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Who Owns Dave & Buster’s? (Full Guide)

who owns dave busters

Do you want to know the truth behind Dave & Buster’s

There are many weird rumors about the company circulating the internet. One is that the company is owned by Dave Chappelle and Busta Rhymes. While this rumor is not true, the company has a long and interesting history. In many ways, this American restaurant and entertainment corporation broke the mold.

If you want to know Who Owns Dave & Buster’s? Then it’s time to find out…

A Brief History 

Dave & Buster’s went from a casual idea between two friends to a ground-breaking company. The company earned its founders a spot in the Guinness World Records book. Let’s take a closer look at how this entertainment chain started and has evolved over the years. 

The Early Years

The company was founded in partnership between David Corriveau and James “Buster” Corley. In the late 1970s, James Corley owned and ran the bar Buster’s in the city of Little Rock, Arkansas. David Corriveau owned and ran a saloon and game parlor called Cash McCool’s right next door to the bar. 

The two business owners quickly started to notice that many customers would visit both venues in a single evening. This gave them the idea to create a business where customers could drink, eat, and play games in one venue. This was the original concept for the Dave & Busters entertainment venue chain.

Selling a majority stake so soon!

The two entrepreneurs decided to join forces and moved to the city of Dallas, Texas. The first Dave & Buster’s was opened in 1982 and quickly attracted a lot of attention. Each businessman operated the area of the venue that they were most familiar with.

In 1989, David Corriveau and James Corley sold a majority stake in the company to St. Louis-based conglomerate Edison Brothers. It was agreed that the founders would remain on the board and help to shape the future of the company. By 1997, the company operated ten locations throughout the United States. 

The Jillian’s Acquisition

Part of the appeal of the entertainment venues in the early years is that they were virtually unique. The only similar concept was a small chain of game and dining venues called Jillian’s. These venues included a wide range of entertainment options, and there were thirty locations in Canada and the United States. 

However, Jillian’s tried to expand too quickly and suffered as a result. Jillian’s Entertainment Holdings, Inc. was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004. Dave & Buster’s capitalized on this by purchasing and converting nine Jillian’s locations. 

Going Public

Going Public

Each location the company builds sets them back at least $10 million. This is because each venue covers between 50,000 and 70,000 square feet and is packed with high-tech equipment. This high cost and other factors quickly made it clear that changes would need to be made. 

While there have been several bids to purchase the company over the years, the founders were reluctant to sell. Instead, the company decided to go public in 2014 on the Nasdaq. This move netted the company nearly 100 million dollars and allowed it to expand further.

Rise in Competition

By the 1990s, the competition was fierce in the entertainment dining industry. A number of themed restaurant chains were launched, most of which enjoyed an impressive amount of success. Some of the new competitors included Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Café, All star Cafe, and House of Blues. 

Despite this rise in competition, Dave & Buster’s managed to remain popular, while many of the company’s competitors eventually closed.

Global Expansion

Toward the end of the 20th century, the company found itself struggling to stay afloat once more. Fortunately, UK-based billionaire Joseph Lewis came to the rescue. He wanted to expand the brand to the United Kingdom and purchased a 10% share of the company. 

The large United Kingdom hospitality company Bass was enlisted to operate the UK locations. The first one was opened in the West Midlands, quickly followed by a Bristol location that cost a reported £12 million. However, Bass left the franchise agreement in the year 2000, and the two locations closed. 

Introduction of the Power Card

One of the things that have allowed the company to enjoy continued success is the ability to change with the times. The company regularly replaces older games with new ones to help attract new customers. In the late 1990s, the company replaced traditional game tokens with the Power Card.

This is a card similar to a debit card that can be loaded and swiped to play games. In 2016, the company took its modern approach a step further. They introduced a wearable RFID-enabled wristband, which helped game players feel even cooler and play better!

Pay-Per-View Events

Most of the company’s bars are set with large-screen televisions where customers can watch the Big Game. The company decided to capitalize on its sports fans by becoming the official corporate sponsor of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. This helps provide sports fans with the ultimate sports viewing experience while they enjoy food and drink. 

Guinness World Record placing

Guinness World Record placing

The company entered the Guinness World Record book in 2017 thanks to a location in Toronto. Customer Joseph Levy Cohen earned the record for the longest chain of redemption tickets in this year. The chain contained 360,000 tickets and measured a mighty 29,134 feet long. 

The Virtual Launch

The company launched a virtual platform for its popular games by launching a mobile app in 2015. This allows customers to play some of their favorite games while they travel. Not only is the app free to download and use, and customers have the chance to win real prizes.

Each time customers win one of these virtual games; they are rewarded with virtual tickets. These virtual tickets can be redeemed at any Dave & Buster’s location. The virtual tickets are easy to transfer to a wearable Power Card.

Virtual meets reality!

This smart move has helped the company to stay afloat during the pandemic. Customers were able to have fun during quiet moments and be constantly reminded about the entertainment chain. Once the restrictions were lifted, customers flocked to locations to redeem their virtual tickets.

Who Owns Dave & Buster’s? – Popular Menu Items

Who Owns Dave & Buster’s? - Popular Menu Items

Over the years, Dave & Buster’s has used a number of clever tactics to increase its customer base. While the games and other entertainment options are popular, the company also boasts an extensive food and drink menu. Here are some of the company’s most popular menu items that customers return for time and time again.

Bang Bang Chicken

This crispy, hand-bread chicken is the perfect thing to munch on while watching sports. The chicken comes drenched in spicy Bang Bang sauce and is perfectly paired with a beer or two. It comes with a warm vegetable and noodle salad, which is tossed in sesame oil and served with peanut sauce. 

Voodoo Pasta

This comforting pasta dish is perfect for people who enjoy a little heat. It features caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, and crispy chicken, along with baby arugula. The heat comes from sweet gypsy peppers and the Sriracha hot sauce that is liberally drizzled over the pasta. 

Beastmode Bacon Burger

It’s time to unleash the beast and sink your teeth into this thick and juicy burger. The tender Blue Moon BBQ braised pork belly comes with bacon jam and roasted tomato aioli. There is also a whole host of toppings, including Applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar cheese, and crisp lettuce. 

Cantina Nachos

This appetizer is perfect for sharing and features tender chicken and white queso. Grilled poblanos are added to the dish to bring a little heat that balances out the melted cheese. Other ingredients include pico de gallo, jalapeños, black beans, Ancho lime crema, and cilantro. 

Strawberry Watermelon Margarita

No visit to this entertainment chain would be complete without sampling a drink or two. The strawberry watermelon margarita is one of the stars of the company’s extensive drinks menu. Strawberry-infused ice cream is blended with fresh watermelon puree and plenty of tequila to create a sweet and tasty cocktail. 

Chicken & Waffle Sliders

Anyone who loves chicken and waffles is sure to enjoy this dish. The company offers the classic dish in the form of mini sliders. Crispy chicken is topped with Applewood smoked bacon sandwiched between two Belgian waffles. As a bonus, these sliders come with warm maple syrup and seasoned tater tots. 

Slow-Cooked Smokehouse BBQ Ribs

Slow-Cooked Smokehouse BBQ Ribs

While many restaurant chains offer ribs, not many manage to get them just right every time. These slow-cooked smokehouse BBQ ribs are made from scratch and come topped with crispy onions. The huge plate also boasts fresh apple slaw and a whole heaping of French fries.

Restaurant Positions To Apply For!

If you’re undecided about what role you’d like to take on, check out my in-depth Waitress Job DescriptionShift Leader Job Description, and Bar Manager Job Description, as well as my Line Cook Job DescriptionAssistant Restaurant Manager Job Description, and Restaurant General Manager Job Description for 2023.

Next, take advantage of a great selection of restaurant opportunities by checking out our guides to the Dave And Busters Application, the Noodles And Company Application, the P F Changs Application, the Tim Hortons Application, and the Marcos Pizza Application.

We also have our in-depth guide to the Chilis Application and the most common Chilis Interview Questions you’re likely to be asked, along with the Arbys Application and Arbys Interview Questions, and finally, the Zaxbys Application and the most common Zaxbys Interview Questions, to help you prepare.

Who Owns Dave & Buster’s? – Final Thoughts 

Today, Dave & Buster’s is best known as a chain of huge entertainment complexes. Each of these venues is a combination of a bar, a restaurant, and an arcade. The company’s venues are popular with people who want to have fun and enjoy good food while on a budget.

Dave and Buster’s success stems from the founders’ ability to recognize a unique market and leverage it. It currently operates 145 locations across the United States. Despite rising competition, a combination of clever marketing and brand recognition has helped the company to remain popular.

Enjoy your next meal and gaming experience at Dave And Buster’s!

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