proof being my old employee lanyard draped over the marginal amount of relics I have from days past that I could find at a glance within arms reach in my room lol

extra proof

Hi AMA!

First time writing this my text got deleted so I’m gonna keep it brief: I worked as the party planner at my store for all of last year. I was in charge of calling parents to get info, setting up, assigning other hosts to ones I couldnt do, etc. I also did all other work in the restaurant (kitchen, register, Gameroom, etc.). I was close friends w my bosses, had a great working relationship with the district manager, and met the VP. Edit- I left at the end of November before they filed for bankruptcy

With the bankruptcy announcement I figured I’d do an AMA, since it’s kinda topical and people might have unanswered questions from childhood

And I’m just gonna get this one out of the way: of course they don’t salvage and reheat slices. The business operates as a restaurant first business, doing something like that would get them shut down so quick. If the pizza were to have gone back in the oven, it would have burned guaranteed (we warn people before they request theirs get reheated if it was left idle on their table for a while). It has an uneven shape because it’s hand stretched dough, which allows for occasionally uneven circles, and the pies get cut with a type of rolling machete, which can often warp the slices if done fast (like in a Saturday rush). Everything is made to order. Dough is even prepared and made in house

Lightening edit- I can add more proof if needed, it would just require me digging my old name tag up which I just didn’t feel like doing rn cuz I’m cleaning and don’t want to make a mess unnecessarily

Edit 2- wow ok this got more popular Than I thought it would. I have a date in a few hours but I’ll just keep answering questions til then and then maybe after

Edit 3- ok I’ve answered every question in my inbox that wasn’t about Shane Dawson or fights or the play place (stuff that was frequently asked) so I’m gonna go ahead and mute notifications on this post for now because I have to get ready for my date now. I’ll check back in later tonight to see if there’s anymore unique/more personally related questions, but if not, I had fun! Thanks for helping me while away my afternoon, everyone :))

Comments: 2349 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

fish9935322 karma

Did you ever meet Charles Entertainment Cheese himself?

topcoatsandhats7714 karma

You could say I’ve walked a mile in his shoes

TRexLuthor3401 karma

Is it true that Chuck E. Cheese stock can now only be redeemed for prizes on the middle shelf or below?

topcoatsandhats2667 karma

Unfortunately, now it’s only the front case :/

Tico4831117 karma

I just gotta say I now realized that there's always an Employee Is at the front of the Restaurant to deter child predators and kidnappers. Smart

topcoatsandhats1840 karma

Yup! Kid check is there to stamp parents and kids hands so that whoever comes in together, leaves together. If your numbers don’t line up you’re not getting out

slater_san1536 karma

Where do you recommend I go to pick up single moms now?

topcoatsandhats2803 karma

The roller rink, man. There’s always single moms there at kids birthday parties, esp on Monday afternoons at ones across the street from strip clubs

owlsareahoot911185 karma

What age was the oldest birthday boy/girl? I ask because my friend had her party there when we were 14 (sort of as a joke), and when the damn mouse came out, it started laughing at us (literally rolling around on the floor and beating his clenched paws to the ground). 😂

topcoatsandhats1413 karma

I can’t quite remember but definitely 12, I think 13 once. 14 is def the weird age where it’s unclear if you’re genuine or ironic. It would become funny again around 18-21, then not funny anymore

Deitaphobia1150 karma

What can I get for 78 tickets?

topcoatsandhats5223 karma

The amount of tickets I’d get compared to the 100 my male coworker would

twinklegrandaddy1138 karma

When I was a kid I remember that being some bomb ass pizza. Did the bomb assness of the pizza decline over the years?

topcoatsandhats1338 karma

I think it’s actually gotten better tbh

Klowdcity1041 karma

Any animatronics where you used to work? I remember as a kid trying to get the courage to peek under the curtains, and seeing their lifeless bodies standing still in the dark.

topcoatsandhats964 karma

Yes the full band was at my place

Duck_Dodgers_24haf1038 karma

Have you ever been offered sex for tokens?

topcoatsandhats1406 karma

Nah but a really creepy dude asked for my number once and for whatever reason my go to reaction was to laugh. I was just hella uncomfy cuz he had been staring at me the whole afternoon already and my boss wouldn’t let me stay in the back even after the interaction (he kept scraping up coins to have a reason to come buy something at the counter)

BagelKing399 karma

Was this dude, like, accompanied by children? Can adults just chill at Chuck E Cheese and scrape up coins?

topcoatsandhats147 karma

There were a few kids (it was a family) but adults are welcome without kids (they rebranded as such a few years back when they introduced alcohol)

bpthompson999907 karma

Ever have anyone hack some of the ticket games? I've seen those videos where they do some special move on the bass-fishing-handle game to automatically win the jackpot. I'm always tempted to try at places like Dave & Busters but since I always go with the kiddos, I don't wanna get kicked out or banned and then have to explain to my kids why I did the wrong thing lol.

topcoatsandhats149 karma

Never saw it happen

axron12833 karma

How many fights have you witnessed? I ask because I've heard in the past that chuck e cheese is the restaurant with the most fights in the US.

topcoatsandhats546 karma

Never saw any actual physical fights

nextgentacos123796 karma

Is Chuck E. Cheese a restaurant or a family entertainment center?

topcoatsandhats875 karma

It operates as a restaurant primarily

NeckarBridge668 karma

Do they ever disinfect the play structures?

topcoatsandhats927 karma

My store didn’t have them, I believe they did start phasing them out a few years back over sanitary concerns but I’m not positive. But yes, they would have gotten cleaned nightly by gameroom staff (this is both on training documents as well as just stories I heard from bosses)

mrtdizzy507 karma

What would be your #1 top rule you would implement if they stayed open?

topcoatsandhats619 karma

Hmm, small or large spectrum? One store or all stores? Entertainment change or financial one? QoL improvements?

Generally I’d want to say better attention to detail/more staffing, but in a rush, no one pays attention to details, and I was never management so I assume they were working with the hours they had

Pompous_Walrus501 karma

What was the best prize you could win at your store? How many tickets did it cost? what was the best value for your tickets?

topcoatsandhats784 karma

Most expensive ticket prizes were the 6000 ones (think like cheap game you would have gotten as a kid that had no discernible qualities other than it being skinned with a popular movie from years ago, or a giant fucking like 5 foot long nerf football knockoff)

Best bang for your buck would actually be taking advantage of the ticket=1 penny route. There were giant like ~3 foot plush of most of the characters for 35 bucks which was always just a little too expensive imo but it’d only be 3500 tickets which, for the quality of it compared other stuff that would be around that level, nothing else even compares. Except maybe like cotton candy or giant lollipops being like 200 tickets which is negligible

666cookie666499 karma

What were your worst examples of kids with temper tantrums?

topcoatsandhats1238 karma

Honestly, more often than not, it was the parents that would have the tantrums. I worked in a less than good neighborhood, and so many people who came in acted entitled as hell, screamed across the restaurant whenever they would want, they’d get in my face w homophobic insults (I look stereotypically queer), demand free stuff all the time, throw their trash on the floor and walk away, etc etc.

The kids were usually at least a little sweet, and if nothing else were just excited to be there (but apparently they’d be “too excited” cuz their parents would start screaming at them for being happy??)

NippleGas489 karma

What was one of your favorite moments working there?

topcoatsandhats1638 karma

I always had an interest in the franchise before I started working there, so I knew a lot about the “lore” w the characters. One afternoon, after going in on an hour bus ride after a day of classes at uni, I was exhausted and was at a mentally low point so I just didn’t want to be working. This little girl comes up to the counter and starts asking questions about Chuck E and asks how he started the restaurant so I just told her the story and she was so interested and ran up to the animatronic Chuck to talk to him about his life. That warmed my heart for a minute

WontFixMySwypeErrors439 karma

I still believe Charles Entertainment Cheese pulled off the perfect coup d'etat when he took over Showbiz Pizza.

topcoatsandhats519 karma

I agree. My man over here straight up ran out of money, asked his brother for some, then pulled a move straight out of the Bible, killed his brother, and took over like no one would notice

Tsunawolf463 karma

What is Chuck.E the mouse's origin story?

topcoatsandhats1156 karma

He was an orphan who found refuge in the rafters of pasqually the chef’s pizza restaurant. The restaurant happened to be a hot spot for parties, and Chuck E grew to love the happy birthday song. He went on to work with pasqually and create Chuck E. Cheese to host birthday parties for kids to make up for the fact he didn’t have one. Jasper is his “best friend” (he’s a dog), munch is an alien that landed and found them, and tbh I’m actually unsure of helens origin, I think she’s just chucks friend

hotsaucecommitteep3409 karma

Is that fucking thing a rat? Because it looks like a rat, not a mouse, and it is a rat, and no one can convince me otherwise, and we have a fucking rat in our apartment right now, and it's not going into the peanut butter traps and it is PISSING. ME. OFF.

EDIT: Seven hours later: Roommate who owns lease (staying with his parents during pandemic in Long Island) realizes apartment has rats, isn’t renewing lease, one month from now — I’m out of this shithole city they call the Big Apple after 12 messy years. AMA.

topcoatsandhats294 karma

F

beaverteeth92290 karma

Did you ever have adults show up without kids? What was the policy? I figure some adults might just want to play video games and eat pizza.

topcoatsandhats352 karma

It never happened but adults are welcome without kids technically

jdawgcoolguy290 karma

Did staff members ever get to play the games? Also, were there employee events? If so, what were some notable ones?

topcoatsandhats492 karma

No events, but game room could “play” the games by testing them, and once we got a bunch of new ones and it was a slow week day so we spent the afternoon playing them. That was a pretty good day

poppy413262 karma

What makes that Hershey’s chocolate cake so damn good?

topcoatsandhats387 karma

It’s made with extra love 💕

jimmycarr1247 karma

Can you tell me a bit about your worst day at work?

topcoatsandhats664 karma

I was out drinking w friends and a date the night before and blacked out accidentally. Woke up hungover as shit, in my clothes, and couldn’t find my phone, school Id (needed for building access), or wallet. After finding most of my effects in the bathroom, I started getting ready in the 20 min I had, and stubbed my toe really hard on my bed. Great. Get to work and it’s still hurting and I feel like toss. Hours later I look and it’s black and blue and they wouldn’t let me leave to go to urgent care which would be closed by the time I got off. So I suffered through the shift, as the only employee, then had to pay an extra 120 in extra Uber’s and my accidentally skipped out bar tab. The worst

nightmarecia234 karma

In a fight do you think chuck e cheese would win or mickey mouse?

topcoatsandhats1010 karma

Chuck e was raised on the streets. That pampered little frat boy wishes he could take Big C

catmom81519233 karma

Were any of the games rigged?

topcoatsandhats205 karma

Not that I know of

quenifer190 karma

DO they ever clean the ball pit???

topcoatsandhats479 karma

Ball pits got removed like 20 years ago. They actually made light of the joke of having dirty ball pits in one of their animated clips that played in the restaurant (iirc something like “don’t throw me in the ball pit!” “Well actually, we got rid of those over 20 years ago, why does everyone think we have them still”)

Skelosk183 karma

Did something happen in '87?

Also how good do you consider the pizza compared to other chains?

topcoatsandhats267 karma

I have no comment about an incident that may or may not have happened at an independent franchisee’s location around November of 1987

I think the pizza is pretty top notch tbh, especially compared to chains

Signal_Lamp177 karma

Uh let's see.

  1. How long have you been working there?

  2. What are some things people dont know about working there

  3. Knowing what you know now would you take kids that you know to a Chucky cheese?

topcoatsandhats367 karma

  1. I worked there from Jan-nov of last year (left for health reasons)

  2. In my experience, they’re horrendously understaffed. Some days I’d be at the front door spot (kid check) and you can’t leave that spot because you’re basically security, but anytime someone would want to buy something or need a game fixed, they’d come to me. Then I’d have to somehow let my boss know in the back, without leaving my spot or causing a scene, before the parent gets angry and starts harassing me (frequent occurrence). Other times, I’d be the only person for the whole operations, so I’d be doing register, prize counter, Chuck E. Live shows, kitchen, gameroom, and cleaning. On a Monday afternoon that’s not too bad, but there’d be the frequent bump where I’d be running around best I could while having parents yelling at me from every direction. If parents/kids could have at least been responsible for their trash and not just thrown it on the ground, my life would have been astronomically easier. The restaurant often gets the bad reputation of being dirty, so people think it’s ok to treat it as such, when in reality, it’s the parents who think since it’s Chuck E. Cheese, they’re allowed to not care if they smash a slice of pizza into the carpet or throw cake across the party floor, and there’s not enough staff to balance it out. That’s why it has the “dirty” reputation

  3. Well I’m only in my early 20s so I don’t know many kids but I took my sister a lot. But I don’t see a reason not to take anyone?

HateHow87 karma

sounds like you guys would’ve benefited from radios to communicate. i run security for a concert venue and not being able to communicate with my team would be a nightmare.

topcoatsandhats178 karma

We had them technically, but no one would ever wear the ear piece, and sometimes we’d pick up the ihop

KhaosElement118 karma

How much puke?

topcoatsandhats198 karma

Surprisingly minimal

JohnKellyDraws113 karma

Is Mr. Cheese as nice as he seems or is he a showbiz diva?

topcoatsandhats227 karma

Nah I wouldn’t say he’s a diva, moreso just a little mousy

thedivisionalnoob111 karma

i've read you just worked last year, so im going to ask if you've ever heard if the whole five nights at freddy's popularity explosion affected business in any positive or negative way?

also, in your personal opinion: whats the secret of a good pizza?

topcoatsandhats146 karma

I actually love Five nights at Freddy’s (one of my internet handles is a reference to it). But I have no idea any impact it had on business. As to the pizza, the key is a good cheese to dough ratio

rslashwth99 karma

Did the Shane Dawson pizza theory really effect the company?

topcoatsandhats195 karma

I had to throw out everything in a now publicly displayed trash can in the middle of the floor for a month when it released, but otherwise no

crake93 karma

Used to go to Chuck E Cheese all the time during the 80s and early 90s when I was a kid.

Questions:

1) Is there sugar in the pizza to make the kids want to play longer?

2) Do they still serve beer to adults? (My dad used to get absolutely hammered there and I'm pretty sure that is why my parents always chose CEC for birthday parties)

topcoatsandhats100 karma

  1. There was never sugar as far as I’m aware/I never used it. I suppose it could have been in the tomato sauce but that might be true of all pizza sauce to a degree

  2. Yes but my place didn’t

Trowj87 karma

Were you working on or around October 15, 1993 and were you the person in the Chucky suit that I kicked? If so... I am so sorry.

topcoatsandhats110 karma

Wasn’t me, but Honestly I can prob speak for them and say If all you did was kick the mascot and not grab their ass or anything else for whatever goddamn random reason, then you prob weren’t the worst kid they dealt w that day

ychirea186 karma

Some of us have good memories of Chuck E. Cheese and their corny ass music videos and birthday parties. My kids LOVED that place. Do you think that there is a place for Chuck E. Cheese type franchises in the future? Or are they too unhealthy and dangerous?

topcoatsandhats170 karma

In general, it is a perfectly fine concept. Hell, I still love it, but I think the decision to start removing the animatronics was the wrong decision. I don’t think it actually happened at a lot of them, but the reasoning was that kids aren’t interested in them, but I saw that to be quite not correct. I think they might do well to go back to their roots, increase support for the animatronics, and start doing more “show” type stuff again. I think a lot of the appeal is that it’s just something different, and if they actually invested a lot of effort into the animatronic shows like they did in the 80’s/made the place a little more adult friendly in general (maybe like a sitting area for adults to hang out?) then they might draw more people back in. They’d have to rope them off tho which might ruffle feathers cuz kids love climbing on them

BeanieMcChimp85 karma

How does it smell inside that rat suit?

topcoatsandhats144 karma

Sweaty

Manga_reader169 karma

Have you ever tried to re enact five nights at Freddie's?

topcoatsandhats167 karma

One day last summer our power went out and when I got in the next morning the kitchen was pitch black. Chica was definitely up to something back there but it was NOT on me to figure out what

shadowhawk08279361 karma

Do you regret it? The only one I want answer to be honest.

topcoatsandhats127 karma

Not a minute of it. I truthfully didn’t want to leave, but health problems prevented me from working by the end of last year. Would go back if it was closer/paid better/was opening again

Madman131356 karma

What was the worst thing you had ever seen a parent do?

topcoatsandhats140 karma

Def not the worst but the immediate one is just put their infant on the floor 20 feet from the bathroom and changed the diaper in the middle of everything

Uday2353 karma

Do you have any good poopoo or peepee in the play place stories?

As a child, I'll never forget crawling in a tunnel of piss.....on my fucking birthday. Ugh

topcoatsandhats83 karma

Fortunately, my store axed it’s play place years before I worked there

Uday2326 karma

Ahh I see. Ok changing my question then.

How many slices of Chuck E Cheese pizza did you consume per day?

topcoatsandhats55 karma

Depending on when during the year you asked, either 4-6 or 0

harrr045 karma

Former CEC employee here too! Did you have the ice suit to wear under the chuck e suit?

topcoatsandhats102 karma

The

what

KyleCAV34 karma

I have never been but always been curious how was the value of going to the restaurant was it cheaper or more expensive than Dave and busters? What games did you have to play? What was your most bratty kid story?

topcoatsandhats86 karma

It would be WAYYYY cheaper to go to CEC as opposed to D&B. You can get 2 hours of unlimited games for 30 ish bucks at cec. Dave n busters charges insanity

Air59929 karma

Have you ever tried/beaten a kid in a arcade game? And follow up, have you ever encountered misbehaving teens at the restaurant? Thanks!

topcoatsandhats63 karma

Never played against any kids, I didn’t typically work in game room. But sometimes teens would roll in if kid check was lazy (they technically need an adult but no one cares enough to stop and ask teenagers for an id before going in) and cause some problems and they’d have to be kicked out. Problems were typically of the “oooo hahah I’m 14 in a Chuck e CHeESe what?!??1” variety

COBNYC28 karma

Do you guys really put unfinished pizzas together to make new pies like the Shane Dawson video??

topcoatsandhats35 karma

It’s long answered in my post but No

GTA_Stuff1 karma

u/topcoatsandhats please answer this ^

topcoatsandhats3 karma

Plz read my post

dankishmonkey26 karma

What do you think CEC could have done better?

And I mean that broadly. From the top down to the bottom.

topcoatsandhats50 karma

Better pay, more employees/hours, I think withdrawing support from the animatronics however 20 odd years back was a mistake, removing them even moreso, maybe expand the menu a little more, or add an adult lounge area for adults to talk with each other if they want to take turns watching kids or whatever

DiopticTurtle3 karma

Hey fellow Sun Devil!

Have you ever played FNAF? Was it weird? Do you think you're more or less afraid of animatronic critters than your average person?

topcoatsandhats7 karma

Hi!!

I love the fnaf franchise, it’s actually part of the reason I wanted to work there in the first place. But I’m def less afraid lol. I used to pose for pictures w them

dawoud6212 karma

How often do the rides and stuff get cleaned?

topcoatsandhats9 karma

Nightly. It’s closing game rooms biggest job

Fearfighter22 karma

What's the cut off for kid/adult?

topcoatsandhats5 karma

Adults can just go in, kids are required to be accompanied by at least one adult

ZeeStarr221 karma

Are the ticket play machines actually “hackable” like these YouTube videos suggest? Have you ever caught someone? Did you confront them or leave it?

topcoatsandhats3 karma

I’ve never heard of them being hackable. You’d have to have a key to get into the computer parts of it

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

topcoatsandhats23 karma

copy and pasted from my post

And I’m just gonna get this one out of the way: of course they don’t salvage and reheat slices. The business operates as a restaurant first business, doing something like that would get them shut down so quick. If the pizza were to have gone back in the oven, it would have burned guaranteed (we warn people before they request theirs get reheated if it was left idle on their table for a while). It has an uneven shape because it’s hand stretched dough, which allows for occasionally uneven circles, and the pies get cut with a type of rolling machete, which can often warp the slices if done fast (like in a Saturday rush). Everything is made to order. Dough is even prepared and made in house

Afa12341 karma

Did five nights at Freddie’s give you nightmares?

topcoatsandhats2 karma

Nah but the VR one gave me a good jump or two

LocusAintBad0 karma

Why’s the pizza and food quality so poor? Is the pizza made of sand and cheese?

topcoatsandhats57 karma

Asking in a non bitchy way, but when was the last time you went? I love their pizza, and used to bring it home to have for dinner through the week. Dough is made fresh in house, cheese is shredded fresh, etc. it’s a genuine restaurant. They underwent a change like 5-6 years back so I ask cuz if it has been a while, you might not know how it is now (I think they brag about having beat Pizza Hut in a blind taste contest but that isn’t that hard to do tbh)