#WhatsNextForChuckECheese via Hashtag, You’re It!: @BrandNewMcMann The Top Picks


In 1977 Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell wanted to open a chain of family friendly restaurants that merged food, video games, and an animatronic show. He was going to call it “Coyote Pizza”. While at an amusement park and attraction conference in Orlando Bushnell was browsing many mascot costumes and pre-production animatronic characters. He finally settled on one and bought the rights to it. When it was finally sent to his office in California he realized that the character he bought wasn’t a coyote but rather that of a rat. But he had already bought the rights so he just went with it and decided to name his new restaurant venture “Rick Rat’s Pizza”. However his marketing team warned him against the name. They settled on the name Chuck E. Cheese. So in San Jose California in 1977 the world was introduced to Charles Entertainment Cheese. With the skyrocketing popularity of videos games in the 80’s so to skyrocketed the popularity of Chuck E. Cheese as a destination for young kids for birthday parties, class trips, Boy and Girl Scout events, celebrations, or any reason that you can think of. Chuck E. Cheese was featured in the animatronic show along with other characters or just as an in person mascot wandering around the restaurant. Fast forward a few decades and Chuck isn’t doing to well. Many different reason have popped up as to the decline of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants. Competing businesses such as Dave & Busters and Gameworks. Urban legends about how the chain uses recovered old slices of pizza to make new ones. Numerous and highly publicized fist fights between adults in many different locations. An ever changing market that left Chuck E. Cheese restaurants in the dust. But it looks like the final nail in the coffin for the international chain is the recent COVID-19 outbreak. The company did try to stay afloat in the delivery market by changing their name to Pasqually’s Pizza but that backfired when people saw right through that felt cheated. With the company being over $1 Billion dollars in debt it looks like Chuck E. Cheese might need to be looking for a new job. So that’s what I asked Twitter this week with the hashtag #WhatsNextForChuckECheese. Boy did people have an opinion about what’s next for the beloved rat mascot, we trended to the #5 spot in the U.S. and the hashtag was even picked up by Time Magazine and Newsweek! I had over 6500 responses to go through, so why not order yourself a nice pizza and enjoy the top list. Also, don’t forget to join me every Tuesday at 11 am EDT for the next exciting episode of “Hashtag, You’re It”

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