Originally from Hungary, Akos Gabossy was studying in a school in Los Angeles in Burbank, California. A foreign exchange student then, he once got to visit the Chuck E. Cheese’s with the family he lived with and came across the concept of combining entertainment with pizza for the first time in his life. Completely impressed by the concept, Akos went back to Hungary and in the next 4 years, started Hungary’s #1 kids’ entertainment facility. Having realized the vast business potential of escape rooms which was a Hungarian concept, Akos decided to bring it to the United States and launched the first-ever PanIQ Escape Room in Hollywood in 2014. Today, with a widely spread network of locations in Hollywood, Chicago, New York City, and many more, PanIQ Room has been making lives exciting and killing boredom. Since it started offering franchises in 2017, PanIQ Room has grown into one of the most successful and fastest-growing escape room franchises in the country. The brand has twelve operating units across the country, with five more currently under construction. Within less than a decade, PanIQ Room has a vast escape room industry experience under its hood, and its escape room units out shadows others, both in terms of technology and customer experience.
“At PanIQ Room, we are always trying to push the envelope of what is possible to bring you the ultimate live escape rooms,” affirms Akos Gabossy, CEO and Co-founder of PanIQ Franchising Inc.
In today’s world, stress, fear, and anxiety have become a new normal and an inseparable part of our lives. Because everyone needs a retreat at least for some time, at PanIQ Room they take all the measures to ensure that their patrons get to enjoy an entirely different world and disconnect completely from the so-called harsh realities of the outer world. “We want to emphasize the importance of real-life experiences. Today’s society is more and more obsessed with the online world, and we seem to lose our balance in the online-offline world. We want to give you a chance to spend quality time with your loved ones, and gain lasting memories together,” adds Akos. “This picture represents everything, what we, at PanIQ Room are fighting against.”
A brilliant display of technology
PanIQ Escape Rooms are a one-of-a-kind adventure. Here a group of players is trapped within a room with 60 minutes to solve a series of puzzles and find a way to get out before the time runs out. PanIQ Room offers various Hollywood-themed escape rooms to its patrons. To ensure that the customers get the actual feel of the theme, PanIQ Room deploys technology that is more advanced and immersive. Based on a specific theme, an authentic atmosphere that includes relevant lighting, smoke, and sound effects is created to ensure that the player is tricked to feel that they are actually a part of a movie or a game. The company is currently developing and working on their first ever 4th gen room. The exciting thing in a 4th gen room is that no Game Master assistance is needed, the room automatically resets itself after each game. Few of these 4th generation escape rooms which are fully automated alien-themed adventure do not just have puzzles but have an interesting storyline that becomes more relevant as the game progresses and players get to be a part of their own movie. “At any PanIQ escape room, the décor, the theme, the service, and the story will have you lost inside of a game,” says Akos. With Hollywood themes being the key difference between them and its competitors, PanIQ Room must maintain consistency from start to end. PanIQ Room ensures that there is relatable logic behind the puzzles with one leading to the other, the ending has to be engaging and dramatic and ensure that the players feel that their successes are real. “We are proud that we have developed our business model from the 1st generation of escape rooms to the 3rd generation in the past years. Advances in technology can make a room richer and more exciting, allowing for worlds and experiences that would have been impossible in earlier generations,” shares Akos. Furthermore, PanIQ Room has developed its booking system with a real-time availability checker, to streamline the reservation process and also a hint kiosk machine to make the gameplay smoother.
Being the strongest brand in the escape room domain, PanIQ Room has a team of passionate individuals behind it. Every team member is valued and is given the freedom to present their ideas and innovate without any boundaries. Moreover, its business partners are highly experienced professionals who are exceptionally committed to delivering quality and business excellence. “As a company, PanIQ is proud of the ability to evolve and expand along with our clientele,” says Akos. “PanIQ aspires to be the gold standard for escape rooms worldwide.”
Escape Rooms became the number one tourist attraction of the Hungarian capital in the year 2011. In those days the concept of escape rooms was not known in the US. However, establishing a business in the US is not easy. Running a location-based entertainment business needs a lot of capital with no assurance of success. It takes a lot of money and human efforts to innovate and keep the customers satisfied and excited to keep coming back. Having established several successfully running PanIQ Room outlets, in 2017 Akos decided to offer PanIQ franchises and offer entrepreneurs a chance to be a part of this dynamic and growing industry. “Entertaining people is a very motivating mission. It’s also a great thing to do- business at many different parts of the world,” says Akos.
The criteria for selecting a franchise are clear and prompt. The potential franchisee needs to have a visionary mindset and must have exemplary customer relationship development skills. The franchisee must have a minimum liquid asset of $100,000 and $300,000 if they plan to open a MEGA escape room with restaurant facilities. A franchisee who would like to be involved in the operations, being the local manager of their own unit would be a perfect choice. “Customer service is our priority. Keeping clients mesmerized is our first concern,” mentions Akos.
Once selected, PanIQ Room offers the franchisee a signature hands-on training program and a comprehensive support system to ensure that the franchise is set for a smooth business operation. The franchisee is groomed not just for getting numbers, but also for leadership attitude. The franchisee is guided and mentally & emotionally prepared to face the real-time business challenges with elegance without losing cool. The business world is more about unexpected challenges rather than predictable successes. The franchisee apart from a good leader must be a leader who leads by example, motivates his staff, and brings out the best in them. Success and failures are a part of every business. But what PanIQ Room is looking out for is a like-minded person with excellent leadership with a bold and go-getting attitude.
Accelerating amidst the pandemic
The pandemic has been the worst phase the business world has seen. However, PanIQ Room successfully survived the jabs and uppercuts the pandemic threw at it. Due to their robust business model which is focused on growth, PanIQ Room built an escape room on the Las Vegas Strip during a global pandemic which is a huge accomplishment. “We have always worked on our attitudes to keep ourselves positive and turn every adversity into opportunity,” emphasizes Akos. “Even in this difficult time, we have been extremely focused on utilizing technology to offer the most exhilarating and seamless experience.” Having survived the pandemic successfully, PanIQ Room looks at it as a learning experience that taught them to be patient, united, and committed to a goal.
Since the PanIQ Room establishment, delivering an exceptional quality experience has been its prime goal. From using the best technology to creating realistic ambiances, PanIQ Room has taken every measure to make every experience for its customers a memorable one. Consequently, PanIQ Room has dominated the escape room industry and going ahead intends to continue its winning streak.
“With technologically advanced next-generation escape rooms, PanIQ is the escape room company that constantly evolves to keep clients on their toes,” sums up Akos.