Restaurants and arcades have been an awesome combination since the '80s, and no establishment has been as famous for meshing the two together than Chuck E. Cheese's ($PRIVATE:CHUCKECHEESE). If you were a child (or parent) in North America from 1977 to 2019, there's a good chance you have been to a Chuck E. Cheese in your life. It's the sort of famous and ubiquitous chain known for suburban birthday parties, but isn't designed to be a normal pizzeria nor a welcoming arcade/restaurant.

But unlike Dave & Buster's, there is no big investment coming to save Mr. Cheese or his bandmates. Rumors and reports have been swirling this week about the brand going bankrupt (CEC Entertainment technically would go bankrupt, they own Chuck E. Cheese). The three events that led to Chuck striking out: the Coronavirus pandemic closing down all non-essential businesses, 17,000 employees being laid off as a result, and then the mistaken identity fiasco involving delivery apps and a name change. A billion dollars of debt and a bad PR disaster will lead to bankruptcy talk, and the pandemic certainly doesn't help. 

If you look at the corporate jobs with our LinkedIn data, they're going up! But that doesn't account for all the thousands of people who were let go, and it doesn't add in the context that top executives are being given extra bonuses as an incentive to stay on a sinking ship. But it works, since corporate jobs went up by 10% this year alone.

Mr. Cheese's Twitter following went up by almost 62% in the last year, which would be impressive if not for the fact that Twitter fans on their own can't really add profit to your business. You need them to spend money at the location itself, which is closed, thanks to COVID-19.

The Facebook Likes for the Chuckster has declined slightly since the pandemic broke out, and the 'Talking About' count has been the lowest this week in quite a long time. It could be looking bad for all of the locations below on our map, since they might go out of business and close down for good if Chuck E. Cheese can't get enough loans to keep them afloat.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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