Chuck E. Cheese, the arcade game and pizza franchise named after titular mascot Charles Entertainment Cheese, has filed for bankruptcy protection, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The decision comes from the prolonged closure of many of its locations, caused by safety measures due to the coronavirus pandemic. CEC Entertainment Inc. has since reopened 266 company-operated Chuck E. Cheese venues, but it’s no guarantee that the embattled pizza parlor chain will find success. Chuck E. Cheese was struggling before the pandemic, due to competitors like Dave and Buster’s.
Chuck E. Cheese has begun pivoting, with some locations offering food delivery on apps under “Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings.” Fans of the Chuck E. Cheese crew know that Pasqually is one of the members of the franchise’s animatronic line-up.
The business had made attempts to modernize throughout the years, including introducing Oculus Rift VR headsets as an attraction. The restaurant chain will attempt to try to negotiate with lease holders for individual locations as the pandemic continues.
For more on the history of Chuck E. Cheese, give a listen to “The History of Chuck E. Cheese’s” from Polygon’s The History of Fun podcast.