Chuck E. Cheese, the restaurant chain that was a hub for many children, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
CEC Entertainment Inc., which has been walloped by the coronavirus, reopened 266 of its 612 company-owned Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza restaurants.
The company will continue to reopen locations while negotiating with its lease and debt holders, but there is no word on how willing parents are to host children’s birthday parties and other gatherings with so many cities that have tight restrictions on crowds.
“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,” CEO David McKillips said in a statement.
CEC said locations owned by franchisees are not part of the bankruptcy, according to USA Today.
Although restaurants that have been able to offer takeout have been able to survive the pandemic, those that rely on dining in, such as Chuck E. Cheese, have been crushed.
People not only go to Chuck E. Cheese to eat pizza and other food, but they also go to let children loose in ball pits or have them try their hand at Skee-Ball or video game machines so they can earn tickets to redeem for prizes.
At one point, some Chuck E. Cheese locations offered food delivery on apps such as Grubhub under the moniker “Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings.”