Looks like we didn’t hear the last time from Dave & Buster. After a tumultuous pandemic year in which the chain narrowly escaped bankruptcy, the arcade-restaurant concept heralds a comeback. Its locations continue to reopen and when customers return they will find that there are several new things on the menu, both in terms of food and entertainment.
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Last September, the channel announced that bankruptcy may be inevitable if the company does not come to an agreement with its lenders. Pandemic shutdowns have severely affected its bottom line, which makes sense since its revenue depends primarily on site traffic. Second quarter sales fell by 85% year on year and the chain had to lay off up to 1,300 employees in seven states. The prognosis was grim.
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Fast forward to 2021, and Dave & Buster’s has started to gain a foothold. Catering company reports that the Dallas-based company started the year with 107 locations reopened, representing 76% of its total footprint. In May, 138 locations were reopened, including its vital stores in New York City and California. The chain even managed to open a new site during the first quarter of the year.
While regaining momentum, the chain is still not completely out of the woods. Their same-store sales were down 35% in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2019. However, these numbers include reopened locations that were still operating under certain capacity restrictions. In their fully reopened locations, sales were slightly better, down 17% from 2019.
“We have a solid financial base and are ready to move forward at full speed into the summer,” CEO Biran Jenkins said in a statement. “We are encouraged by our momentum and are grateful for the hard work and commitment of all of our team members.”
So what’s new at Dave & Buster’s? According to the channel’s latest press release, there are plenty of reasons to return to their premises this summer. The channel is adding seven new games that can’t be played anywhere else, including a life-size version of Hungry Hungry Hippos, Minecraft Dungeons Arcade, and Vader Immortal — Lightsaber Dojo VR.
The gourmet menu is also given a makeover with 23 new dishes created by the chef, such as Chimichurri bowls, garlic truffle parmesan fries and strawberry shortcake. In addition, guests will be able to taste four new summer-inspired drinks.
To learn more, check out the 108 most popular sodas ranked by toxicity.