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Chuck E. Cheese Files for Bankruptcy

The legacy arcade and pizza restaurant will continue to operate throughout the bankruptcy process.

Chuck E. Cheese, the iconic restaurant and arcade franchise that has long been a go-to for children’s birthday parties, has had a rough couple of months. In May, it was revealed that the franchise had quietly launched a new brand to continue delivering pizzas while stores were closed in compliance with social-distancing orders — not exactly a scandal, but an embarrassing admission that the Chuck E. Cheese brand is not known for good food. Now, CEC Entertainment, parent company to Chuck E. Cheese (and Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings), has announced that it will be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The good news for Chuck E. Cheese is that the financial restructuring process will not require the franchise to cease operations. In fact, the franchise plans to continue reopening restaurants in accordance with state regulations.

“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,” said CEO David McKillips in the announcement.

Still, the news does not bode well for a brand built explicitly around a dine-in experience. Even as states across the country begin to reopen, many diners remain unwilling to take the risks associated with visiting crowded indoor spaces, and it is unlikely that caution will abate anytime soon.