Chuck E. Cheese Files For Bankruptcy: ‘Most Challenging Event In Our Company’s History’

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Phillip Nieto Contributor
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Chuck E. Cheese announced Thursday the company is filing for bankruptcy protection due to the financial difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

CEC Entertainment Inc., which owns both Peter Piper Pizza and Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, has recently reopened 266 of its 612 locations, according to the Associated Press. However, due to widespread pandemic health restrictions, the company’s ability to host children’s birthday parties has been severely limited.

“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 to the AP. (RELATED: Chuck E. Cheese Is Selling Its Pizzas Under A Different Name To Boost Sales After Coronavirus Revenue Plunge)

NEWARK, CA – JANUARY 16: A sign is posted in front of a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant on January 16, 2014 in Newark, California. CEC Entertainment, operator of 577 kid-themed restaurants, announced today that it has agreed to be purchased by private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $1.3 billion. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The company added they will work with debt and lease holders as they reopen more restaurant locations. Chuck E. Cheese primarily relies on in-service dining, so the effects of the pandemic have had a larger impact on them compared to chains that were able to smoothly transition to carry-out service. (RELATED: As Coronavirus Crippled Small Businesses, Some Lenders Pounced) 

Larger companies in the service industry are also feeling the financial burden caused by the pandemic. Starbucks announced earlier this month that the company would be closing 400 stores across the U.S. and Canada in the next 18 months, according to CNN.