Reinventing darts for the twenty first century, Flight Club is an experience which brings people together for unexpected, ridiculous, joy. Here, RLI takes a moment to sit down with Paul Barham, Co-Founder & COO to discuss the concept, the meteoric rise and the future.
Flight Club Darts incorporates a range of fast and exciting multi-player games that were built to bring people together and designed to keep guests unexpectedly hooked, insatiably entertained and full of joy. Whether players are an expert or a novice, everyone has a chance to win when they step up to one of the multiple oches at a Flight Club location.
The company currently has five venues in the UK; three of these are in London in Shoreditch, Bloomsbury and Victoria, the other two are in Manchester and Birmingham respectively. Outside of the UK, one site is operated in the US in Chicago, with a second site due to open in Boston before the end of the year. ‘The past 12 months have been hugely positive for us. We continue to be overwhelmed by the incredible response we get, and we don’t take this lightly’ explains Paul Barham, Co-Founder & COO of Flight Club. ‘Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) is 90, and in this highly competitive industry, brand loyalty is something we pride ourselves on. Word-of-mouth is one of the biggest referrals and we love that our guests want to shout about their experiences with us.’
In October last year the Manchester location launched; and this was followed by further openings in Victoria, its largest venue with a capacity of 650, and the opening of the Birmingham site back in July. They want to get as many people as possible creating epic memories at Flight Club, so the brand is always on the lookout for new locations. Many plans are currently under wraps until they are finalised, however the company are excited to reveal its new concept, Electric Shuffle, which they will be launching in Canary Wharf this winter. ‘Innovation is part of who we are, so we’re constantly looking at new markets that we can bring some unexpected, ridiculous joy to. We are exploring launching more venues in the North, as well as further afield globally.’ explains Barham.
With such a fast-growing concept, Barham explains that they continuously looking for ways to rejuvenate the guest experience, through both new games and products. A good example of this was last year when they introduced Flight Club Stories, an industry-leading innovation which collates content throughout a guest’s time in the oche and enhances their overall experience.
The company keeps on top of trends in the world of social media, looking at what works and what doesn’t. They play around with different ideas and see what gets a good response and move with that. Barham believes that social media is about having fun and not taking yourself too seriously; a concept the brand tries to embrace.
‘It’s also about admitting when things don’t work or if things need to be changed. For example, we’ve found having a generic Instagram account didn’t work for us; guests located near Birmingham aren’t interested in content related to London, so we have expanded our Instagram portfolio to include Flight Club Birmingham and soon Manchester,’ says Barham.
Social media is an important tool for the business and it is one of its key communication channels that not only increases the awareness of the brand, but allows them to maintain and build relationships with its existing guests. In the modern world, people are looking for more from their nights out; they want the opportunity to experience something different, something real and something that gives lasting memories with friends and colleagues. This is where Flight Club comes in. They give their guests the perfect opportunity to do this no matter the level of skill they have, anyone can step up regardless of whether they’ve played darts before. The Flight Club family is at the heart of everything the business does. It prides itself on its passion, enthusiasm and warmth, and they go to great lengths to ensure this is reflected in the experiences of everyone who enters a Flight Club venue.
‘Our focus is moments with friends, redefined. By that we mean we want to bring something different to each of our guests’ experiences and help them to create exciting memories with friends and family. We want to deliver unexpected, ridiculous, joy to all of our guests,’ highlights Barham. ‘The greatest challenge for us is remaining fresh. The industry has seen a lot of change in recent years and trends become outdated quickly. We need to remain vigilant and keep a keen eye on what guests are looking for on their nights out,’ Barham concludes.