Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Delivery Side Hustle Is Booming
The future of Chuck E. Cheese may be its delivery spinoff, Pasqually’s Pizza.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially tough on Chuck E. Cheese, as their business model is based on letting kids run rampant with little regard for social distancing. To try to beef up sales, the place “where a kid can be a kid” launched a side business where an adult can order a delivery pizza like an adult: Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings.
Unfortunately, this side hustle wasn’t enough to keep Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company from filing for bankruptcy, but as CEC Entertainment continues to operate while restructuring its finances, Pasqually’s is apparently becoming a much larger part of the plan moving forward.
For those unfamiliar with Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings, the new brand—named after another member Munch's Make Believe Band—was launched nationwide in March as a “ghost kitchen” concept: Chuck E. Cheese chefs with extra time on their hands could churn out adult-style pizzas with more “high-quality, fresh ingredients” to be sold for delivery through Grubhub. The fact that the chain was a bit oblique about its childish roots raised some eyebrows, but in Mr. Cheese’s defense, he’s not the only one using a similar strategy.
Now, with no end to coronavirus in sight—and Chapter 11 weighing on CEC’s mind—they’re ramping up Pasqually’s further, in a bid to earn more revenue from its 470 Chuck E. Cheese locations while only around 270 are open for any sort of dine-in service, according to Restaurant Business Online. Comparatively, all Chuck E. Cheese locations are reportedly churning out delivery food under the Pasqually’s banner, initially accounting for 10 percent of total sales and continuing to increase.
“With the pandemic happening, we took the opportunity to compress the activation of the idea to launch Pasqually’s,” CMO Sherri Landry was quoted as saying. “People behave very differently. Third-party delivery sites have become the new Main Street.”
Along those lines, Pasqually’s expanded to Uber Eats last month and DoorDash this week. And the menu just got larger, too: Yesterday, the brand announced new items including Giant Cheesy Bread, Twice Baked Wings in four new flavors (Spicy Korean BBQ, Honey Hot, and Lemon Pepper and Chili Lime Dry Rubs), and an Iced Brownie.
“Pasqually's Pizza & Wings is not a stunt or a short-term business venture for CEC Entertainment,” Landry said in the announcement. “The extension was created with a purpose—to offer our guests another at-home option for delicious food."
Hey, like any smart musician, Pasqually E. Pieplate realized he couldn’t play drums forever. As soon as the band started to go under, he executed his backup plan for success. Good for him. It always seemed like he was a pizza chef first and a percussionist second, anyway.