Geek Retreat

Geek Retreat

Emerging Member
– Joined 2021

Geek Retreat is a “geek culture” retailer, gaming cafe, and events hub rolled into one. Our nationwide, vibrant stores offer something for geeks and non-geeks alike. Inclusive, welcoming, and social environments for everyone – especially for our more vulnerable communities, like those on the autistic spectrum, or those with mental health issues. We pride ourselves on being family-friendly, catering for children and beginners with Learn to Play Sessions through to casual tournaments for more experienced players of games including Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer and Yu-Gi-Oh! We offer free to play board games, video games consoles and an extensive menu with geek culture-themed milkshakes.

The business is led by Peter Dobson, CEO and supported by a passionate and growing team at our head office in Glasgow. Peter is a creative and experienced entrepreneur, prior to Geek Retreat he founded and led a recruitment technology business and a virtual reality startup.

Driven by our purpose and led by our values, Geek Retreat is a business that puts people first with a laser focus on growth. Such is the belief and ambition of this business, that when retail and hospitality went into hibernation during the pandemic, Geek Retreat invested heavily in innovation, technology, operations, menus, marketing, brand, PR and franchisee recruitment. In 2021, Geek Retreat emerged stronger than ever, backed up by continuous, record-breaking performance KPIs. At the centre, there is a team of unapparelled experts across every business discipline including; operations, finance, marketing, products, events and a dedicated store opening team. Widely recognised for their individual skills and collective experience – this team is absolutely committed to making every Geek Retreat franchise best in class.

We’re on a (not so) secret mission and we’ve heard that you may have what it takes to join us. We are building a different sort of business based on one big idea. In 2013, Geek Retreat’s founder, Stephen Walsh, opened the doors of our first store in Glasgow, it was only supposed to be a fun place to play ‘geeky’ games and grab a milkshake, but it quickly turned into something far more meaningful than we ever imagined. Our customers became communities that thrived in the freedom to be themselves, revelled in the enjoyment of playing games and built long-lasting friendships. It occurred to us that really, we are a home. A place where, perhaps for the first time, people feel like they belong. And so the idea that has become the heartbeat of our business was born. For every person that is looking for somewhere to belong, we will open a Geek Retreat.


We have also spent a decade building the brand, relationships with suppliers, establishing communities and negotiating preferential contracts so that you never have to start from scratch. We also have a dedicated New Store Opening team who will sit alongside you from the moment you join the franchisee. Once your store
is open, your aftercare support continues through our operations team when you will be introduced to your dedicated Franchise Development Manager.

You will also benefit from:

  • Product specialist advice – buying lists, pricing, stock and preferential supplier rates
  • Events specialist advice – content, format, pricing, scheduling, formats and marketing
  • Ecommerce advice – product listings, product categories, descriptions, pricing, images and pre-orders
  • Social media – training, guidelines, templates, central organic and Pay Per Click (PPC) managed campaigns
  • Point of Sale – posters, menus, branded items, uniforms
  • Technology – platforms, store wifi, online ordering and pay, CRM system, HR & finance systems, automated feedback system
  • Fully serviced help desk – if you have any issues or questions just raise a ticket and someone from the team will get back to you within 24 hours

If you are ever unsure, we also have a:

  • Comprehensive Operations Manual filled with links, templates, checklists, and all the information you could possibly need to run a legal, safe, and fun business
  • Extensive catalogue of cloud-based training videos

What will I do as a Franchisee

“My decision to leave a career and open a Geek Retreat franchise has life changing! The days are varied and some are long – but it’s always worth it. You are fully supported by a huge community of franchisees powered by a ‘best in class’ head office team – all working towards a common goal. This gets bigger and stronger as the network expands. The support and guidance from the other franchisees and head office teams has been invaluable. If you have made the decision to open a franchise, you are at the start of an amazing journey supported by people who care and underpinned by a leading brand.” Mike, Wirral Geek Retreat

Key Information

Start-Up Cost:

£6,500 + VAT

Franchise Type:

Premises based

Sector Type:


Investment Type:

Start-up Franchise



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