I do 25 cents for EMs. 50 cents for anything up to around TSPP/LOTR. 75 cents after that. $1 for anything released in the last year or two.
I don’t know what the answer is with pricing, but there are two huge venues about 45 minutes away that do 50 cents for all games (except Hobbit and AFMLE). That causes the pinheads to see my games as expensive…and puts a lot of downward pressure on all other locations. Casuals who discover the pinball room frequently complain loudly that they are being ripped off by my pricing. They think everything should be a quarter (which is actually why I’ve liked the recent addition of 2 EMs…$1 is too much? You can play a game from the 70s for a quarter). They’ll sometimes look at a few pricing cards, pick the 50 cent Fish Tales, play one game, and then go leave to play Skeeball or Jenga.
75/25 or 65/35 split with the locations. The higher number going to me.
Make the split as high as possible. The venue is going to be earning lots of additional income through alcohol and other sales from the people brought there by your pins. I see some people saying it should be 100/0, and that’s probably fair, but I’m guessing that giving some direct financial incentive to the venue probably have some benefits. (Though their cut of the coinbox, regardless of the split, will be practically nothing compared to their overall revenue).
If someone tries to tell you that 50/50 is fair…you can tell them that 50/50 split is for things like pool tables, skee-ball, jukeboxes, and maybe even arcade games. Compared to pinball, there is virtually no maintenance, the equipment is (usually) significantly less expensive, and those things will earn a lot more than pinball. The skee-ball at my best earning location earns roughly the same as 8-10 pinball machines…sadly I don’t own the skee-ball.