The local franchise holder for the famous children’s dining and amusement outlet Chuck E. Cheese has assured that it will remain open for business.
YAY Entertainment director, Joanna Rostant, who owns the right to Chuck E. Cheese in TT, said while things may start off slow she expected business to pick up quickly.
“People are thrilled that we have reopened, and we are here to stay for a long time.
"It is not going to be a walk in the park, like with many other businesses. We believe in the brand and the feedback has been great that people have already begun making bookings for birthday parties.”
CEC Entertainment, the parent company for Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza restaurants and arcade venues, filed for voluntary protection under chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code on June 24. It cited financial challenges owing to covid19, but hoped in the long term the company’s restructuring will be able to sustain its employees and operations.
Rostant noted that the chapter 11 filing does not affect the local business and its operations continue as normal.
She said the entertainment industry globally suffered significantly at the peak of the covid19 pandemic and it was only natural that some companies took a harder hit financially than others.
“Entertainment was hit hard and Chuck E. Cheese in the US and around the world have been forced closed, which, of course, had negative effects on a company.
“But I am very confident that this will give them an opportunity to restructure and re-tool, and be the dominant family brand.”
Rostant said in order to survive they have had to use new marketing strategies, one of which was offering Chuck E. Cheese pizza in supermarkets.
“Because we had no revenue coming in during covid19, we took some time in the kitchen to reformulate the dough to a frozen dough, so it can be made available this way.
“It has been a success and sales are gradually picking up in the supermarkets. Of course marketing is critical, and each pizza box has a redeemable coupon. We are ensuring our guests are satisfied.”
Rostant added that the local franchise has taken additional steps to ensure the safety of their patrons.
“We have more frequent sanitation of the eating and playing areas and in some instances have completely shut down some games to ensure that the physical-distancing protocol is observed.
“We also have had to restructure entry and security into the establishment by suspending the 'kids check' feature and implement 'selfies' as a temporary security feature, since covid19 regulations insist on physical distancing.”
In the “kids check" feature each member of the family is stamped with a number that is unique to that family and it must be presented and matched before they leave the establishment. The “selfies” act in the same way, Rostant explained.