April 19, 2010

The I-Café As An Entertainment Center

The internet café as an entertainment center is the most common business model for i-cafés nowadays. By entertainment, we mean the customers coming into an i-café for the purpose of doing something affording pleasure, diversion or amusement for themselves. While the earlier internet cafés were established mainly as information exchange centers with productive results expected out of the activities that the customers will do in its premises, recent ones were mostly catering to the leisure needs of its clients. The customers of i-cafés functioning as entertainment centers come in to play online and offline games, chat online with friends and relatives, check and reply to their emails and do social networking.

The i-café as an entertainment center is the easiest to manage among the many services that the establishment can offer to the public. For its manpower, all that is required of its shop tender is someone who has the knowledge of playing online and offline games, surfing the net, using instant messaging programs and receiving and sending emails to be able to assist its customers on what they want to do. However, an i-café functioning as an entertainment center needs more powerful personal computers for its workstations; hence, higher investment required for its hardware components.

Current statistics show that revenues of i-cafés are more of coming from gamers, chatters and social networkers who want to get entertained. High speed internet connection and continuous game development had made it possible for many i-cafés to survive in the past. The ease at which an entertainment i-café can be set-up and operated resulted to very stiff competition and the current computer rental can be had for as low as ten (PhP10.00/hr.) pesos per hour in many areas of the country. The PhP10.00/hour rate is already below the break-even point in operating an i-café and is the main cause of very high attrition or big number of shops closing due to losses. However, the wrong perception that i-café is still a lucrative venture makes it a business of choice for many so the number is still continuing to increase.

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