Dave and Busters poised for solid earnings with healthy hiring and retail outlay

5 days ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Facts, Features

Dave and Busters ($NASDAQ:PLAY) figured out the arcade formula when no one else could. By combining video games with casual dining, the chain has grown to 128 locations and became a bit of an investor darling with better-than-expected results in its last quarter.

While Dave and Busters' stock has since come back down to earth, and analysts are expecting slowed growth as the company reports earnings this week, our data shows a healthy company with hiring at or near its highest levels yet.

Healthy hiring

Job openings for Dave and Busters are at roughly 2,220, a 6% increase over this time last year, in a sign that the company continues to bring on new team members at new locations. Most in demand are customer-facing personnel such as servers and hosts.

Title

Title (Count)

Server

138

Front Desk/Host

136

Senior Games Technician

136

Service Support – Busser

136

Dishwasher

135

Receiver

135

Cocktail

134

Line Cook

134

Bartender

134

Deposits

134

Support Technician

134

Bar Back

133

Captain – Customer Service

133

Janitorial Maintenance

132

Winner’s Circle – Customer Service

132

Special Events Assistant

125

Restaurant Manager

29

Sales Consultant

8

Assistant General Manager

4

Kitchen Manager

4

Smart location footprint

The chain's location outlay continues to grow, and most major American urban and suburban centers are well-served. A map of the company's current locations shows how well distributed the chain is in both dense- and medium-populated areas.

Dave and Busters' location strategy is smart and scalable, as well, seemingly services all markets and economic populations evenly. While the average median income for all locations comes in at $71,000 — well above the American average income of $56,516 — it also serves both high and low income areas with surprising agnosticism. At the top end, a Dave & Busters in the 10803 Zip Code in Westchester County, New York comes in at a healthy $148,830. But Dave & Busters also operates a shiny new location in the 70113 Zip Code in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the average household has an income of $15,800.

Locations are also spaced well, with clusters of Dave and Busters restaurants serving both urban and suburban areas in a fashion that doesn't over- or under-serve local populations. According to our location density analysis, not a single Dave & Busters location is too close to another location, meaning that virtually no restaurants are at risk of cannibalizing or self-competing local markets.

Positive foot traffic indicators

But what about foot traffic? If the stores are well spaced, surely an even more important indicator would be how well the various Dave and Busters restaurants are attracting local populations.

Indeed, by looking at "Were Here" count as reported by Facebook over time, we see a steady increase in the numnber of Facebook users posting from various Dave and Busters locations.

What to expect

Analysts are hoping for a 12% rise in revenue to above $370 million along with profit of $1.12 a share. Given the company's healthy hiring activity along with a smart retail footprint outlay, it wouldn't be surprising to see those numbers not just met, but even outpaced, especially keeping in mind that the chain has beat EPS estimates in its past four quarters.

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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