Step-by-step guide for starting an escape room business

Discover how to start an escape room business with our step-by-step guide. Learn about escape room themes, business planning, funding, location selection, and marketing strategies. Find out if running an escape room is profitable.

Step-by-step guide for starting an escape room business
Step-by-step guide for starting an escape room business

Escape rooms are becoming popular everywhere and are a fun, popular way to spend time. If you want to start your own escape room business, now is a great time. Players solve puzzles to escape a room within 60 minutes, making it an exciting challenge. Starting this business can be hard, with many steps and challenges, but with tips from successful owners, you can succeed.

What is an escape room?

An escape room is a game where players are locked in a room and must solve puzzles to get out within a set time. It is for small groups of 2-10 people and is popular for team-building and parties. Players get a story, like escaping a prison or stopping a crime. The rooms can look like different places, such as castles or space stations. Everyone has to work together to find hidden items and unlock locks. Usually, they have one hour to escape. This game is always fun and different.

9 Steps to Starting an Escape Room

Conduct market research and analyze your competitors

Research is key for any new business. Before making big decisions, gather all the information you need. Understand your customers and competitors by researching your local market. Think about the interests of people nearby and their age, education, and jobs. See what themes, games, and experiences are already available and what customers want. Ask yourself if there's interest in escape rooms in your area, if the market can support your business, where your customers will come from, how many competitors are nearby, if people have enough money to spend on escape rooms, and how other entertainment places price their services.

Make a detailed business plan

Knowing what you want now and in the future is important for any new business. A detailed plan helps you reach your goals. Your plan should include your business name and location, the demand and competition in your market, what you aim to achieve, how you will sell your product, the games and other items you will offer, your values, your budget, and how you will meet your customers' needs. This plan will guide your business to success.

Get Funds

Starting a new business in the UK needs a strong financial base. You must plan for costs like space, equipment, advertising, and legal fees. Make sure you have enough money for everything. If you can’t save enough, you can apply for a loan, but you need a good business plan. Owning your space can save money since rent is a big cost. Setting up one escape room costs between £6,000 and £26,000. A franchise costs between £2,500 and £130,000. Check local loans and grants, use your savings, or ask for investments. Plan your finances well to avoid failure, as many small businesses fail in the first year due to poor financial planning.

Choose the Right Location

First, set a budget for your escape room. Then, find a good location. Make sure it’s easy to reach, safe, and doesn’t have too many competitors. Check costs like rent and licenses. Look for a place with enough space for escape rooms and a waiting area. Make sure it has water, electricity, fire exits, and an office. Start with what you need and add important points for your business.

Make fun themes and stories

Make fun escape room themes and puzzles for all ages. Good themes make your room special. Be creative so people come back and tell friends. Think about what local people like and see what your competitors do, but be different. Here are some ideas: find treasure on a haunted pirate ship, save the world from zombies, or travel through time solving puzzles. Be clear, think about your audience, and be unique.

Make sure you follow all the rules

Running an escape room business has some boring but important steps. First, get all the required licenses and make sure your terms, conditions, and privacy policy are on your website. Focus on safety rules because the industry has strict laws. Create a fun and safe space for everyone, follow all legal requirements, and get the right insurance. Make sure your escape room is accessible for people with disabilities and keep customer data safe. Seek professional advice to meet all legal requirements in the UK.

Build a team

Figure out how many workers you need for your business. Find friendly and excited people to join your team. Post flyers at local colleges and use job boards in your area, or advertise on websites like Indeed. Train your team on how to run games, help customers, and follow safety rules. If you need help with hiring and training, Homebase gives you help with job ads, interviews, and paying workers.

Develop a marketing strategy

Now that you have everything ready, make a simple plan to market your business without spending much money. List your business on Google My Business, write a blog, share good reviews, post fun videos on social media, and sell branded products. Use social media like Facebook and Instagram, send email newsletters, and list your business on sites like Yelp. Team up with local businesses for special deals and consider using paid ads if you can. Host events to create excitement. Be creative and true to your brand to attract and keep customers.

Gather and utilize customer feedback

Feedback is very important. Use it to improve your escape room, puzzles, and customer service. Check if the puzzles are too hard or easy and if your staff is ready. Ask customers for reviews and share good ones in your marketing. Start collecting feedback from the beginning to help your business grow.

Is running an escape room profitable?

Running an escape room can make money, but it depends on where it is, how many customers come, how much they pay, and how much it costs to run. For instance, you could make about $317,571 a year. If you have 8 people in each session, run 8 sessions a day, and charge $25 each, you might earn $1,600 a day and $38,400 a month.

You also have to pay for things like rent, utilities, salaries, and advertising. These costs are different depending on where you are and how big your escape room is.

Before you start, talk to someone who knows about renting and running a business in your area. They can help you figure out if you can make more money than you spend. It might take time to get enough customers, so make sure you have enough money saved to cover the first few months.

What is the cost of starting an escape room?

Cost Component

Cost Range




Largest cost; owning the space offers financial benefits, while renting adds ongoing costs.

Room Setup

Under £25,000

Most escape rooms in the UK cost under £25,000 to build.

Initial Setup Costs

£5,600 - £24,000

Includes renovations, design, and quality of props and puzzles.

Per Person Pricing

£10 - £35

Influences revenue potential.

Basic Puzzle Design

£400 - £800

Cost for designing a basic escape room puzzle.

Game Content and Layout

From £10,000

Includes theme, storyline, end goal, game flow, and physical layout of space.

Business License

£40 - £160

Annual cost for a basic business license.

Miscellaneous Costs


Additional costs such as marketing, staff salaries, and utilities.

Based on the above components, the estimated expenses for starting an escape room in the UK can range from approximately £20,000 to £50,000 or more, depending on the size, complexity, and location of the escape room.


Starting your own escape room business is exciting and fun. Players work together to solve puzzles and escape within a set time, which makes it enjoyable. It can be challenging to start, but with tips from other owners, you can succeed. Plan carefully, find the right location, and follow all the rules to create a safe and enjoyable experience for your customers. By focusing on creativity and customer satisfaction, your escape room can become a popular destination for adventure and fun.


  1. What is an escape room?

An escape room is a game where you and your friends solve puzzles to get out of a locked room in under an hour.

  1. How much does it cost to start an escape room?

It costs between £20,000 and £50,000 or more to start an escape room business in the UK.

  1. Can I make money running an escape room?

Yes, you can make money if you have enough customers and manage your costs well.

  1. How do I choose a location for my escape room?

Pick a place that's easy to get to, safe, and not too crowded with other escape rooms.

  1. How can I make sure my escape room is successful?

Be creative, make customers happy, keep everyone safe, and always listen to feedback.