Serious Food, Outrageous Fun

Dave & Buster's (D&B) newest roadside billboard signs feature the headline, "Serious Food, Outrageous Fun." This is a great description of what the D&B formula is all about. It is worthy to note food is placed first, most likely because the company realizes food is probably more of a destination driver than the fun.

As part of its philosophy to offer serious food, D&B is simplifying its menu. Corporate executive chef Oona Settembre says it's all part of a drive to compress the menu from seven panels to one oversized page. Settembre says, referring to the old menu, "That's a lot of pages to turn. It left customers unable to choose."

In previous listings, for example, "Avocado and Shiitake Nachos" had the description:

"Sautéed shiitake mushrooms, avocado-pico de gallo, black beans, red onions, jalapenos and cilantro, smothered with melted cheese, served with sour cream and salsa."

"Now," says Settembre, "on our new menu you have 'Avocado and Shiitake Nachos' and the price. That's it. It's going to put a lot of onus on our servers to interact more with our guests."

One of the new additions to Dave & Buster's menu is the shrimp wrapper priced at $7.99.

D&B has also dropped 16 menu items and added 13. Other items were reworked.

D&B currently operates 33 locations with annual total per store sales of between $9 million and $22 million. The company reports their dining check average is about $21 and their food cost is 25.7 percent.