Back in late April, a story popped up about people being duped by pizza orders they made on the GrubHub ($GRUBHUB) app. Apparently, famous restaurant/arcade/children's entertainment center Chuck E. Cheese ($CHUCKECHEESE) wanted to stay in business by selling pizza under the pseudonym Pasqually's Pizza & Wings. Not much came from the Food & Wine story, until very recently.
As more and more people ordered and posted about the pizza, the story gained traction and got picked up by more publications. This week, USA Today, The Street, The New York Post, TMZ, and others all covered the Chuck E. Cheese scheme, some calling it a "bait and switch" while others simply called it a clever way to keep business afloat. Thinknum Media does not make such judgment calls, as we look down on all pizza that is not from a local joint on the streets of Manhattan or Brooklyn.
After doing some digging, we found that the locations of Pasqually's Pizza & Wings line up exactly with Chuck E. Cheese locations. Not all of them (Canada, Cuba, and Hawaii not included), but the rest match perfectly. But it's worth noting, before we go any further, there is an original pizzeria in Philadelphia named Pasqually's Pizza, Beer, & Wine that is highly regarded and very well rated. Please do not mix that establishment up with this nonsense, they are innocent and had nothing to do with this story.
With apologies to other independent pizzerias and restaurants named "Pasquallys" that might have gotten rolled up into this mess, the average rating for these retitled Chuck E. Cheese's decreased after the story broke. You can see that this name change venture began around April 20, and went unnoticed by most until just a few days ago, where the average review fell beneath a 3/5.
You can look up your local Chuck E. Cheese masquerading as a different place on either Seamless or GrubHub. We found one location in particular that had a 14% approval rating on the quality of the food. If you want to support a local pizza chain, be sure to check the name. Fun fact: Pasqually P. Pieplate is the name of a fictional character who performs in Chuck E. Cheese's robot band, so that's how you'll know.
April saw the start of a slight decline in Facebook likes for Chuck E. Cheese, and the 'Talking About' count also fell as families hunkered down in quarantine. But, over the last few days, the talking about count went up 173% when more news of the name change broke.