Dave & Buster’s (D&B) is a restaurant and entertainment business chain based in Dallas, Texas with locations throughout the United States and a couple in Canada. There is also a location in the United Kingdom as well as one in Taiwan, both operated independently under a licensing agreement with D&B. Each Dave & Buster’s is a modern, full-featured video arcade center in addition to being a full-service restaurant, among other things.
A New Spin on an Old Idea
When David Corriveau and James “Buster” Corley opened the first Dave & Buster’s restaurant in 1982 in a former warehouse, the theme for their place was not exactly innovative, at least not on the surface. Restaurant owners had been distinguishing their businesses by incorporating arcade elements since the 1980s. There was even another relatively successful chain operating at the time of the Dave & Buster’s launch. However, Dave and Buster differentiated themselves with a focus on adult customers, and that direction destined them for great success.
Arcades for Adults?
Today, video games are part of many adult’s lives but back in 1982, most people did not associate arcades and video games with older people. Arcades generally geared themselves toward either young children or the teenaged crowd. Most restaurant-arcade combos like Chuck E Cheese focused on the kids and specialized in hosting children’s birthday parties. However, the children of the 1980s were growing older quickly. Soon, they were old enough to drink, and the idea of a casual restaurant that served alcohol and had video games to play was very alluring to this new generation with a lot of disposable income.
The History of Dave
Although based in Dallas, Texas, the story of Dave & Buster’s restaurant begins in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is here that David Corriveau, who had been a car salesman and a blackjack dealer in Las Vegas previously, started a restaurant called Cash McCool’s in 1975. Dave had a natural knack for restaurants, and Cash McCool’s boomed. In 1977, he was able to sell it for far more than his investment, and he turned that new capital into Slick Willy’s World of Entertainment, a 10,000-square-foot billiard and game house amidst a renovated train station in Little Rock.
The History of Buster
Meanwhile, James “Buster” Corley was working his way up the management ladder at T.G.I. Friday’s, where he had begun working as a waiter in 1972. However, his real dream was always to open his own restaurant. By 1977, he was in charge of location spotting for T.G.I. Friday’s, and he finally realized the impetus to follow his dream when he came across the renovated train station where Dave had built Slick Willy’s World of Entertainment. Buster built his restaurant right next door, and a non-adversarial relationship formed between the two men who quickly realized that not only did their businesses share similar clientele, that those who came to one often spent money in the other that same night. Generally, they would come to eat at Buster’s and then go to play at Dave’s place.
The History of Dave & Buster’s
That was how the idea was born. They posed the question, what would happen if they put Dave’s place and Buster’s place under a single roof? They spent the next year developing their ideas and plans, and when they were ready, they moved to Dallas, Texas. That first Dave & Buster’s was a $3 million dollar investment, a great deal more in 1982 than it is now, and they wanted to make sure they had the client base to make it work. That first Dave & Buster’s was a 35,000-square-foot warehouse where they sold salads, burgers, steaks, and fries, and where customers could play blackjack, pinball, and billiards.
Today’s Dave & Buster’s
Dave & Buster’s has come a long way since those humble origins of being a casual restaurant with arcade elements. Today it is a huge nationwide chain of adult-oriented entertainment complexes. The restaurant is always at the center of each complex but now in addition to arcades they include full-service bars, dinner theater, billiards, shuffleboard, and some advanced virtual reality platforms for scenarios like golf and space combat. The bars often provide a strong focus on sports, and in many locations, Dave & Buster’s is the destination of choice for high-profile sporting events such as the Super Bowl and UFC matches.
Activities at Dave & Buster’s
• Dinner Theater
• Sporting Events
• Video Games
• Virtual Reality (Golf & Space)
Dave & Buster’s Promotion
Today, Dave & Buster’s is a promotion and marketing machine. Customers can see their adverts on the television, in the newspaper, on the radio, and even online. Many of their specials and most of their promotional information are available directly on their website (daveandbusters.com). There, customers can read about their Eat & Play combo, their standard special, which nets customers a meal and tokens for the one low price of $15.99. There is also information available about their regular Wednesday special, when all games are ½-price from open to close at every location. Customers can also access the website to enter any of the sweepstakes available at the walk-in locations.
Dave & Buster’s Reward Program
Perhaps Dave & Buster’s greatest promotion is the reward program intended for regular visitors. All one has to do in order to take advantage of the rewards program is sign up for it. It is free of charge, and there are no strings attached. Customers can get one at any location, or they can sign up for it online, and have D&B mail the card to them. Here is what you get:
• $10 in free gameplay good for any game.
• Monthly specials and coupons for food, games, and other fun emailed regularly.
• A rewards card, which makes it easy to track and protect one’s ticket and chip balances.
• Graduation to Gold status at 1,200 chips played. Gold status gives the customer 10% off every game 24/7 for life.
How to Find Dave & Buster’s Coupons and Specials Online
The Dave & Buster’s website is the best place to find coupons and specials online, but that does not mean it is the only place. Web surfers can search for Dave & Buster’s codes and other promotions through their favorite search engine, and they might even be surprised at what turns up. Some of the promotional coupons that Dave & Buster’s releases to promote their partners are very good, and they often include savings such as buy one meal, get one meal free, or even a certain percentage off the total order.
How to Find Dave & Buster’s Coupons and Specials Offline
Keep an eye out for the commercials on the television and an ear on the radio. This is where Dave & Buster’s promotes their highest profile savings. In addition, check your local newspaper. Dave & Buster’s runs small ads throughout the week, and they often take out a large flier in the Sunday paper that includes a diverse array of coupons and specials. Keep in mind that Dave & Buster’s honors all company promotions, so do not worry if you see a promotion that your local D&B has not been promoting. Often the staff will recognize the promotion when you mention it, but bring a copy of it just to be on the safe side.