There are more choices available today than ever before for consumers who want to enjoy a night out, either with their friends and colleagues or their families. One might even say there are too many options competing for consumer’s entertainment dollar, making the very task of selecting a venue something that routinely becomes an open debate, as a given party’s tastes and interests all jockey for position. Hence a continuing trend within the industry toward consolidating more options into a single location.
One of the segments of the market where this is especially clear is at the box office, which saw slight declines in ticket sales last year to around $10.4 billion in North America and $36.4 billion worldwide, according to the MPAA, as pressure from streaming sources like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Video continue to mount. This trend has meant big business for innovative private companies like Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, one of the first movers when it comes to dine-in theaters combining more comfortable seating with casual dining and alcoholic beverage choices in order to win over increasingly difficult to court movie goers.
The sector’s largest players, such as AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE: AMC), are also gravitating more and more in this direction, with an increasingly prominent bottom line component that consists of dine-in theaters. This move has been tracked closely and emulated by other motion picture exhibitors such as Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) and more globally-focused players like Cinemark (NYSE: CNK), which recently opened a new 14-screen theatre in Roanoke, Texas, based on its NextGen cinema design concept, featuring luxury recliners and a larger menu, including a full selection of alcoholic beverages. A recent survey by RBC indicates that nearly half of all respondents do not have a favorite theater chain, but the overwhelming majority did express a desire to patronize locations that featured upgraded seating and concession options, as well as those venues which offered alternative content. To wit, 24 percent of respondents in the RBC survey cited AMC by name, likely due to its continuing emphasis on improving the overall customer experience by offering precisely such expanded offerings.
But why stop at dinner and a movie? Still quite rare, but increasingly prominent up-and-comers such as award-winning pioneer Latitude 360 (OTC: LATX) have already jumped ahead a page. Latitude 360 fuses together just about every option consumers have to choose from into a winning package that elegantly combines diverse entertainment options under a single roof. Sure, consumers can enjoy an exceptional meal and drinks off of a giant menu, alongside a Hollywood blockbuster displayed on a 25 by 11 foot screen backed up by over 10,000 watts of thumping DTS™ digital surround sound at a luxurious, yet intimate, dine-in Cinegrille® cinema at one of Latitude 360’s growing footprint of 35,000 to 85,000 square foot locations – but they can also take in the numerous other entertainment options as well. Options ranging from a full sports bar with HD screens and a separate sports theatre, to Las Vegas-style live entertainment such as music and comedy, as well as dancing, premium bowling, a game arcade, and even a luxury cigar lounge.
This mega fusion of entertainment venue options, which the company touts as the “360 Experience,” takes brilliant advantage of economies of scale, while also offering consumers the most compelling entertainment one-stop-shop available anywhere. No longer must families or coworkers argue over where to go for lunch, or for dinner and a movie, so long as there is a Latitude 360 in their town. The company has even been breaking new ground in terms of the options available, with recent additions such as a cutting edge real money fantasy sports gaming platform called 360 Fantasy Live, which gives guests the ability to participate in daily contests while watching the game on massive HD screens in comfort. This one option is a huge advantage for LATX, given that there are now nearly 52 million players in North America alone, according to 2015 data from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, and daily fantasy sports games will generate some $2.6 billion in entry fees this year, with the market growing at a rate of 41 percent per annum through 2020 to over $14.4 billion (Eilers Research).
Tack on how LATX has recently embraced an on-premise integration of a branded ordering and payment app via partnership with mobile payments solution provider MyCheck, and it becomes readily apparent how this incredibly investor-accessible company with five locations throughout the U.S. is laser-focused on maximizing the customer experience. Set to debut in the coming months, the branded app will not only revolutionize the customer experience by allowing guests to easily order/reorder from the menu, it will also allow them to review and split the bill amongst friends from their smartphone(s), subsequently giving them access to such emerging payment methods as Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Apple Pay – the app will also provide LATX’s business model with overhead shearing benefits.
Latitude 360 is clearly ahead of the curve when it comes to the entertainment venue market, fully answering questions that many consumers have not yet even begun to ask, but one of the driving reasons behind the success of the company’s upscale multi-dimensional entertainment eateries is an overarching commitment to top shelf customer service. The company’s highly trained and attentive staff will have their jobs made easier by the addition of the new branded app, opening doors to enhanced service capabilities in other areas, likely leading to an even stronger rapport with local markets, such as those surrounding existing Latitude 360 locations in Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, as well as its newly acquired locations in Syracuse, and Bethlehem, PA. The company has also signed a deal with established restaurant and hospitality group, Al Sedriyah, opening up the Latitude 360 brand for franchise locations in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, showing that this business model not only has universal appeal, but that management has no intentions of slowing down.
For more information on the company visit www.latitude360.com
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