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This Popular, Fun Restaurant Chain Is in Danger of Bankruptcy

The unique establishment known for its games and sports viewings is close to going under.
dave and busters

The restaurant where you go to catch a basketball game and play your favorite arcade game during halftime is nearing bankruptcy.

Dave and Buster's announced it is laying off 1,300 employees across seven states by Nov. 8 and has warned that the company may have to file for bankruptcy if it cannot reach a deal with its lenders. Dave and Buster's was one of the chains to be hit the hardest during the pandemic as it wasn't equipped to offer delivery or to-go meals in the same manner traditional chains were. Not to mention, the chain makes the majority of its revenue from the games that are all inside of its locations. (Related: 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback)

The company was able to buy a little extra time having negotiated a debt-relief deal with its lenders that will support it through Nov 1. However, if that deal isn't extended past that date, the chain will have no choice but to file for bankruptcy. However, the beloved chain has been able to avoid filing for Chapter 11 longer than Chuck E. Cheese, which is also mostly frequented for its games and attractions. The child-friendly chain's parent company filed for bankruptcy in late June in an attempt to support its "longer-term strategic plans."

As of Sept. 9, Dave & Buster's reopened 89 of its 137 stores nationwide. Still, nearly all of the brand's locations in California, New York, New Mexico, Michigan, Louisiana, and Washington remain closed. Locations in Colorado and Massachusetts are set to reopen shortly. Like most restaurants, the company wasn't financially prepared for the mandatory closures and the damage may be too great to come back from.

"We did not foresee how significantly and for how long a time the pandemic and related government lockdown orders would impact our business. We also did not foresee that lockdown orders, initially issued for short durations in only a few cities, would spread throughout the country and be repeatedly extended," Kathryn Rainey, Dave & Buster's senior director of human resources, told Colorado in a WARN letter.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more