Chuck E. Cheese restaurants across Minnesota are closed to dine-in customers, but they're still offering pizza for delivery – it just may not sound like Chuck E. Cheese when you're ordering.
A search on the delivery website GrubHub shows people living in the Minneapolis area can order from Pasqually's Pizza & Wings at 7505 France Ave. S. – the same address as the Chuck E. Cheese in Edina. Chuck E. Cheese in Edina also offers delivery via GrubHub, but it looks as if some items are more expensive on the Chuck E. Cheese menu.
Pasqually, if you're not familiar, is a character from Chuck E. Cheese restaurants.
There are a few stories out there of people who ordered pizza from what they thought was a local pizza place in order to support local during the coronavirus pandemic, only to discover they had actually ordered Chuck E. Cheese pizza.
A woman in Pennsylvania ordered from Pasqually's only to find out she was duped by the virtual restaurant operated by Chuck E. Cheese. She shared her text exchange with her delivery driver on Reddit, and it went viral.
"Had we not been quarantined and so bored we may not have gotten to the bottom of that," the woman, Kendall Neff, told NBC Philadelphia. "The main difference in this scenario is I was being mindful of going out of my way to find a local business."
In a statement to Food & Wine, CEC Entertainment Inc., which owns Chuck E. Cheese, said:
"CEC Entertainment, Inc. recently launched Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings nationwide. The inspiration was rooted in the desire to create a premium pizza while staying true to the CEC brand. Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings, named after another favorite member of Munch's Make Believe Band, shares kitchen space with the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, ensuring high-quality, fresh ingredients. Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings’ recipes use fresh, homemade pizza dough, just like Chuck E. Cheese, but it is a different pizza that features a thicker crust and extra sauce, giving consumers a more flavorful, more premium pizza experience. While Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings recipes are currently only available for delivery, select items might be added to the Chuck E. Cheese menu in the future."
Virtual restaurants aren't something new during the COVID-19 pandemic. A 2019 New York Times story reported on the rise of virtual restaurants in the age of food delivery apps. These kitchen-only restaurants use the same space as other known restaurants, but often offer a different menu that's only available via delivery.
BMTN has reached out to CEC Entertainment for comment.