Chuck E. Cheese revealed plans for a live-action movie and animated series in a post-COVID-19 world. CEO David McKillips talked to Business Insider about the idea. The popular chain made moves to apply for bankruptcy in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. However, they’re trying to get creative with ways to avoid that scary fate. That has included closing locations and drastically changing operations at the one still open throughout the pandemic. Having the image of Charles Entertainment Cheese on television screens or in a hit movie would do a lot to offset the debt they’ve accrued from having to remain inactive over large parts of the country this spring. However, it sounds like that plan is still in the earliest stages of development according to McKillips.
"Ideally we would love to have Chuck E. Cheese in animation and possibly one day a movie feature as well," McKillips explained.
The executive also had some comments about how hard the retail environment has been for an entity like Chuck E. Cheese as most entertainment venues ground to a halt because of the virus.
“This has been, no doubt, the most difficult time in this company's history,” he said. “The pandemic has been absolutely devastating for our business. Ultimately, we had to file a Chapter 11 in June. Now what we've done since then is make sure we had a touch point with all our guests to make sure we were still being relevant.”
“We weren't known for our carryout and delivery business. So we signed deals with all the third-party delivery companies: Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, etc. And we made sure that we could deliver our pizzas, appetizer, and even birthday parties home,” McKillips continued.
He added, “They were complemented with an online experience, with what we call our "afternoon fun break," which was content that was put up every afternoon and even live sometimes on Fridays on our social channels.”
When it comes to claims that the chain was serving up the same party pizzas to adult orders on food delivery services, McKillips wanted to clear the air. They’ve set up a new venture to give themselves a chance among the increasing number of delivery options available to consumers.
“We [also] launched a brand new virtual kitchen called Pasqually's, and this has received a lot of press. I do want to be clear, this is a separate virtual brand. We position it as bold flavors with a grown-up taste,” McKillips clarifiied.
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