As a kid, there’s probably one place you would always beg your parents to go to for your birthday parties: Chuck E. Cheese. This magical place has everything a child could ever want: good pizza, cool arcade – a place where a kid can be a kid. Well, here are the Top 10 Untold Truths of Chuck E. Cheese. (Part 2)
10. The 5 Missing Children
With so many scary and awful stories all over the internet, it’s often hard to know which ones to believe and which ones to just ignore. The story of the 5 missing children from Chuck E. Cheese is the perfect example of what not to believe. It all started with a series of misleading tweets in June of this year, claiming that five children had gone missing from a Chuck E. Cheese location and that a man had witnessed movements coming from the animatronics. This “fake news” came from a re-constructed title appearing to be from a USA Today blog that read: “5 Children Have Gone Missing inside a Chuck E. Cheese.” Even though it was quickly debunked, people went nuts and started spreading the rumor around, and it quickly became viral. The whole thing strangely resembled Five Nights At Freddy’s – a horror video game that features 5 kids who get stuffed into an animatronic suit, Freddy Fazbear’s – which is part of the reason why people were freaking out even more: a scary game come to life! But, turns out, the whole thing was just a hoax and most likely came from an Five Nights At Freddy’s fan who was a little too involved in the game. Thankfully, this horror story remained a story and never left the Twitter world. Although it is the perfect story to tell around a campfire to give your friends the creeps, so there’s that!
9. This Is Not A Hoax
Even though Chuck E.Cheese is supposed to be a kids’ paradise, a lot of unfortunate events have happened on the premises over the years. While some are completely made up, these next incidents were, sadly, very true. In late October, Eloise Chairs, a 29-year-old, suffered fatal injuries at a Chuck E. Cheese after a heated altercation with Treshonda Pollion, 24. When the Davenport police arrived at the location, the mother of 5 was unresponsive, and the suspect was nowhere to be found. The alleged weapon responsible was a firearm that was shoved in Miss Pollion’s purse. The scene took place at a local Chuck E. Cheese, which was full of families and children at the time, which doesn’t exactly inspire a feeling of safety for future visits. This affair is still an ongoing investigation, and no more information has been released yet, but one thing is for sure, this was not a hoax. Another regretful episode occurred in Texas at the beginning of December when a 4-year-old boy went missing from a Chuck E. Cheese, but this time, for real! Luckily, he was found safe and sound not too long after, and his non-custodial mother – who was responsible for his disappearance – was arrested. Chuck E. Cheese, while being extremely joyful and lively for children, is not always rainbows and butterflies, and maybe that’s part of the reason why they’ve started to close down so many locations.
8. That’s A Lot Of Tickets
Since the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants have had to go above and beyond to comply with new health and safety regulations. Not only have they had to make changes in the kitchen, but most companies have also made drastic changes in how they operate their business in general. And Chuck E. Cheese iswasfaced with this exact problem: they needed to say goodbye to their paper tickets and hello to new technology, the e-ticket. The cherished, anticipated, and esteemed prize tickets that made every kid go nuts are being destroyed under their very eyes. Scandalous isn’t it! Since Chuck E. Cheese had to file for Bankruptcy following recent money trouble, they decided to get rid of over 7 billion prize tickets, which is roughly enough to fill 65 forty-foot cargo shipping containers. This is the cash equivalent of around $9 million in Chuck E. Cheese prizes. All those beloved tickets, gone, just like that. At least, that’s what they’re trying to do. Bankruptcy law states that a company must seek court permission to spend money on anything, and well, since this destruction-operation would potentially cost millions, they really needed to ask permission. But what about the kids? How about asking their permission? They’re the ones using the tickets! Either way, Chuck E. Cheese was already planning on moving to e-tickets to cut down on wait times and printing costs, but when bankruptcy is breathing down your neck, it’s bound to make you move quicker!
7. Not Service Dog Friendly?!
We’re all a little bummed that our pets can’t come with us everywhere we go, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. However, service dogs are the exception to the rule as they are highly trained and have a very important job to do: take care of their owners. It should go without saying that service dogs are allowed to go literally anywhere the owner is allowed to go and are an essential part of their well-being. But, apparently, employees at a Saskatchewan Chuck E. Cheese in Canada had a different opinion. Ashley Nemeth, who is blind and in need of a service dog, was kicked out of a Chuck E. Cheese in Regina because she brought her fury companion Rick with her, and well, “the store doesn’t allow any pets.” Even after the manager was called, she was faced with the same answer: she wasn’t allowed to go in with her service dog. Ashley said she’s dealt with discrimination in the past but has never experienced this kind of outrageous treatment. She posted the incident on social media and it immediately got people fired up. Chuck E. Cheese got a hold of that story and profusely apologized with statements claiming they were “in the process of re-training our employees on our policy to ensure service animals are properly permitted entrance in the future,” but Ashley was not satisfied and demanded a written apology and took her complaint to Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. Rick; you’re welcome at our house anytime!
6. Pizza Recycling Conspiracy
There’s nothing better than a nice and warm slice of pizza fresh out of the oven. It’s like, the ultimate comfort food. So, when you go to a restaurant, your pizza should be just as fresh, right? That should be a given. But, what if, the slice of pizza you just ordered was actually someone’s old, forsaken piece they left on their plate that was sneakily redistributed to you? Well, Chuck E. Cheese has been infamously accused of doing exactly that, and the rumors have yet to die down. So many conspiracy videos have been done on the matter and have contributed to a growing suspicion among Chuck E. Cheese’s customers. But this theory hasn’t been made lightly; there is very dubious evidence that could perfectly match up with the conspiracy: the mismatching pizzas. If you’ve ever been to Chuck E. Cheese, you’ve probably noticed how, that sometimes the slices of your pizza don’t always look like they belong together. With asymmetrical slices, an odd circle-ish shape, and just an overall disheveled look, your pizza is never quite right. This sparked the conspiracy that Chuck E. Cheese was recycling leftover slices from customers and revamping them to create a new pizza. Obviously, Chuck E. Cheese clapped back and denied the allegations, saying all their pizzas were made to order and weren’t all the same shape simply because they were made from fresh dough. No matter what you believe, you can’t deny that Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza is iconic; maybe that’s just what makes it so delicious…??!
5. Post-Bankruptcy Outlook
The pandemic has hit Chuck E. Cheese really hard. Bankruptcy, loss of profits, and the closing down of 47 locations have all impacted the company drastically. To try to turn itself around, the parent company has made the bold move of moving almost everything online – including their dear prize tickets. They’re trying to keep their business afloat by coming up with all sorts of new and original ideas – like virtual birthday parties. Birthday parties historically made up 15% of Chuck E. Cheese’s revenues, and with the growing capacity restrictions and social distancing, having birthday parties has become almost impossible. To avoid losing such a big chunk of that revenue, they decided to “deliver birthdays at home” with at-home birthday packages. These packages contain games and online components, but also goodie bags, tickets for future gameplay, branded tableware, and photo backdrops to give you that real Chuck E. Cheese experience. Even though the chain was solely focused on its on-premise strategy, it quickly had to adjust and pivot into the off-premise, investing a lot in delivery services and technology. Soon, you’ll be able to order everything online with QR codes. We can’t know for sure if Chuck E. Cheese will survive the pandemic, but one thing is sure, they’re doing everything they can to make sure they do.
4. Outdoor Gaming
Except for the pizza, the best part about going to Chuck E. Cheese has got to be the arcade! – ahem, for the kids, of course. And again, because of this unfortunate pandemic, no one has been able to truly enjoy the pleasure of arcade games. That is until a Chuck E. Cheese in El Centro, California, decided to take the fun outside the building! Families with children – or not, we’re not judging – can now head over to this Chuck E. Cheese’s parking lot and relive the good old fun days by playing with the 12 machines that have been moved outside. The 12 chosen-ones will probably stay the same and not be switched though, simply due to their lack of mobility. Along with the games, there are also entertainment packages that can be bought, and they include point cards for arcade usage and pizza. With social distancing becoming more and more of an issue for restaurants, and some dine-in being completely restricted, Chuck E. Cheese really thought outside the box to find the perfect way to entertain their long-life fans. A lot of kids like celebrating their birthdays at Chuck E. Cheese, and this year, it seemed like mission impossible, but thanks to the chain’s witty and fun idea, they were still able to, in a way.
3. Winter Winner-Land
Decking the halls and spreading Christmas cheer, Chuck E. Cheese has come up with a brand new celebration to help deliver some holiday magic to families: Winter Winner-Land! It’s basically an event filled with instant prizes, delicious treats, and very merry moments – available in-store and online. This magical offer will give people the opportunity to win over 2 million prizes, including a full-size arcade game! That could definitely top any Christmas wish list, that’s for sure. The prizes are valued at $5 million and include free play bands, e-Tickets, collectible cups, and treats like cotton candy and ice cream. To make sure the joy is spread even more, Chuck E. Cheese will be working with local charities and donating presents using e-Ticket donations so kids in need can receive a present from the gift shop. “Every kid is a winner,” and every kid deserves to be, honestly. If you feel like heading down the restaurant, you’ll be greeted with twinkling lights, snowflakes, ornaments, and employees dressed in holiday hats and reindeer headbands, all ready to make your holiday better. As CEO David McKillips said: “The holidays might look and feel a bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be filled with fun times and jolly memories.”
2. A New Holly Jolly Menu & Shop
It wouldn’t be Christmas time without Chuck E. Cheese’s delicious seasonal treats. As part of the Winter Winner-Land promotion, two new tasty menu items have been added to satisfy your sweet tooth, bursting with holiday joy. First, there’s the Churro Frost Bites, which are just as festive as they sound: fresh churro bites sprinkled with blue raspberry sugar layered with icing and topped with sparkly silver glitter. Oh, and a little cup of icing to dip these fried delicacies in is a must and comes with every order. The other perfect new little treat is the Holly Jolly Cookie, which is basically a giant, gooey, circle of goodness. It is a made-to-order warm chocolate chip cookie topped with festive red and green chocolate candies and drizzled with chocolate sauce. These two desserts are available to have in the comfort of your own home or in the festive decor of the restaurant. Now, these delights aren’t the only thing you can treat your kids with. You can also visit the Chuck E. Cheese shop – in-store or online and get your children the perfect gift! The options include: Chuck E.’s Holiday in a Box, Gift cards, and holiday-inspired face masks – to stay safe even during the festivities.
1. Kindergarten Kickoff Program
With our current living situation, almost everything is now done remotely, and that includes going back to school. Kindergarten is the first experience a child has with school, and now they’re missing out on all the fun! Chuck E. Cheese saw that and wanted to help “America’s littlest learners” by starting their Kindergarten Kickoff program. The 14 participating school districts received a collection of free entertaining and enriching videos featuring Chuck E. and friends, with topics ranging from art tutorials and music exploration to even Spanish lessons. They were also given 30-minute All You Can Play cards that encourage safe and distant in-person play at their local Chuck E. Cheese. The videos are all designed to make the kindergarteners’ first day of school even more special. Everything was distributed to more than 70 thousand students. It’s a fun and an original initiative to start off the school year well, ant to maybe introduced the magical place that is Chuck E. Cheese!