Chuck E. Cheese has enough paper tickets for almost every single person in the world, but nearly all of them are about to be destroyed.
The more than seven billion tickets—enough to fill roughly 65, 40-foot cargo shipping containers—are no longer needed because of the COVID pandemic.
Chuck E. Cheese, which filed bankruptcy in June, said in a court document that a rapid decline in sales and decrease in the use of prize tickets caused a buildup throughout the supply chain. The brand had placed orders and planned for ticket utilization on historic rates based on pre-COVID levels.
The eatertainment chain is spending nearly $2.3 million to have three different companies in the supply chain destroy their stockpile. Chuck E. Cheese is retaining 2,500 cases for future needs of franchisees.
According to the filing, if Chuck E. Cheese allowed the tickets to circulate, it’d cost $3.9 million. If the brand abandoned the stockpile and the supply ended up in the hands of the public, the seven billion tickets could be redeemed for about $9 million in prize merchandise.
With the pandemic pushing brands toward contactless service, Chuck E. Cheese is accelerating the use of e-tickets. The move not only allows for more customer convenience, but it also removes future costs associated with the use of tickets and maintenance of ticket munchers.
Chuck E. Cheese CEO David McKillips told QSR earlier in September that as part of the e-ticketing process, customers will now purchase a collectible card, play games, and check the value virtually at machines placed inside the restaurant. More than 300 company restaurants have open dining rooms and arcades.
“With e-tickets, we’re going to be able to expedite the ticket munching and the ordering of tickets lickety split,” McKillips said. “It’s going to be instantaneous. That’s going to be a guest experience for our parents to say, when they’re ready to go, they can head home.”