Why choose between playing games or enjoying meals when you could have both in one restaurant? As one of North America’s leading restaurant chains, Dave & Buster’s (D&B) offers an exciting experience of entertaining visitors with games and appetizing meals.
Starting from its first restaurant built-in 1982 in Dallas, Texas, Dave & Buster’s now has over a hundred locations across the USA and two in Canada.
Founders David Corriveau and James Buster Corely were originally operating separate businesses before deciding to collaborate as co-CEOS after merging their businesses.
In 1989, Edison Brothers Stores decided to expand Dave & Buster’s further after acquiring a majority stake in it—and this successful collaboration allowed the company to go public in 1995! D&B bought and rebranded 9 Jillian’s locations in 2004 after the acquisition.
A year later, Wellspring Capital Management established Dave & Buster’s Holdings Inc. after acquiring D&B.
They later sold the franchise to Oak Hill Capital Partners who had sold $5.88 million shares in 2014 and raised $94 million shares in the second IPO.
With an astonishing $2.38B net worth, D&B’s successful exponential growth over the years may allow it to expand and build new locations to increase revenue as it gains more customers.
Why Are Dave & Buster’s Restaurants So Popular?
D&B restaurants are the top spots for visitors to eat, drink, play, and watch sports. With each location having more than 45,000 square feet, the big place offers visitors a separate space to enjoy exciting meal options at any time of the day while enjoying D&B’s fun games.
D&B ensures that the menu is up to date by consistently adding more options to attract customers. They offer mouthwatering food like burgers, pasta, steaks, seafood, and desserts.
Aside from the usual meals, they also provide awesome bar service for adult clients and buffets for big parties or events.
While on the gaming side of D&B, the restaurant has a variety of arcade games ranging from simulators to interactive games which require visitors to have D&B’s Power Card for activation. They also have a Power Station to recharge the card and continue the fun gameplay!
This new strategy allows the restaurant to increase customer engagement for hours since visitors can play readily through the card instead of cash.
It has expanded to offer more accessible and modern options to its visitors such as accepting digital payment as more solutions become available.
D&B’s growth has allowed it to become a major restaurant and entertainment destination chain in the USA and Canada.
Dave & Buster’s Competitors and Alternatives
Dave & Buster’s faces tough competition from some of the famous businesses in North America that also offer appetizing meals with fun games.
As a major player in the restaurant and entertainment industry, it currently competes with the following 10 well-established competitors:
1. Main Event Entertainment
Established in 1998, Main Event Entertainment is perfect for families looking for a place for their events, outings, and parties. They also have event space for business and school events.
The entertainment franchise now operates across 17 states in the USA with almost 44 locations.
The entertainment center offers a great range of fun activities like bowling, billiards, arcade games, gravity ropes, mini golf, karaoke, and rock climbing.
On top of that, they also offer delectable meals and beverages on the menu like pizza, burgers, salads, and desserts.
They also have a special kids’ menu for children! By offering everything that D&B can offer, Main Event Entertainment becomes a major competitor to Dave & Buster’s.
2. Round One (Round1) Entertainment
As a Japanese amusement store chain, Round1 stores offer fun indoor and outdoor activities for its visitors like arcade games, bowling, billiards, and karaoke.
They have also established SpoCha facilities which are the larger versions of its regular entertainment centers where visitors can try the same indoor and outdoor activities.
The first Round One store was built in 1993 after the first entertainment center Masahiko Sugino built-in 1980 became popular. It originally provided a space for visitors to enjoy arcade games and roller skating.
Round One was initially unsuccessful when they first entered the US market in 2006 since they could not find a good location to establish their amusement store.
Two years later, Round One Corporation ventured into founding its subsidiary, Round One Entertainment, which became a success. The company later established its first amusement store in Puente Hills Mall in 2010.
The company has now built many entertainment centers across the USA and in many other countries. It competes with D&B to prove itself as the best entertainment facility in the North American markets.
3. Chuck E. Cheese
As a famous restaurant, Chuck E. Cheese has been serving Americans since 1997. With over 600 locations across the globe, they have established restaurant and amusement centers perfect for many events.
Gourmet clients visit their restaurant for birthdays, and family outings, to enjoy arcade games and watch sports.
Chuck E. Cheese is best known for appetizing pizzas and other delicious meals. Founder Nolan Bushnell built this restaurant entertainment center in San Jose after wanting to establish the first Pizza Theater.
This successful venture attracted thousands of customers from San Jose and the nearby region. Chuck E. Cheese is seen as the market leader in the restaurant entertainment industry by many experts. It has also been an inspiration for companies like D&B for its exceptional growth.
Despite being remarkable rivals in the US market, D&B and Chuck E. Cheese both offer the best food and entertainment centers.
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Topgolf is a sports entertainment company in Dallas Texas with sports entertainment centers built across the USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Mexico, and UAE. They merged with Callaway Golf to offer a wider range of services in 2021.
Brothers Dave and Steve Jolliffe invented Topgolf and built its first location in London as their second venture with the desire to improve golf.
The brothers’ new venture initially failed to attract golfing businesses and communities. They did not gain investment from the PGA or from any golf equipment company.
The first investor to try to take Topgolf forward was Richard Grogan. He was later joined by Eric Wilkinson, David Main, and Tom Mendell as co-founders of the company to generate profit. They did some improvements to Topgolf’s business model to attract more customers.
Topgolf is now a great entertainment spot for anyone looking for a place to enjoy golf along with meals, drinks, and a space for parties.
Although D&B and Topgolf provide different kinds of games, both are competitors in the same industry with the goal of attracting more clients.
5. Punch Bowl Social
Punch Bowl Social is an exciting place for visitors to enjoy the “foodertainment” (food with entertainment) experience.
Founder Robert Thompson established it in 2012 and has been promoted since as the best place for entertaining events for friends, colleagues, and families to have fun.
They provide visitors with a variety of craft beverages legendary punches to craft beverages along with a selection of cuisines. While waiting for their food, visitors may also enjoy arcade games and karaoke to kill time while also bringing out their singing skills!
Punch Bowl Social is truly an ideal spot for the perfect party. It keeps guests engaged even for hours by offering many activities along with top-notch cuisines.
With over 15 new locations across the country, it may be the next major competitor in the market for companies like Dave & Buster’s as it expands more.
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6. Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings is the perfect destination for visitors to watch sports while having a sip of wine. As one of the biggest sports bar franchises in the USA, it now has over 1,238 casual bars and restaurants across the world.
It operates as a multinational company in over 10 countries and cities. The company operates 612 of its franchised locations while the rest are operated by their partners.
The star item on the food menu is their Buffalo-style chicken wings. This can be enjoyed along with appetizers, Mexican food, and fast food. Their restaurants give the customers the feeling of being in a stadium.
Even their employees wear the #82 jersey to commemorate the chain’s establishment in 1982. Visitors that enjoy games can try out their Lunch Time 6 Free Wings and other games to win a trip to Vegas or 100 Blazin Reward Points!
7. The Cheesecake Factor
Distributing delicious cheesecakes in over 206 locations, The Cheesecake Factory is now operating 220 full-service restaurants to entertain visitors looking for appetizing cuisines, beverages, and desserts.
The company has now also established two bakeries in North Carolina and California to continue supplying special cheesecakes across the USA.
Founder Evelyn Overton built and ran the first Cheesecake bakery in Detroit. She failed to run the business due to household duties, so she started operating the business from home. Her son, David Overton, later convinced their family to build a commercial bakery in Los Angeles.
The family then moved the business to Woodland Hills, LA which allowed the franchise to see success. The company started to expand in the 90s and is now in 220 locations across the country.
Despite not offering an entertainment gaming facility like the previous competitors, The Cheesecake Factory competes with Dave & Buster’s in serving top-notch cuisines to gourmet clients.
8. Chili’s Grill & Bar
Chili’s Grill & Bar offers a large menu mainly consisting of American food along with appetizing Mexican cuisine. Established in 1975, Larry Lavine initially offered hamburgers at Chili’s for an affordable price.
It now operates with more than 1600 restaurants across the globe. The restaurant chain is currently owned and operated by Binter International.
Visitors prefer having lunch or dinner at Chili’s because of the large food variety the restaurant offers. Consumers can enjoy quesadillas, shrimp tacos, and fajitas along with a range of nutritional foods.
Chili’s also provides visitors with a choice of a vegetarian and allergen menu. The diverse menu Chili’s offers perfectly satisfy millions of customers around the world despite not having an entertainment space for visitors.
9. Olive Garden
Olive Garden is known to offer a casual dining experience to its customers by serving Italian-American meals. The company has made $3.8 billion in revenue for its parental company, Darden Restaurant, as its subsidiary.
Americans enjoy Olive Garden’s popular breadsticks which are the restaurant’s main dish where the entire lunch menu is planned around on. Most visitors also enjoy their pasta, salads, and steaks.
The delicious dishes and lively environment partnered with a comfortable dining space allow Olive Garden to attract more customers.
It currently competes as one of the largest restaurant chains in the world, operating more than 900 restaurants
10. Coin-Op Game Room
This competitor is not as big as the previously listed D&B competitors, but it sure has what it needs to emerge as a big chain of game-focused restaurants.
It offers visitors over 50 arcade machines for classic video games coupled with electric game-themed beverages and Neapolitan Pizza.
Coin-Op Game room is a San Francisco-based restaurant. It has now reached Sacramento and San Diego, and may also soon expand to more locations as it draws in more customers who enjoy the restaurant’s theme and food.
They feature the most popular video games from the 80s to the 90s for those who enjoy classic arcade games. Visitors can also enjoy cocktails and palatable food on the menu as they play old-school games.
Although it currently operates only three restaurants, the restaurant can soon expand with its unique style and theme since millions of customers enjoy classic arcade games.
Coin-Op Game Room may soon attract more investors and expand widely across the country and the world!