There was a time when a singing animatronic mouse was all a family needed. Sure, the pizza at Chuck E. Cheese sucked, and the pitchers of soda sent children into a caffeinated whirlwind, but at least the kids had games to keep them occupied and employees to make sure they didn’t drown in the ball pit, meaning parents could finally get some downtime.
But millennial parents have different expectations, according to Gregory Casale, senior director of culinary innovation for the chain. “Millennial parents have been preened on brands like Panera and those higher-quality restaurants,” he told Nation’s Restaurant News. “They also want what they want when they want it.” One of the things these parents want is better food, which is why Check E. Cheese is remaking its pizza and expanding the salad bar. Another thing young parents want: better booze. And now, according to Bloomberg, the brand is also expanding its list of beer and wine.For years, Chuck E. Cheese has been selling their experience as a place “where a kid can be a kid.” Now while the kids are off doing that, a grown up can be a grown up, enjoy a nice glass of Chianti, and talk politics over a fresh bowl of quinoa. Yes, this will definitely end responsibly.