- Founded – 2015
- Guests to date – 500,000+
- Darts thrown – 30m
- Employees – 170
With a little help from my friends…The support for Flight Club in the early days came from the 39 friends and family who committed money, alongside a little bank debt, to create a £2.5m growth capital pool. Moore and his co-founders then pulled in every favour they could to launch the ambitious project in a space no one could have had experience in. “We didn’t have marketing when it opened, it was all done through word of mouth – but we were fully from day one with 1,000 people a day in the first few weeks,” he remembered. “That is the beauty of London. If you are good they will come. Now we’re completely oversubscribed at a rate of 400 per cent a day.” While Moore and his senior team don’t seem have any problems getting punters in the door, finding new doors for them to come through is definitely a challenge. Not realising how taxing property development and acquisition is, Moore has now established an in-house team to streamline this process. “The legals, leases, building permits, design process – it’s all bonkers,” he said. While on the hunt for new locations in London and the rest of England, Flight Club’s next location will be opening on the other side of the pond, in Chicago. “It’s such an excitable product, and I just want more people playing it,” Moore said of his decision to go international. Rather than trying to do it all by themselves, the team have embraced a hybrid model somewhere in between a franchise and a joint venture – licensing the brand and IP and letting another party worry about finding a property and getting the appropriate licences. “The feeling was that Chicago would be more receptive. New York can be a tricky place to launch a new concept, but we’re looking there too,” he added.
The Junkyard Golf journey from pop-up to 12,000 sq ft leases In two short years Junkyard Golf has gone from a booze-induced experiment to a business forecasting revenues of £12m next year – quite a ride for a company which has its origins in reusing rubbish.
Stocking up managementIt takes a year, working quickly, for Flight Club to open a new site. From the onerous process of securing a lease, through the three-month design phase to make each location unique, to staffing and eventually opening, it’s a complicated process. The executive team powering this roll out has experience derived from positions at Sony, the BBC, Bupa and Credit Suisse – with Flight Club’s technical director someone who has worked with NASA. In recruiting Julia Diggs to serve as people operations director, Moore is looking to improve on an already enviable employee and culture position. “Our retention in central management is 100 per cent after two and a half years. With bar staff, we haven’t had anyone leave for a reason other than going back to university or travelling. They all fundamentally really enjoy working fo us. Now we want to set up a training academy for the new staff, as they are such an integral part of what we do.” Looking back at Flight Club’s win at the Amazon Growing Business Awards in November, Moore sees this kind of recognition as another great way of celebrating the achievements of employees and retaining them for the future. He was pleased to be acknowledged as much as a technology business, and one leading on the innovation front, as a hospitality outfit. “We’ve effectively set up a creative agency within Flight Club and have a great pool of talent to create that live experience,” he commented. My Flight Club experience and discussion with Moore ended with another dose of excitement huddled around a screen, this time a smartphone. “Look at that design, it’s mental,” he said again, this time referring to the bar at the company’s Bloomsbury site. He also touched on a new technological development, set to drop in the next month or so, which he believes will further revolutionise the space Flight Club operates in and catapult it to further success. While it was slightly odd to see so many people enthusiastically cheering on friends and colleagues just after lunch on a Thursday, it’s clear evidence Flight Club has created a recipe for success.
Check out some other Amazon Growing Business Awards winners
- Pip & Nut: From the Science Museum to international food brand founder
- Lending platform Monevo holds innovation close to its chest
- Beauty Boulevard: The micro business on everyone’s lips
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