Dave & Buster's

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Dave & Buster's
S&P 600 Component
IndustryEntertainment/Restaurant (Eatertainment)
FoundedDallas, Texas (August 31, 1982; 41 years ago (1982-08-31))
FounderDavid O. Corriveau
James W. "Buster" Corley
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Number of locations
Key people
Chris Morris (chief executive officer)
SubsidiariesMain Event Entertainment
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Dave & Buster's (stylized in all caps) is an American restaurant and entertainment business headquartered in Dallas.[2] Each Dave & Buster's has a full-service restaurant, full bar, and a video arcade. As of September 2023, the company has 156 locations in the United States, two in Puerto Rico and two in Canada.[1]


Original Dave & Buster's logo used from 1982 to 2014
Previous logo from 2014 to 2020

The first Dave & Buster's was opened in Dallas in 1982 by David Corriveau and James "Buster" Corley.[3] Corley had previously operated a bar called "Buster's" in Little Rock, Arkansas, next door to a saloon and game parlor called "Cash McCool's", owned by Corriveau.[4] After opening Dave & Buster's, the two operated as co-CEOs.[5]

Dave & Buster's in Manchester, Connecticut

In 1989, Edison Brothers Stores purchased a majority ownership in the restaurant to finance further expansion into other cities.[4] Dave & Buster's was spun off from Edison Brothers, and went public with Andy Newman as chairman in 1995.[6] By 1997 the chain had ten locations across the country.[7]

D&B acquired nine Jillian's locations after Jillian's filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy[8][9] in 2004. Seven of these Jillian's locations were rebranded with the Dave & Buster's name, while two were closed following the acquisition. The company announced on December 8, 2005, that it would be acquired by private equity firm Wellspring Capital Management.[10] On July 16, 2008, Dave & Buster's Holdings Inc, filed with the SEC to again become a publicly traded company.[11] The company had set a date for the Initial public offering IPO of October 5, 2012.[12] However, it pulled out right before it opened. In June 2010, Oak Hill Capital Partners, in partnership with the company's management team, completed its acquisition of Dave & Buster's from Wellspring Capital Management.[13]

The inside of a Dave & Buster's in Marietta, Georgia

In October 2014, Dave & Buster's launched a second IPO, selling 5.88 million shares at an offering price range of $16–18.[14] The offering raised $94 million, to be used for debt repayments.[14] Shares are traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange using the symbol PLAY.[14]

Dave & Buster's, as with all other entertainment and restaurant businesses, was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to restrictions on non-essential businesses. The company's same-store sales fell by 70% during fiscal year 2020. As restrictions eased, the company began to recover in fiscal year 2021, being down only 10%, although Omicron variant resulted in a decrease in the fourth quarter of 2021.[15]

Dave & Buster's CEO Brian Jenkins retired in September 2021, with chairman Kevin Sheehan named interim CEO.[16] On April 6, 2022, Dave & Buster's announced that it would acquire the Plano, Texas-based family entertainment center chain Main Event Entertainment from Ardent Leisure and RedBird Capital Partners for $835 million, with its CEO Chris Morris becoming the new CEO of Dave & Buster's upon the completion of the sale in June 2022. Main Event will operate alongside the main Dave & Buster's chain, differentiated by their formats (with Main Event locations typically being larger than the average Dave & Buster's location, and including activities such as bowling and laser tag) and market positioning (with Main Event having typically targeted families, and Dave & Buster's having typically targeted young adults). Dave & Buster's has not ruled out the possibility of converting some of its larger locations to the Main Event format, and opening smaller Dave & Busters locations in the same market to supplant them.[17][18]


Food and drinks

Items on the Dave & Buster's menu are offered from early lunch until late night and include pastas, burgers, steaks, seafood, chicken and desserts. The menu is frequently updated to reflect current trends and guest favorites. Some locations serve Sunday brunch. Buffets are available for special events and private parties. All D&Bs offer full bar service.[19] Dave & Buster's is more targeted towards an adult clientele than most location-based entertainment in general, with all guests under 21 required to be accompanied by a guardian and only allowed in until 10 p.m.[3]


Dave & Buster's dubbed their arcade section, which features interactive games and simulators, "Million Dollar Midway".[20][21] In 1997, Dave & Buster's introduced the Power Card, a declining balance card or 'debit card' that replaces traditional tokens and tickets, and is required to activate most arcade games and can be reloaded at so called "power stations". The Power Card is intended to enable customers to activate games more easily and encourage extended play of games to increase customer spending.[22][23] By replacing most coin operations, the Power Card has reduced the technical difficulties and maintenance issues associated with coin-operated equipment. In 2015, Dave & Buster's installed proximity game card readers that allow guests to simply tap on the readers to play.[24] Since 2020, Power Cards have been able to be added to Google Pay and Apple Wallet through the DING DING DING app.[25]

Events and sponsorships

Dave & Buster's is a corporate sponsor of the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization. There are screening rooms for every UFC pay-per-view and episode of The Ultimate Fighter. D&B also sponsors the charity Dave Bevans' Children in the fundraising event "D&B for DB's".[citation needed]

Prior sponsorships include a World Wrestling Entertainment match and a 2009 tour by the rock band Bowling for Soup. The WWE match took place on the July 20, 2009, edition of WWE Raw on the USA Network. It is believed to be the first match on any WWE program to have a specific sponsor associated with it.

Dave & Buster's also sponsors postgame reports of San Jose Sharks games.[26]


The firm opened a UK restaurant in 1998 in Cribbs Causeway. Another restaurant was subsequently opened in Solihull. The UK restaurants were unsuccessful and both have since closed.[27][28][29]

In 2022, the firm announced a franchise deal that would see it expand into Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.[30]

Death of founders

On January 2, 2023, co-founder James "Buster" Corley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound sustained in his home near White Rock Lake. His daughter Kate Corley said that her father had not been the same after suffering a stroke four months earlier that caused severe damage to the communication and personality part of his brain.[31] David "Dave" Corriveau died in 2015.[32][33]


  1. ^ a b "Dave & Buster's Store Locations". Dave & Buster's. December 3, 2020. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  2. ^ "Dave & Buster's - Contact Us." Dave & Buster's. Retrieved on January 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "The Prototype: Dave & Buster's". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 104. Ziff Davis. March 1998. p. 109.
  4. ^ a b Myers, Dan. "Who are Dave and Buster? – LA Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  5. ^ "A rapidly expanding adult-entertainment chain was once a 'haunt for politicians, bond daddies, and cocaine whores'". Business Insider. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  6. ^ "Dave & Buster's, Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  7. ^ Webb, Marcus (July 1997). "D&B: Go West, Young Gamer". Next Generation. No. 31. Imagine Media. p. 29.
  8. ^ "Dave & Busters and Gemini Investors to purchase Jillian's assets". Dallas Business Journal. September 24, 2004. Archived from the original on November 7, 2009.
  9. ^ "Dave & Buster's to turn out the lights on Katy Mills Jillian's". Houston Business Journal. October 8, 2004.
  10. ^ "Dave & Buster's, Inc. Agrees to Be Acquired by Wellspring Capital for $18.05 Cash Per Share; Dave & Buster's Announces Third Quarter Results of Operations". Find Articles (Press release). December 9, 2005. Archived from the original on August 18, 2006.
  11. ^ "Dave & Buster's owner seeks to go public again". Archived from the original on October 15, 2008.
  13. ^ "Spain upgrades smoking ban". October 21, 2010.
  14. ^ a b c Leslie Picker and Leslie Patton (October 10, 2014). "Dave & Buster's Raises $94 Million in Games and Food Chain IPO". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  15. ^ "Dave & Buster's to buy Main Event for $835M". Restaurant Dive. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  16. ^ "Dave & Buster's CEO to retire". Restaurant Dive. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  17. ^ Lalley, Heather. "Dave & Buster's might convert some units to Main Event". Restaurant Business. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  18. ^ Lalley, Heather. "Dave & Buster's completes its Main Event acquisition". Restaurant Business. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  19. ^ "Financials in Hospitality – IGHRM: Guild for Hospitality, Restaurant, Foodnd Beverage Managers". www.hospitalityguild.com.
  20. ^ "Dave & Buster to launch online version of 'Million Dollar Midway'". www.bizjournals.com.
  21. ^ "Review: Dave & Buster's Million Dollar Midway". www.umich.edu. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  22. ^ "Dave & Buster's, Inc. -- Company History". www.company-histories.com. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  23. ^ "A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Dave and Busters". eBay. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  24. ^ "Embed Smart-Touch Makes Debut Across Dave & Buster's Chain | Articles | Vending Times". www.vendingtimes.com. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  25. ^ "Dave & Buster's Fun App". Dave & Buster's. December 15, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  26. ^ "Sharks Invite Fans To Dave & Buster's For Official Game Watching Party". NHL.com. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  27. ^ Grubb, Sophie (September 9, 2023). "The lost Bristol attraction that was 'the greatest place on earth'". Bristol Live. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  28. ^ "Dave &Buster's set for Solihull". The Caterer. January 1, 2000. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  29. ^ "Trio of car dealerships to open in Solihull | TheBusinessDesk.com". West Midlands. September 7, 2011. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  30. ^ "11 New Dave and Buster's to Launch – Retail & Leisure International". www.rli.uk.com. Retrieved September 11, 2023.
  31. ^ Griffi, Allie (January 4, 2023). "Dave & Buster's co-founder James 'Buster' Corley dead in apparent suicide". Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  32. ^ "Dave & Buster's co-founder James 'Buster' Corley dies of 'apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,' with investigation under way".
  33. ^ Dave & Buster’s co-founder James 'Buster' Corley dies in apparent suicide

External links

  • Official website
  • Business data for Dave & Buster's: