Restaurant chain popular with young kids files for bankruptcy

Marianne Wilson
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The parent company of Chuck E. Cheese has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing the “financial strain” of COVID-19.

CEC Entertainment, which also owns Peter Piper Pizza, said it will continue operations through the bankruptcy process and reopen locations that were temporarily shuttered during the pandemic. To date, nearly half of Chuck E. Cheese's 555 company-owned locations have reopened.

The company said it expects to use the Chapter 11 bankruptcy to "achieve a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that supports its re-opening and longer-term strategic plans."

"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 and get back to the business of delivering memories, entertainment and pizzas for another 40 years and beyond," stated David McKillips, chief executive of CEC.

Similar to other companies that have filed for bankruptcy during the COVID-19 crisis, CEC was struggling before the pandemic. It was acquired by Apollo Global Management in 2014 for $1.3 billion. The has lost money in four of the past five years, with a $28.9 million loss last year. 
CEC’s U.S. and international franchise partners as well as corporate entities outside the United States are not part of the process.