Punch Bowl Social has been selected by the editorial team at Fast Company as one of the 50 World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2019. In addition to being named in the top 50, Punch Bowl Social was also selected as the #1 company in the Gaming category.
The annual list honors businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s volatile business world. Additionally, Fast Company also recognizes top 10 companies in select industries, and Punch Bowl Social was #1 in the gaming category. In 2018, Punch Bowl Social was recognized on Fast Company’s annual list as the #9 company in the gaming sector.
When it comes to innovation in the restaurant industry, Punch Bowl Social has paved the way. Founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Robert Thompson, the Denver-based lifestyle brand introduced a new experiential food and beverage category, pairing made-from-scratch dishes and craft beverages with social gaming, all in a design-forward environment. The company places food and beverage on equal footing with games and social activities, creating an authentic, social experience for guests. In an industry that has historically featured games first, with food and drink as an afterthought, Punch Bowl Social is considered a disruptor.
“A company’s success is not based only on numbers. What distinguishes Punch Bowl Social from other concepts is the impact it has had on its category dynamic and, more importantly on the personal lifestyle connection to its consumer,” says Robert Thompson, founder and CEO of Punch Bowl Social. “As we approach our most ambitious growth year ahead, the prestigious recognition as one of the world’s most innovative companies by the editors at Fast Company will help fuel this growth, push us to continue to innovate and ensure we don’t get too comfortable.”
The past year marked significant innovation for the Colorado-based brand. Punch Bowl Social introduced its first Putt Club indoor miniature golf experience in Cleveland and expanded its social virtual reality parlors into new markets. The brand announced a more compact design footprint that enables the company to open in spaces half the size of the original concept. Additionally, Punch Bowl Social took their design standards to new heights by opening the most significant buildouts to date: the adaptive reuse of the Stapleton Air Traffic Control tower in Denver, and the reimagined historic boxing coliseum in San Diego.
Punch Bowl Social opened its first location in Denver in 2012. It now counts 15 properties in its nationwide portfolio including Arlington, Virginia; Atlanta; Austin; Chicago; Cleveland; Denver; Detroit; Indianapolis; Miami; Minneapolis; Rancho Cucamonga, California; Portland, Oregon; Sacramento; San Diego; Schaumburg, Illinois; and Stapleton, Colorado. The company plans to open eight new locations this year including Dallas, Milwaukee, downtown Austin, Fort Worth, Phoenix Arts District, Salt Lake City, Miami Wynwood and the Washington, D.C. Ballpark area.
This year, Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out groundbreaking businesses across 35 industries and every region. They also judged nominations received through their application process.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.
Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March-April 2019) is now available online athttps://www.fastcompany.com/MIC and will hit newsstands on February 27. Search iTunes for the Fast Company Magazine app, or follow on social media using the hashtag #fcmostinnovative.