Saturday, June 25, 2005

Weekend Blog 3

The weekend blog is an "off-topic" section where I can comment on any subject.

"Where A Kid Can Be A Kid"

The Chuck E Cheese Restaurant was obviously founded by a marketing genius. My kids love this place. Really, they cannot get enough of the pizza, the games, the indoor play ground and the live show. The motto of the restaurant is: "where a kid can be a kid",...and is well known to many in the USA from their widely run TV commercials, and it rings true to anyone who has ever been inside a Chuck E Cheese!!

However, the second half of the motto should be "where and adult can lose his mind". This place makes me crazy. And not for the reasons you might think.... it is not the loud cheery music, screaming brats, or grown-ups dressed up in furry animal costumes.

This is an establishment that kids are begging to go and all the parents cannot stand the taste of the food. Granted, I am sure the business plan is to save as much as they can on the ingredients in the pizza, so I will let it slide that the pizza tastes like greasy cardboard. However, they have some other items on the menu for adults (for which they charge a premium price), including sandwiches and a salad bar, .... and none of it has any flavor. I have tried it all, and I have quit eating anything they have to offer.

Also, they did away with the kids meal (at least at my local CEC). I used to be able to take my daughter in for a little pizza and a soft drink for under $4. Then I could give her a few more dollars for games and rides, and it was win-win situation (she had fun, and I did not spend a ton of money). Now the food alone is around ten bucks (and I am not eating any of the slop). We used to go there often, now it is a rare occasion. Thus less money is going from my wallet to Mr. Cheese.

If I ran CEC I would upgrade the food for the adults. The experience is already delightful for the kids. If they had entrees that one could actually enjoy it would make parents bring their kids in more often. I am not suggesting that they go upscale (I mean, come on, it is still Chuck E Cheese)..... but I have been to a lot of pizza joints that have reasonably priced food that tastes good.

But with all that said, what they don't have in the culinary arts, they make up for in their marketing skills, because when I take my kids there today (oh yes, I am going there today!!!), the parking lot will be packed. So what do I know, maybe it is not about the food.

Well, that is my rant for the Weekend Blog.

Oh, a side note, my three year old daughter loves everything about Chuck E Cheese except for the guy in the mouse costume. Anytime the character walks around the restaurant meeting the kids, she cries and screams "GO AWAY, RAT!!!!". Now that makes me laugh.

Have a great weekend.

Thom Singer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if you remember when Chuck E. Cheese used to be Showbiz Pizza or if you had one in your area. However, that place served excellent pizza. Not the watered down stuff in CEC today, but the loaded pizzas with a hand tossed (thicker) crust and the cheese you could stretch for a mile and it's still connected to the pizza. *mouth waters* I can make what they are serving these days in my oven.