The Chuck E. Cheese menu grows up

Parents who bring their kids to the eatertainment concept have to eat too, and now there’s more pizza, wings, meatballs and desserts geared to grownup tastes.
The new Grown-Up Menu features meatballs, pizza, wings and desserts for more "mature" taste buds. | Photo courtesy of Chuck E. Cheese.

Chuck E. Cheese debuted a menu Monday to please all those parents who come along with their kids to the eatertainment venue.

While the new “Grown-Up Menu” includes kid-friendly favorites like pizza and meatballs, the on-trend flavors and ingredients are geared to adult taste buds. Among the four new exclusive pizzas, for example, there’s Spicy Hawaiian topped with sweet chili sauce, shredded mozzarella and cheddar, ham, pineapple and jalapenos. The Signature Meatball pie actually comes with fresh spinach—a vegetable many 5-year-olds wouldn’t dare touch.

The Saucy Meatballs, which have their own dedicated menu section, come in three flavor-forward variations: Spicy Korean BBQ, Buffalo BBQ and Sweet Chili. The same sweet-savory Spicy Korean BBQ and fiery Buffalo BBQ show up as sauces in the Wings category, too, along with Louisiana Honey Hot—a nod to the popular sweet-heat trend. In addition to those three new sauces, there are two new rubs for wings: Lemon Pepper and Chili Lime.

To develop desserts grownups would love, Irving, Texas-based Chuck E. Cheese teamed up with Virtual Dining Concepts and T.V. chef Buddy Valastro, a.k.a. the “Cake Boss.” Three of Valastro’s famous cakes are on the menu—Confetti, Vanilla Rainbow and Chocolate Fudge—all available by the slice.

“As pioneers in the FEC [Family Entertainment Center] industry, Chuck E. Cheese continues to evolve, ensuring that every visit is not just a trip down memory lane but an exploration of new tastes and experiences for our youngest guests and the millions of parents and adults who visit us each year,” David McKillips, president & CEO of CEC Entertainment, said in a statement. CEC is the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese.

According to the statement, 500,000 kids’ birthday parties are celebrated each year at the 600 or so Chuck E. Cheese locations across the U.S. and internationally.

Earlier this year, CEC rebranded sister concept Peter Piper Pizza to Peter Piper Pizzeria to move it out of its regional markets and differentiate it from Chuck E. Cheese. The menu “leans forward in terms of sophistication,” McKillips told RB editor Jonathan Maze in an interview in June. Peter Piper Pizzeria offers hand-tossed pizzas featuring house-made dough and bolder toppings as well as wings—similar to Chuck E. Cheese’s new Grown-Up Menu.

In June, 2020 during the pandemic, CEC launched virtual concept Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings, a delivery-only brand. Its goal also was to appeal to “more mature taste preferences,” and it seems that some of the new Grown-Up Menu items were tested here first. Pasqually’s also offers Spicy Korean BBQ and Honey Hot-sauced wings, as well as lemon pepper and chili lime dry rubs. And the pizza is topped with a combination of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses for more robust flavor.

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