If you’ve grown up in the US, you’ll know about Chuck E. Cheese. For decades this franchise has been a hub for pizza parties and arcade games. But this week, their parent company, CEC Entertainment, announced that CoViD-19 has put a deep financial strain on their company. Many other restaurants around the country are facing the same issues, and the pandemic has finally gotten so bad that it has significantly damaged a national restaurant chain. On Wednesday June 24, 2020, CEC Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
When the government started allowing restaurants to reopen, CEC was able to get 266 of their Chuck E Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza locations up and running again. Even though they have been able to reopen about half of their 555 restaurants, they are still looking at rough seas ahead.
However, the chief executive of CEC said, “The Chapter 11 process will allow us to strengthen our financial structure as we recover from what has undoubtedly been the most challenging event in our company’s history and get back to the business of delivering memories, entertainment and pizzas for another 40 years and beyond.” So the CEC parent company seems to be very confident that they will eventually be able to resurrect their immense chains. More good news; there a further 186 stores that are not company-owned (they’re franchise owned) so they are not included in the bankruptcy!
While facing many of their restaurants’ partial closures, Chuck E. Cheese has managed to pivot many of their locations to offer delivery options and take out! So you can get that pizza fix while still being careful about your health and safety! They are even putting themselves on some of the delivery apps under a different name; “Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings.”
It’s not just a few companies that are filing for bankruptcy. 722 companies sought bankruptcy protection in the US in May 2020. These numbers are up 48% from this time last year. This is a ludicrous increase, but the coronavirus pandemic has slammed many industries. Many restaurants- are finding ways to pivot in these difficult times which will help many of them survive until they make it to the other side. While Chuck E Cheese may be trying to innovate, they have not done it overall. Their locations do not have any quality control and they have failed to innovate until this point. The much-beloved company’s chief executive said “I’m confident in the strength of our team and our world-class brands and look forward to more fully implementing our strategic plan as we put these financial challenges behind us.” But overall, Chuck E Cheese seems to be slowly fading out, and will continue to do so until they begin upping their standards and changing with the times.