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South Carolina U.S. Navy Veteran and Multi-Brand Franchisee To Open First 810 Billiards & Bowling in Greenville

Rylan Miller brings seven years of franchise experience as he expands Myrtle Beach-based 810 Billiards & Bowling to Greenville, SC

By Savannah BilboStaff Writer
8:08AM 03/06/23

Rylan Miller has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He served in the U.S. Navy followed by a stint in the defense contracting space before he decided to pursue his true passion of owning his own business. After finding success with Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Miller decided to pursue other franchising concepts.

By chance, he stumbled across 810 Billiards & Bowling while out with friends in Myrtle Beach when the flagship location opened in 2015. Intrigued by its fun “eatertainment” concept, Miller immediately found himself aligned with the family-friendly environment, which offered a full-service restaurant and bar in addition to games. Despite being on deployment during his first encounter with the brand, 810 Billiards & Bowling stuck with Miller as the ideal franchising opportunity for a veteran like himself.

Six years later, he signed to open Greenville’s first 810 Billiards & Bowling located at 842 Woods Crossing. Miller and his team are gearing up to open their first location in early February 2023.

1851 Franchise: Tell me your story. What did you do before franchising?

Rylan Miller: I served in the U.S. Navy where I completed multiple deployments, taking on duties as a mission commander and UAV pilot. I also received several aviation licenses in my time in the military before taking on a role as a defense contractor. I always had an entrepreneurial drive. During that time, I was introduced to Tropical Smoothie Cafe. I remember seeing literature about franchising opportunities and looked into it. I found that Tropical Smoothie Cafe, which was my first introduction into the franchising industry, was aligned with my goals and vision. I started with one location initially, and I’ll be opening my 41st location in Atlanta, Georgia in the near future. I own franchises throughout Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia.

1851: How did you initially find out about franchising?

Miller: I was stationed in Virginia Beach during my time in the military, and my colleagues and I would regularly go out for a quick lunch. In 2007, one of my colleagues recommended Tropical Smoothie Cafe, and I was hooked. I saw the franchising literature on the counter and always thought to myself that franchising could be my future.

1851: Why did you pick franchising over starting your own business?

Miller: I wrestled with the decision between franchising and starting my own business for a time. However, I felt security with getting involved with a franchisor because they provide a proven model. Not only do you have the support of a corporate team, but they’re providing you the framework of an executable and scalable business. I’ve experienced Tropical Smoothie Cafe scale from 600 locations to 1,000 in my time since joining the brand. My investment strategy allows me to invest in a proven system that doesn’t require the guesswork or challenges that come with a business without a franchise system.

Franchising also provides veterans with the best model for success. Veterans make up 14% of all franchisees and see a great deal of success due to their skills learned in the military. You’re able to get up and running with less capital than starting your own business and are set up in a proven growth vehicle.

1851: Why did you pick 810 Billiards & Bowling? What excited you most about the potential?

Miller: I first became interested in 810 Billiards & Bowling as a consumer. My family and I were looking for things to do in our hometown of Myrtle Beach, which is where the brand was founded and has three locations. I thought it was such a fun concept. The first location we ever visited was a renovated grocery store near Market Commons. I was impressed. The local community would gather, and parents don’t have to worry about it being an inappropriate environment for their children. We got to experience live music, bowling and arcade games, in addition to a full-service restaurant and bar. Fast forward a few years while I was on deployment, and I saw some information about franchising opportunities and decided to reach out when I returned.

810 Billiards & Bowling is completely different from anything I’ve ever done, which excites me. I’m looking forward to bringing a new concept to Greenville as people are getting more comfortable with getting back out there after COVID-19. I feel like this is a renewed sense of entertainment.

1851: What are your dreams with the business? What does the future look like?

Miller: I have a big vision for the future. I want to grow my organization to 1,000 units. I want to grow with 810 Billiards & Bowling, but I also want to explore new concepts. My first goal with this brand is to prove that we can be successful in Greenville and see where it goes from there.

My growth plan is to invest in brands that complement each other. I believe that you have to be completely behind a brand, and believe in its mission and values. The second most important thing for me when considering a new concept is that the business needs to be scalable. I’m not interested in brands that can only open one or two locations. I want to continue growing my portfolio and help foster professional development within the investment group.

1851: What excites you most about this company?

Miller: I’m excited to be a part of the Greenville community. I used to visit the area a lot while growing up, and I always felt connected to the area. Now I get to provide a service that Greenville is lacking. What 810 Billiards & Bowling does is really unique, so to be able to bring that here is special.

1851: What advice would you have for others looking at buying a franchise?

Miller: My biggest piece of advice would be to talk to franchisees and see what they have to say about their experience with the brand. In addition to that, it’s important to have a common-sense approach when it comes to business.

1851: What do you do in your personal time (hobbies, family, sports, etc.)?

Miller: Anyone who knows me will tell you I have too many hobbies. But I’m very family-oriented and wouldn’t be here without my wife and my daughter. My favorite thing in the world is to spend time with my Wife and 3-year-old daughter, we love taking her to the park and pool.

I’m also an avid shooter. I like race cars and motorcycles. I enjoy scuba diving, and I’m a licensed pilot. I’m getting my skydiving license in a few months, which I’m excited about. I want to pursue even more adventure, but I simply don’t have the time.

ABOUT 810 Billiards & Bowling:
810 Billiards & Bowling, a five-unit emerging franchise out of South Carolina, is a classic bowling alley with an upscale twist. In its expansive space, 810 offers its customers multiple bowling lanes, billiard tables, full service bars, a fun-to-play arcade, classic board games, mini golf and so much more! The menu boasts soul-satisfying lunch and dinner. For more information, please visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.