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BERMAN BLUEPRINTS: Michael Siniscalchi Interview

Michael Siniscalchi is the founder of the 810 Billiards & Bowling franchise.

In this interview he talks about his experience as a franchise owner working with national architects Berman Design to accomplish the vision he has for 810 B&B.

Berman has helped Mr. Siniscalchi scale design and construction of 810 franchise locations by standardizing prototype design.

BERMAN BLUEPRINTS is a video interview series with Berman Design's strategic partners and clients.


Basam Mohamed El Sayed Gonzalez: Hi, my name is Basam Mohamed El Sayed Gonzalez with Berman Design here today with Mr. Michael Siniscalchi, how are you doing? And could you give us a little introduction?

Michael Siniscalchi: I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on and yeah, In terms of our business background, I founded the 810 billions in bowling business, back in 2015, with our first location in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Over the ensuing, couple of years opened a couple more corporate locations around South Carolina before we ventured into more of a national growth footprint, added some stores in Arizona and Texas and began franchising. So that's what led me to start working with Joel Berman in team as our national lead, architect as we've gotten into the franchising side of the business that's grown quite quickly. And at this point, we've got about nine projects that Joel and his team are working with us on. So very excited for what the future holds.

Basam Mohamed El Sayed Gonzalez: And so, you've been so successful. What are 810s plans for the future?

Michael Siniscalchi: We are continuing to grow at a pretty nice pace, we've got nine locations that are under lease and are in construction at this point. So in addition to the seven units up and running, that should give us a nice 18 month pipeline, in terms of new store openings. And from there just looking to continue to build on the success and grow. I mean, the upside about our business is it's a pretty universal demand, everywhere you go in America. There's families and young adults looking for upscale entertainment, with high quality food beverage. So there's a lot of markets out there that are still open to us, and we're just going to continue to grow into them. Keep learning and getting better.

Basam Mohamed El Sayed Gonzalez: And so then how did 810 because 810 is billiards, it's bowling. But how did they create Mean Mugs milkshake bar from scratch.

Michael Siniscalchi: yeah, so that came about over the last year or so as we're continuing to innovate the food and beverage space, it's quite hot in the industry right now for the extravagant milkshake concepts, that cater very well to social media, shares and likes and some organic marketing that kind of comes along with it when you've got and over the top presentation of a product like our mean mugs milkshakes. And so it's actually that kind of industry why trend and starting to see these concepts pop up combined with the fact that, with everything else we offer in our venues. It's a very nice compliment to the other things that our folks are doing while they're visiting us. So it allows us to have its own destination traffic as a milkshake shop but it also allows us to bundle those, top end memorable desserts in with our corporate events, birthday parties, and the other types of gatherings that happen at our 810 spaces. So, there was a number of synergies that we felt like we should take advantage of and started developing those last summer. So a long time coming.

Basam Mohamed El Sayed Gonzalez: Right, right. And so then what separates 810 billion bowling from the competition?

Michael Siniscalchi: So there's two segments there. I mean, on the franchise side, we're really the only offering in the indoor entertainment bowling space. There's a number of competitors, in our industry. But they're all either publicly held or privately owned and are not accessible to individual investors. So if you are interested in getting into this space and want the guiding hand of the franchise, or as opposed to figuring it all out on your own, we're kind of the unicorn in the space in that regard from a customer standpoint. In terms of what we do different, what we do better and we didn't reinvent the wheel at the end of the day it all comes back to hospitality and customer service and what experience we’re creating so I definitely had some hurdles having no background and bowling or hospitality coming in and starting the business. But the upside of that was, I didn't have any preconceived notions about what could or couldn't be done or how things had to be done. And so we just engineered our systems processes and technology from the jump to Be solely focused on delivering that customer experience that we wanted, which was, high-end full service experience where they can come into our venues, do lots of different things, enjoy food, and beverage, and have a seamless experience throughout that.

Basam Mohamed El Sayed Gonzalez: Absolutely. And so then how did you connect with Berman Design?

Michael Siniscalchi: So as we got into franchising and our unit, growth started to scale up my previous architecture and engineering solution, was not really working for a nationwide rollout. We were kind of cobbling together, a design development package from one group, and then looking for local coordinating architects in the markets who were going into and, some of them worked, some of them less. so as you know, you're trying to scale something up the mainstay that you got to be focused on is consistency. And, started looking for some national architect groups and back last fall and talk to almost a dozen many of them, very qualified, but felt like Joel and his team, have a lot of experience in the franchise space. They've worked with the international, franchisors a number of times. Across different concepts and they were able to bring, a consistency to all 50 states as we grow organically. and it seemed like a pretty clear fit and did our due diligence, but at the end of the day was a pretty easy choice.

Basam Mohamed El Sayed Gonzalez: I'm glad to hear that. And so then in your opinion how does Berman design work? Collaboratively virtually

Michael Siniscalchi: Yeah, I've been very impressed with, the workflow and the overall tools for collaboration. and perhaps most of all real time editing ability, I'm used to having a trade paper back and forth on PDF, set, revisions, and tweaks and go through with notes and then have draftsman make the updates. With Berman there’s a much more centric approach where everything is shared and rendered in real time and we're able to actually relocate, some bowling lanes, add some seating, rearrange, the kitchen. We can do that all in real time. As we're looking at a shared 3D model of the space. So that kind of work flow collaboration is a huge improvement and I love their approach to existing conditions and the matterport scan process to make sure that what's out there in the field is what ends up in the design set. Because I've learned the hard way that when your bathroom space is three inches smaller than the existing site plans had shown, you end up with real problems when you discover it in the field. So that was another, big piece that I like the comfort of knowing we're working off of correct information to start with from an as built standpoint.

 Lastly, the ability to produce a really high quality finished rendering and prototype that, I think I'm a bit more design oriented. And, for all the things I'm bad at, I'm decent at being able to visualize the space looking at an empty box and understanding what it's gonna look like. and everybody comes that naturally to them. So being able to put fully digitally rendered down to accurate, lighting levels and reflective surfaces and walk through that space, whether it's with our franchisees, with the lender, with the potential landlord is really a huge asset for our businesses as  we continue to grow.

Basam Mohamed El Sayed Gonzalez: Absolutely. And so then, how does Berman designs expertise help with the design and construction of entertainment centers?

Michael Siniscalchi: I think anyone that I was talking to before choosing Berman, they didn't have direct experience building entertainment centers like this. Very few companies, do there aren't that many people, in our space and So we knew it was gonna be a collaborative learning process through the first couple and my ask was just that and would be responsive timely and collaborative on working through the first few and as we got our legs under us that I think, the timing and the opportunity for Joel and his team to have more constructive input. Once they understood why have we been doing the things we've been doing, What's the business and operational case for why? This was there, They needed that context to be able to inform their design and construction recommendations and decisions. So the first couple months was a lot of back and forth. And learning why we've done what we've done. And now that we're a little further into the relationship and have a few more projects under our belts. And Joel and Team are able to bring a lot of great ideas and suggestions given the specific space that we're working through.

Basam Mohamed El Sayed Gonzalez: Absolutely. Thank you so much for meeting with me. I really appreciate this interview.

Michael Siniscalchi: Absolutely, my pleasure.


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