Friday, May 24, 2024

Red Engine

Disrupting the Industry

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The team behind the award-winning global brands Flight Club and Electric Shuffle, Red Engine are obsessed with creating and delivering the best possible experiences for an evening out. Here, RLI spends some time with Steve Moore, CEO and Founder at Red Engine to learn about the growth of the business and how they don’t plan on slowing down any time soon.

In 2012, when Co-Founders Steve Moore and Paul Barham were on the lookout for something different when arranging a night out, they saw a group of young people going crazy over a game of darts in a Devon pub and sensed an opportunity.

The game they saw was not traditional darts; it was loud, fast and exciting. This gave the Co-Founders an idea to reinvent darts for the 21st century and combine that with the nostalgia of a traditional British pub. This new concept would become what they now call Social Darts.

“After the success of Flight Club, which we launched in Shoreditch in 2015, we rolled out Electric Shuffle which we first launched in Canary Wharf, London in 2019. This concept stuck to the same principles as Flight Club – reimaging a classic game, housing it in an Instagram-worthy bar setting and offering great food and drink – but this time, focussed on shuffleboard,” explains Moore.

Today they now have 20 Flight Club venues and five Electric Shuffle sites across the UK, the US and Australia. Through their franchise partners State of Play Hospitality and NightOwl Entertainment have helped them to take the Flight Club concept to the US and Australia respectively.

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Their most recent openings were in Glasgow and Edinburgh and both venues have quite unique designs to each other, but both are true to our brand, reflecting the heritage of darts – the pub and the fairground. In Glasgow they leaned into the history of the building, whereas in Edinburgh they had the opportunity to bring character to a modern cosy location.

“We have ambitious growth plans and this year we are opening three more UK venues, Flight Club Oxford, Flight Club Liverpool and Electric Shuffle Manchester. We have Electric Shuffle NYC opening this year in the US and with our franchise partner State of Play Hospitality; we will also be opening Flight Club Philadelphia and Washington. In Australia, in partnership with NightOwl Entertainment, we will be opening Flight Club Sydney and Melbourne,” commented Moore.

Discussing one of the core values of the company, Moore highlights innovation and this concept runs through everything Red Engine does. The business is constantly learning and evolving based on customer feedback, working to improve games, introduce new design features or bring new products to life.

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Companies today would not be anywhere without their customers and Red Engine is no exception to this. Their teams are pivotal in delivering market-leading experiences. They understand that customers are going out less, so they want to bring joy at every opportunity, whether that is through surprises and delightful moments in their venues, sharing engaging and fun content on social media, or partnering with great suppliers to develop new cocktail specials.

They are constantly striving to enhance what they do, so whether it is a twist on their brunch menu, new games, or food and drinks, they continually look to give reasons for their customers to re-join them and they are thrilled that so many do.

As we move into the world of social media, Moore mentions that many of their target market are heavy social media users so the business is very active on this medium and they engage with their customers across all the different platforms. They have a dedicated team that produces social content and post almost daily and continue to have healthy engagement with their content. They have even doubled their social following in the last 12 months.

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Sustainability is a major focus for the brand in 2024 and while they know they have a lot of work to do, they have started their own Yellow Ball initiative; working with ambassadors throughout the business to ensure that they are working to a better output within the environment, community and business. Moore comments that they look forward to sharing more on their sustainability efforts later in the year.

As we move the interview on to ask Moore what he considers to be the key drivers behind the success of the company to date, he highlights that when he and Paul came up with the concept, they wanted to create a memorable experience that offers more than an average pub or bar night out. He feels that the pub vibe, with great food and drink and the addition of fast-paced games that anyone can play and enjoy is a winning combination.

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“It is widely reported that Gen-Z are drinking less than any other generation and people are being more considered when it comes to where they spend their time and money. People want more from their nights out and Flight Club and Electric Shuffle can deliver this. I think one of the main differentiators to other offerings in our space is that both of our concepts are extremely versatile. Their appeal spans so many groups from friends getting together to date night, multi-generational gatherings and corporate events.”

These brands were built by friends, for friends and today the Red Engine mission remains the same – to make groups of friends everywhere ridiculously happy. In addition, their company values, warmth, passion, togetherness and innovation run through every vein of the company.
“While there will always be challenges to overcome – no day is ever the same and that is what makes it so exciting. Our ongoing challenge along with everyone else’s is to ensure that we continue to evolve and improve to stay one step ahead of the competition and ensure our customers keep coming back.”