NEW YORK CITY -- "Nightline," an ABC News program, reported on March 7 that the Chuck E. Cheese's pizza and arcade empire "has become a hotspot for violent brawls between the adults." | SEE STORY
The news program highlighted dozens of altercations that have occurred repeatedly at various CEC stores in recent years. Fights captured on cellphone videos have frequently been posted on the Internet.
Many Chuck E. Cheese's stores serve beer and wine to adults, a factor that helps fuel their misbehavior, according to observers.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent of the 500-plus unit Chuck E. Cheese's chain, released a statement that read in part: "In 2011, over 99.99% of approximately 65 million guest visits at Chuck E. Cheese's occurred without incident ... Despite our efforts, unfortunately altercations occur with a very small percentage of those who visit Chuck E. Cheese's. And like kids' soccer and baseball games across our country, typically the incidents are not with the kids -- but regrettably the parents. For us, even one altercation is too many. Maintaining a wholesome, safe experience that sets a standard across our more than 550 locations is of utmost importance to Chuck E. Cheese's, and we will never stop working to improve how we operate our business."
Regarding its alcohol policy, CEC said its employees are trained on responsible alcohol service and to not "suggestively" sell alcohol. "As a company, we do not market the sale of alcohol in any of our advertising," the company said. It added that alcohol is "rarely a contributing factor" in problem behavior at its venues.
Separately, Chuck E. Cheese's is marking its 35th anniversary this year and announced an aggressive multiyear expansion plan. | SEE STORY