The parent company for Chuck E. Cheese, the restaurant, arcade and childrens' birthday party hot spot, is hoping to shred seven billion prize tickets, according to court documents filed on Monday.
CEC Entertainment, Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection in June, said in a motion there are enough paper tickets to fill about "65 forty-foot cargo shipping containers."
The tickets, which include the Chuck E. Cheese trademark, usually are used for arcade games and guests can trade those in for prizes. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown orders, a stockpile of tickets has been building up throughout the company's supply chain.
Instead of paying vendors to deliver the tickets, CEC Entertainment is asking to just destroy them. The total agreed-upon cost to shred them is more than $2.2 million, which is about $1 million less than the company would have paid if the tickets were released and cycled through its entire supply chain, according to the motion filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
The company agreed to keep 2,500 cases of tickets for future needs, but the rest would be shredded, if the court grants the request. The move also comes as the company ramps up the use of e-ticket systems and contact-less ticket counters. The motion added that not using paper tickets helps reduce the amount of time guests spend redeeming their tickets and prizes at the end of the day.
In June, the 43-year-old chain announced that it planned to reopen 266 of its 555 company-operated Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza restaurants as restrictions ease. But, it plans to "permanently abandon" 45 Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza locations and reject the associated leases.
Eleven of those locations had already been permanently closed before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the court filing, but the company didn't specifically identify those stores.