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Unboxed: The Story Of A Gaming Cafe – Issue 5

Good afternoon peeps! It’s been one month since my last foray into the blogging world and since then the Unboxed Cafe has seen ups and downs, we've been busy and quiet, all the while being either giddy or terrified (no in-between, it’s been exhausting).

August started with a bang and ended with a whimper as the education system robbed us of tiny customers and their wonderfully big-hearted parents. I’ve spoken before about how soul-destroying it can be when no one comes through the door for hours at a time, but the all-time worst was just a few days ago.

A Tuesday. I sat in here all day, saw but four or five faces and made a grand total of £8.80. Needless to say, I was distraught and later drowned my sorrows in a bottle of wine. I know, I know, alcohol isn’t the answer; but it is, technically, a solution…

Learning To Do Numbers

Anyway, numbers aside, this month we’ve been learning basic accountancy. Our very generous friend (and accountant extraordinaire), Lyle, has been coming down from Edinburgh to teach us his ways and has been astonishingly patient in the process.

He has gone through all our accounts for our first two months and has shown us the basics, so now it’s up to us to keep on top of it for the whole of September. A daunting task, to be sure, but I think we’ve got it under control. Being absolutely clueless and never having done any sort of accountancy, I’m perhaps not qualified to quantify the amount of control we actually have over the situation.

I’m sure we’ll be fine.


In other news, we are now featured on the “Groupon” website with food and drink meal deals, which is admittedly quite exciting!! It’s like we’re a real business, and not just two guys peddling our mutual hobby and making coffee for people. You can find those deals on the Groupon website as well as our Facebook page!

We’ve also finally got a calendar put together complete with our chess club, card game night, board game night and RPG nights (check out the facebook page or website for this information) However, getting people through the door is still a constant and significant challenge.

Factor in the lack of budget for any kind of advertising, aside from shouting at people in the streets, and it adds up to an almost herculean task. We are still seeing new faces all the time, which can only be a positive thing, we just have to hope that the domino effect of word of mouth keeps gaining traction and more and more people find out about us.

Some Unfortunate News

For the past six weeks or so, every second Friday, we have been hosts to Games Centre’s Card Night, an event that has always turned us a decent profit. Unfortunately, now our little café is deemed ‘too small’ to accommodate all attendees. Which, frankly, sucks.

It means, for one, that we are going to lose out on the majority of that Friday night custom, but more regrettably, it means that we will now be in direct competition with Games Centre for that Friday night crowd and I can’t imagine that we will fair very well in that clash due to their loyal player base.

We never wanted to be in a position that we would be directly competing with other gaming outlets, which is why we’ve tried our best to differentiate ourselves and be a distinct voice in Ayrshire’s gaming community. But in order to remain a player in the community, we can’t afford not to try to compete with them. It’s sad more than anything else but, alas, there’s nothing to be done.


In the wake of that, we will be hosting Friday Night Magic every Friday. (*Audible groan from non-magic players*) I know, I’m with you, I don’t play Magic either, and there’s nothing worse than walking into a gaming establishment to find a hoard of Magic players using every table in the place.

But… the reality is, Magic is a surefire moneymaker and from a business standpoint, we kinda have to host it if we want to sustain ourselves and give other types of gamers their due every other day of the week. It’s only one night a week after all. At the moment we only have six or seven players in the Magic group anyway so there’ll still be plenty of room for everyone else on Friday nights *thumbs up*.

Let me see, what else…? Nope, that about covers it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s edition of ‘Ross’s Ramblings’ (sorry it’s late), I’ll be back next month with some more spine tingling anecdotes, bone chilling horror stories, toe curling adventure stories and… well… just some chat really.

Happy Gaming!

Visit Ross' author page to read more issues in the series!