Fun and games collide with food and drink at these nightspots. Dave & Buster's Entertainment owns and operates about 55 entertainment complexes in 25 states and Canada that offer casual dining, full bar service, and a cavernous game room. The adult fun centers feature the latest in video games and motion simulators, as well as games of skill played for prizes. For dining, Dave & Buster's offers a menu that features traditional American fare such as burgers, seafood, and steak. Partners David Corriveau and James "Buster" Corley opened the first Dave & Buster's in 1982. Private-equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners acquired the company in 2010. Dave & Buster's cancelled plans for an IPO in 2012.
Dallas-based Oak Hill Capital purchased the Dave & Buster's chain for $570 million in partnership with a management group led by CEO Steve King. The company filed an IPO in 2011, hopping to raise $150 million in order to pay down debt. However, it withdrew the filing in 2012 due to continued market volitility. Dave & Busters reported annual losses for three of its four last fiscal years, including posting a $7 million loss for 2012.
The chain's recent expansion efforts have slanted towards opening new units that are a smaller format store the company developed out of the need to reduce construction and operating costs. Dave & Buster's is also concentrating on increased sales and marketing efforts to reinvigorate its brand and grow the special events portion of its business. About 50% of sales come from food and beverages, while the remaining sales come from amusements such as air hockey, skee-ball, and video games.
Dave & Buster's helped pioneer a new segment in casual dining, but few adult fun arcade chains have followed and flourished. One notable exception is Champps, a chain of suburban nightspots popular for live music, games, and karaoke. Dave & Buster's also faces stiff competition in the general food and drink category from such franchises as Applebee's, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Hooters. – less