If you want to add some entertainment to your bar, you might end up trying to decide between a pinball machine and a pool table. There are strengths on both sides, but bars usually find that pinball machines are the better choice.
Here are just four reasons why.
Probably the most compelling reason to choose a pinball machine over a pool table for your bar is that a pinball machine will simply take up a lot less space. In terms of basic dimensions, pinball machines will only make minor savings when it comes to floor space, but that's really just the beginning. The great thing about pinball machines is that they can be placed right up in a corner, with just a bit of space to one side so people can press the flippers. That's pretty convenient for most bars since corners and smaller spaces tend to be harder to fill.
In contrast, a pool table needs to be placed right out from the walls along all sides to ensure that people can properly use their cues. If things are too tight, the backs of the cues will knock against the walls; that isn't just annoying for the players, it's going to scuff up the walls quite quickly. Ultimately, it's hard for most bars to fit a pool table without putting them right in the centre of the room.
There's really very little that can go wrong with a pinball machine from a safety point of view. In fact, they are pretty much the safest amusement machine you could opt for.
The same is not true of a pool table. With long cues being used at all times, it's not rare for someone to get a sharp poke in the side as a player draws back their cue, especially since the interior of most bars is quite dark. This can be a real problem if a more sensitive area of the body is struck, and you might find glasses being knocked over the smash on the floor. This won't happen all the time, but it will be very aggravating when it does.
3. Novelty and Style
Pool tables aren't really a novelty; if you want to play a game, you can find a nearby pool hall or head to one of the other pubs or bars in the area that has a couple of tables. In contrast, pinball machines are more novel. This is partly because they aren't as easy to find, but it's also because they come in numerous themes and styles. If you fit one in your bar, it will make you establishment feel just that little bit more unique.
Additionally, the style of pinball machine is more in keeping with the style of a bar. With their retro sounds and brighter lights, they seem more at home in a modern social environment than a pool table.
4. Single Playability
You can play pool by yourself, but doing so in a bar will often earn you some odd looks. In contrast, pinball is designed to be played alone, so it's great for people who are waiting for their friends or simply enjoying a drink by themselves. This means that people on their own won't be bored or feel uncomfortable as they wait in your bar or enjoy a drink.