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hookah lounge profits?

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  #1  
Old April 16th, 2010, 07:44 PM
texashookah91
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Default hookah lounge profits?

Today while sharing a nice bowl a couple friend and myself began discussing opening our own hookah lounge in a college town. While the idea is just theoretical, it leaves me wondering what kind of profit does a well performing lounge net? Just something I am curious about.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 08:29 PM
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mattathayde
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Default Re: hookah lounge profits?

i know a few people that worked at lounges and have friends of close friends that ran a local lounge, and from everything ive heard it is very hard to get a good amount of money in from it. the only way most of them seem to get cash in is from sales of hookahs and supplies or from food.

the local good lounge back home has a "cover charge" where you have to buy a drink (bottled sodas at 1.75 or something like that) but realistically on a busy night they probably only make 150-250 from drink sales at best. you probably get 10-12 bucks out of a 15 bucks hookah after covering the over head of the hookahs/hoses/shisha/coals etc. but you have to cover all the rent, wages, utilities, upkeep etc etc.

so say you have a building that can hold 50 people by fire code. realistically you could count on 15 hookahs going at full capacity, expect a turn over of 4 times on a busy night. 60 hookahs (900 bucks gross, plus 350 bucks gross on drinks). wage for 4 people for 8 hours say 256 at 8 bucks/hour, 200 for tobacco and coals and the broken/worn out hookah stuff, 150 bucks on drinks if you are getting a good whole sale price, 100 bucks in utilities and rent a night. 700 bucks about in costs per night with that, net of 550.

that is assuming a great night but during the week it is going to be slower plus having to buy all the furniture and hookahs to start it.

if you have a big lounge you probably could bring in some money, especially if you have a full menu but then that takes more start up and more things to cover.

you probably net no more than 5 figures in a year if you have a good lounge if you are lucky, not exactly a great amount and the first year you can count on all of it going to pay back startup money.

-matt
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Old April 16th, 2010, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: hookah lounge profits?

thanks for the info as well. i was also hypothetically thinking of opening one.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: hookah lounge profits?

It all depends on what state (or town) you are thinking about opening such business. Some states like the one I live in have some draconian laws that prohibits hookah lounges from serving food and liquor along with hookahs so your chances of making money diminshes considerably. Also taxes on tobacco in some states makes your cost of doing business very high.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 01:08 AM
JediSpam
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Default Re: hookah lounge profits?

good luck is all I gotta say. Hookah bars around here close and open constantly
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Old April 17th, 2010, 02:58 AM
Blaat
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Default Re: hookah lounge profits?

In a local lounge here you just have to buy a drink each person to get in, that is required. Bottled drinks are €2 there.. pretty expensive, but it is required to get in.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: hookah lounge profits?

a friend of me has a hookah bar, but he couldnt live just from the hookahs.
the main source of income are the drinks they sell, but it is different in the US. as far as i know you are not allowed to sell hard liquor together with your hookahs, so this wouldnt work for you. another problem could be, that mainly young people are visiting a hookah lounge (these people, who cant afford to buy their own hookah) and these people are not allowed to buy alcohol in the US. guess its more easy here but still hard to run such a business.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 04:20 AM
Blaat
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Default Re: hookah lounge profits?

Young people have the ideas to start hookah lounges most of the time I assume. They probably don't have that much gold to buy all things like building/shop/place, all the hookahs, furniture.
So they will have to borrow money from a bank, and more for the first period of time, maybe some advertisement.. so you start with a chunk of money you need to pay back. Combined with the small profit you'll make, a large period of time is needed to pay it back. As lounges come and go, I assume most of them can't pay the costs anymore or make too less profit
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Old April 17th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: hookah lounge profits?

my friend runs a hookah lounge, he was breaking even with a packed house on friday and saturdays and half empty every other day. now he is packed every night and his lunch crowd is about 10% capacity. he profits but nothing spectacular. Not that I know anything about business (i have a PhD in a directly related field). But he runs the place about as well as can be expected. His location is good but not ideal and his expenses are low because a good amount of family pitches in and helps.(on top of their regular jobs)
I dont think the margin is there unless you happen to get a liquor license as well.
So yeah you could make some money but good luck with a nice lifestyle
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