amusement centers will not locate in this small of a market and you can be the choice for birthday parties, group events, youth groups, fund raisers, etc. Obviously we recommend that the size of your facility fit the population of your market.

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What if I already have a location?

If you already have a location that you own or want to lease, we will be glad to review the property and area. However, make sure you do not let the fact that you own a piece of land be the deciding factor on where you locate your Putt-Putt Fun Center. For example, if your property has no visibility or is located away from homes, schools and shopping, it may not be a good location.

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What geographic protection do I have from other Putt-Putt franchisees?

Technically, you will have a 10-mile radius around your Putt-Putt Fun Center. However, if there are other good locations in your area, we will talk to you about them before going to new franchisees. We want you to develop multiple locations, and it is easier for you to manage them and advertise your parks if they are in one general area.

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Can I get rights to a territory or multiple sites?

We will discuss development agreements for territories if they are not already taken by existing franchisees. We will need to agree on a reasonable build-out schedule.

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What support does Putt-Putt give me in the design and construction of my Putt-Putt Fun Center?

Basic design and architectural drawings:
Putt-Putt will provide basic plans for the level of park that you plan to build (golf only, golf and games or full fun center). We will review these plans with you during the franchising process. Access to basic drawings is covered by your franchise fee. We also have an arrangement with one of the top amusement park architects in the country and they will provide the detailed drawing and site plans for your specific site for a very reasonable fee. We will be glad to participate with you in discussing your needs with them and will assist you during this critical process at no cost.

Construction:
A consultant from Putt-Putt, LLC will assist you by suggesting possible contractors, reviewing bids, and providing general expertise and the benefit of our experience. Our consultant will also visit your site during construction to provide a hands-on review of the work. We do have a general contractor that works all over the US building Putt-Putt Fun Centers and other family entertainment centers. Using his services will be both cost effective for you and ensure that you get the full benefit of his experience building our franchises.

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What training support does Putt-Putt give me for my employees and myself?

Training before the doors open for business:
The owner-manager and shift supervisors need to spend at least two weeks working at an existing Putt-Putt location that has attractions similar to the ones you will have at your facility. During this time, your staff members will go through the employee training for all attractions and actually work shifts at the location. There is no substitute for this hands-on training. You will be responsible for your travel and personal expenses during this period and you will not be paid by the franchisee where you are training.

Grand opening assistance:
Your Putt-Putt consultant will be on-site for the first week that you are open to assist in the continued training of your staff. He will actually work at your site alongside your staff to make sure they are doing things correctly and that they understand the culture of Putt-Putt.

On-going training:
Putt-Putt will provide you with training materials and procedures for training new staff and retraining existing staff in new roles.

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What marketing support does Putt-Putt provide?

Putt-Putt provides franchisees with a complete, online marketing manual that outlines what to do from January 1 to December 31. The manual has a detailed calendar for each month that not only explains when to run what promotions, but also provides advance notice on when to order materials, tips on how to use them, and other important information. Putt-Putt also has created every ad, poster, banner and other item you will need to implement the marketing program. All you have to do is follow the detailed instructions. You can also contact your Putt-Putt consultant at any time for help, guidance or answers to questions. You will be responsible for production costs, but the designs are already complete and the digital files you need for printing are ready for use.

Putt-Putt, LLC also looks for input from the franchisees on ideas and recommendations for the development of new promotions and the use of the Marketing Fund dollars. The franchisees elect the majority of the members of the Marketing Advisory Board that oversees the use of the Marketing Fund dollars. This board approves the budget, reviews the recommended creative and provides valuable input to the home office on what is needed by the franchisees.

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What support is available during my initial opening?

Your consultant will help you plan an effective opening promotion for your location. Different locations and different types of facilities need different approaches, and we will help you plan the best possible opening. We want you to succeed, but we don't want customers to get frustrated, because they have to wait too long or you are not ready for them. Therefore, we generally recommend a staggered opening, rather than a big event and then going quiet. The time of year is also a significant factor in the best type of opening. All of the elements you need are already designed and available on the franchisee website.

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