Chuck E. Cheese Parent Company Files for Bankruptcy As Over 200 Locations Reopen
Popular kid’s restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese has felt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Less than a month after The Wall Street Journal reported that the food-and-games establishment was nearly $1 billion in debt, on Wednesday, parent company CEC Entertainment voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
"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," David McKillips, CEC's Chief Executive Officer said in a press release.
The Texas-based chain had to close its stores when the pandemic struck, although a number of stores have since been allowed to reopen.
CEC Entertainment, which also operates the chain Peter Piper Pizza, said that as of Wednesday, 266 company-operated Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza locations had reopened, in accordance with all safety guidelines.
According to the website for the Texas-based restaurant, 252 Chuck E. Cheese locations around the country are currently open, with the majority being in California, Florida, and Texas.
The company hopes to maintain operations — including paying employees and continuing to provide benefits — in all of the stores that are currently open. CEC Entertainment also said they expect to continue opening additional locations in the coming weeks.
A bankruptcy hearing date has not yet been set.
Although many stores were forced to close during the pandemic, in an attempt to make money during the pandemic, the chain offered delivery under the alias Pasqually's Pizza and Wings on delivery apps, a reference to one of Chuck E. Cheese's bandmates.
Employees who were kept on board helped to operate Pasqually's as a takeout brand.
In recent months, a number of restaurant chains have struggled amid the global health health crisis, including IHOP, Denny’s, Ruby Tuesday and TGI Fridays, which have all had to permanently shutter a number of locations.
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