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The Change Machine That Changed A Business Approach

27 June 2023

J-P Thompson is an entrepreneur, whose passion for foosball/table football led him into machine operation. He started as an event organiser curating London table football championships before branching out into operating table football and retro arcade machines.

J-P has now diversified into larger arcade machines, air hockey and pool tables and is operating them in non-traditional locations, such as a food court in Peckham, South-East London.

“My angle was to offer a games room solution for venues who do not have a full-blown retro arcade facility,” he says. “I am now facilitating venues such as food courts and finding them to be the best kind of businesses to go to for high footfall. Previously I just operated in bars but now I am looking at a younger age group and food courts makes more sense for me.”

J-P had one issue and that was payments. “I noticed that after the pandemic people were carrying less cash and the usage of pound coins fell off a cliff,” he says. “Also, hospitality business bar managers were fed up counting cash at 2am, the banks were making things difficult and so I needed an alternative.”

J-P started using a Sumup machine to take payments for tokens before purchasing a Thomas TA101P change machine from Playsafe Systems. “This has been a complete game changer for me,” he says. “Now I don’t have to rely on the bar staff to take payments for tokens when they are busy serving customers. Instead, customers can buy tokens whenever they want and the difference I am seeing in the numbers has been a catalyst to make me rethink my whole business model.”

J-P is now expanding his business and has successfully applied for finance to facilitate this. “Having the token machine has made everything come together for me. I can see the money dropping in and it has paid for itself in 5 or 6 weeks. The training I got was great and I am careful to make sure to avoid any contamination when I empty and reload the machine in terms of finding any odd coins or other items. The TA101P has been as solid as a rock!”