Chuck E. Cheese, the arcade and pizza franchise named after incumbent mascot Charles Entertainment Cheese, has filed for bankruptcy, according to an Associated Press report.
The decision comes from the prolonged closure of several of its sites, caused by security measures due to the coronavirus pandemic. CEC Entertainment Inc. has since reopened 266 Chuck E. Cheese establishments operated by the company, but that does not guarantee that the besieged pizza chain will be successful. Chuck E. Cheese was struggling before the pandemic, due to competitors like Dave and Buster’s.
Chuck E. Cheese has started to rotate, with some locations offering food delivery on apps under “Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings”. Fans of the Chuck E. Cheese team know that Pasqually is one of the members of the franchise’s animatronic lineup.
The company has tried to modernize over the years, including presenting Oculus Rift VR headsets as an attraction. The restaurant chain will attempt to negotiate with leaseholders of individual locations as the pandemic continues.
To learn more about Chuck E. Cheese’s story, listen to “The Story of Chuck E. Cheese” from Polygon’s The History of Fun podcast.