Dave & Buster’s start to come out of a hole the size of COVID

Are the arcades officially back? After a long period of drought during the worst months of COVID-19, restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s posted record second quarter results, including their highest ever earnings of $ 378 million. The company’s comparable store sales also rose 3.6%, more than the figures before the 2019 pandemic.

The increase in sales (especially entertainment / game sales as opposed to food) was due to the now fully open store list (plus a new store), which attracted more traffic than in previous quarters during the lockdown and periods of dining room restrictions.

“With the opening of all of our stores, we are seeing strong demand for our brand, including rapid sales growth in our California stores as it accelerated during the quarter,” said Scott Bowman, director Dave & Buster’s financier during Thursday’s earnings call. “With record sales and solid execution of our margin improvement initiatives, we were able to generate record profitability for the quarter. “

During the second quarter, the company rolled out its new collapsed menu that features higher quality ingredients and more user-friendly items. They also introduced new games, live entertainment (like live music and quizzes), and leaned more into digital adaptation. For example, last quarter Dave & Buster’s rolled out its new mobile app, from which customers can pay, earn points, and activate games with their phones.

“Mobile web adoption has been extremely strong, significantly exceeding our expectations,” Dave & Buster CEO Brian Jenkins said Thursday. “The majority of our customers are now using technology, and our success on this front has been crucial in facilitating a more efficient operation while also allowing us to deliver a great D&B experience. “

Dave & Buster plans to open four new stores by the end of 2021, including an imminent opening in Brooklyn, NY, with 6 to 8 additional new stores coming in 2022.

In the second quarter ended August 1, 2021, revenue increased by $ 33 million compared to the same quarter in 2019, and more than seven times total revenue of $ 50.8 million in the same quarter in 2020. Dave & Buster’s net income was $ 52.8 million. , or $ 1.07 per share, compared to net income of $ 32.4 million, or $ 0.90 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2019.

As of August 1, Dave & Buster’s had 142 stores in its portfolio, with a net new store opening during the quarter.

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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