(WWJ) One of the latest victims of COVID-19: Chuck E. Cheese.
Chuck E. Cheese's parent company, CEC Entertainment, announced Thursday it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing "financial strain" caused by closures due to coronavirus restrictions in recent months.
But, don't worry, your kids' favorite restaurant may not be closing.
As of June 24, CEC said 266 company-operated Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza restaurant and arcade venues had "safely re-opened," in accordance with all CDC, federal, state and local guidelines.
Subject to ongoing negotiations with its landlords, the company said it expects to maintain ongoing operations in these locations throughout the Chapter 11 process, providing dine-in, delivery and carry-out services, hosting birthday parties during dedicated hours, and supporting fundraisers and events in the coming weeks and months.
CEC also plans to continue opening additional locations each week, steadily bringing more employees back to work.
"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," said David McKillips, CEC's Chief Executive Officer, in a statement.
"I am incredibly proud of what the CEC team has achieved over the past year as we launched the All You Can Play value gaming platform, expanded our remodel program and found new ways to engage with families while our venues were closed. I'm confident in the strength of our team and our world-class brands and look forward to more fully implementing our strategic plan as we put these financial challenges behind us."
There are more than a dozen Chuck E. Cheese locations in Michigan. Many are currently open for business, some offering limited hours, while others are temporality closed.
A note on the Chuck E. Cheese website reads:
"We will not re-open our doors just because we can. We are following the guidance of national health experts and local officials; our teams are working on new safety and sanitation procedures and when we do re-open, we will be confident that we are doing everything we can to provide the safest experience possible." Read the company's safety guidelines at this link.