If you live in the UK, you may not have heard of Chuck E. Cheese. It’s a family fun centre, restaurant and arcade that provides a place for families and friends to enjoy hearty food and make memories. In this article, we find out more about the brand and whether there are Chuck E. Cheese franchise opportunities.
If you haven’t heard of Chuck E. Cheese, it’s quite an experience! Parents can take their children to a centre for a fun day out and the All You Can Play card allows the holder access to an unlimited amount of games in a set time period. But the chain is famous for its children’s parties; schools, youth groups and sports teams can all book in to enjoy the fun. Chuck E. Cheese franchise units are fantastic opportunities for seasoned investors to take a slice of the restaurant industry. Let’s find out more.
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During Chuck E. Cheese parties, children can play interactive games, enjoy live performances by Chuck E. and his pals and select their favourite choices from the children’s menu. Packed with children’s favourites, the children’s menu includes pizzas, chicken wings, a range of tasty sides, such as parmesan breadsticks and pretzel bites, and a selection of desserts, including cakes and even brightly coloured ‘unicorn churros’.
This restaurant business works hard to make sure every child can enjoy its fun-filled parties. That’s why organisers can choose from three different birthday party packages, which are designed to suit different party sizes and budgets. They all include a two-hour table reservation, complete with a tablecloth, paper plates, utensils and a dedicated server; two slices of pizza and unlimited drinks for every child; allocated points and tokens to play games and win prizes; and special recognition for the birthday girl or boy. The model is so popular that over a million Chuck E. Cheese birthday parties are thrown every year – that’s more than 2,700 a day!
As part of the brand’s ethos of inclusivity, Chuck E. Cheese works to make sure parents and children alike can enjoy quality family time. Also, on the first Sunday of every month, many centres open two hours before normal opening time to provide a sensory-friendly experience for children with special needs. In these hours, the centres will dim the lights, turn music down and be much less crowded.
History of Chuck E. Cheese
Chuck E. Cheese has seen huge success since its launch in 1977. In the very first year in business, the brand introduced 50 stores in the US and, today, it has over 600 locations across the world. The brand has expanded into Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Dubai, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad & Tobago and UAE.
Does Chuck E. Cheese franchise?
Chuck E. Cheese is a franchise and has offered franchising opportunities across the world. It’s not looking for investors to expand the brand in the US at the moment, but there is the chance to open franchises in other territories, such as Asia, South America and the Middle East.
However, the business does have some strict investment criteria. You must have the capital to follow one of the three investment schemes:
- $2.5 million minimum net worth and $1.5 minimum liquidity to open up to five centres
- $4.5 million minimum net worth and $3.5 million minimum liquidity to open between five and 15 centres
- $7 million minimum net worth and $5.5 million minimum liquidity to open between 15 and 25 centres
Investors must also be prepared to pay royalties of five percent of profits and a marketing contribution of 0.75 percent of profits. For this reason, Chuck E. Cheese franchises are best suited to franchisees with a lot of capital to invest. If you’ve got plenty of experience and are confident putting lots of money towards a business, this opportunity will be ideal for you.
You should also be living in the country in which you plan to open your franchise unit(s) and understand the local regulations and culture. On top of this, you need to be passionate about the brand and committed to expanding it, a strong leader and judicious businessperson. If you think you’re the right person to work with Chuck E. Cheese, you should identify a site with 1,000–1,400 square metres of space, to accommodate a kitchen, dining tables and chairs and over 55 arcade games.
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Starting a Chuck E. Cheese franchise unit
- Becoming a Chuck E. Cheese franchisee: The children’s franchise has implemented an eight-step plan for prospective franchisees. Firstly, you can get the ball rolling by completing a ‘CEC Entertainment’ application form. Then, you may be invited to take part in a telephone interview, during which you can find out more about the opportunity. If this goes well, you will be able to attend a Discovery Day at the brand’s headquarters in Texas. Next, you’ll create a Letter of Intent (LOI) and business plan to outline your strategies. After this, you sign the Development Agreement for your region. The final step in the process is to start market mapping and find your site.
- How much you need to invest: You can find out how much you'll need to put towards your new business by getting in touch with the business.
- What you get for your investment: Chuck E. Cheese provides continual support in key areas of the business. Franchisees will be able to seek guidance on site selection, market mapping, lease negotiation, business operations, suppliers, menu selection and pricing, arcade games selection, staff training, marketing and finances. With such a strong support network in place, Chuck E. Cheese is as keen for you to succeed as you are.
Chuck E. Cheese could represent a lucrative business opportunity for you if you live in one of the franchise’s specified expansion territories and have enough capital to launch your business. If you think you’ve got what it takes to start up a Chuck E. Cheese franchise unit, head to the brand’s website to enquire about launching your own centre.
Or, brush up on your knowledge and get ready to launch your own business with our comprehensive Starting a Franchise checklist.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©