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Dave & Buster’s continues its decline

Yesterday Dave & Buster’s reported record revenues in the third quarter, up 12.9%. Sounds all rosy, but it really isn’t when you drill down into the results. The revenue increase is attributable to an increase in the number of stores. And even with the increased revenues, net income decreased by 2.5%. Even more telling is that comparable store sales declined 1.3% compared to the same quarter one year ago. However, that does to reflect inflation. With inflation factored in, the comparable store decline is more like 3%. 

The comparable store sales decline was driven by both a decrease in walk-in and special event sales.

As we reported in the November issue of our Leisure eNewsletter, Dave & Buster’s is experiencing a long-term trend of comparable store declining food and beverage sales that started in Q4 of 2016. The just reported results for the last quarter continue that trend with a comparable store sales decline of 5% for food and beverage, which declined to 42.1% from 43.1% of all revenues one year ago.

Today the success formula for eatertainment venues such as Dave & Buster’s is great food and drink – high quality, scratch-kitchen, fresh and innovative – combined with noteworthy, memorable experiences. Food and drink have taken on an importance even greater than the attractions and games at eatertainment venues. So as a result of Dave & Buster’s out-of-date food offerings, consumers are either just staying home or visiting other leisure and eatertainment options such as the new school eatertainment chains such as Top Golf and Punch Bowl Social, both of whom have far superior food. 

About Randy White

Randy White is CEO and co-founder of the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group. The 31-year-old company, with offices in Kansas City, Missouri, has worked for over 600 clients in 37 countries throughout the world. Projects the company has designed and produced have won seventeen 1st place awards. Randy is considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on feasibility, brand development, design and production of leisure experience destinations including entertainment, eatertainment, edutainment, agritainment/agritourism, play and leisure facilities.

Randy was featured on the Food Network's Unwrapped television show as an eatertainment expert, quoted as an entertainment/edutainment center expert in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Time magazine and received recognition for family-friendly designs by Pizza Today magazine. One of the company's projects was featured as an example of an edutainment project in the book The Experience Economy. Numerous national newspapers have interviewed him as an expert on shopping center and mall entertainment and retail-tainment.

Randy is a graduate of New York University. Prior to repositioning the company in 1989 to work exclusively in the leisure and learning industry, White Hutchinson was active in the retail/commercial real estate industry as a real estate consultancy specializing in workouts/turnarounds of commercial projects. In the late 1960s to early 1980s, Randy managed a diversified real estate development company that developed, owned and managed over 2.0 million square feet of shopping centers and mixed-use projects and 2,000 acres of residential subdivisions. Randy has held the designations of CSM (Certified Shopping Center Manager) and Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

He has authored over 150 articles that have been published in over 40 leading entertainment/leisure and early childhood education industry magazines and journals and has been a featured speaker and keynoter at over 40 different conventions and trade groups.

Randy is the editor of his company's Leisure eNewsletter, has a blog and posts on Twitter and Linkedin.

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