Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone

Lila Margalit
March 20, 2024
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone

Last year’s retail vibe was nothing if not experiential. Inflation led consumers to trade down and cut back on discretionary spending –  but people still sought out fun, affordable venues to meet up with friends and let off some steam. 

So with 2023 firmly in the rearview mirror, we dove into the data to check in with Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc., owner of eatertainment chain Dave & Buster's, and – since 2022 – Main Event Entertainment. How did the company’s two brands fare in the final months of 2023 and at the start of 2024? And what lies in store for them in the months ahead? 

No Inside Voices, Please

Dave & Buster’s, the sports bar arcade that invites harried grown-ups to cast aside their worries and “unlearn adulthood”, is thriving. With some 160 venues across 42 states, Dave and Buster’s offers the most tightly-wound consumers an inexpensive escape from real life – someplace they can unwind with friends over a beer, some mouthwatering shareables, and a bit of friendly skee-ball. 

Over the past several years, Dave & Buster’s has grown its store count, and in 2022 broadened its portfolio with Main Event Entertainment – the family-oriented eatertainment concept that pairs arcade games with larger format activities such as laser tag and bowling. And since November 2023, both brands have sustained mainly positive year-over-year (YoY) visit growth, disrupted only by January 2024’s inclement weather.

Reaching Wider Audiences 

Main Event Entertainment’s purchase by Dave & Buster’s appears to have been a natural move on the company’s part. Overlaying foot traffic data with demographics from STI’s PopStats reveals that the two chains’ comparable offerings attract customers with similar income profiles: In 2023, Dave & Buster’s’ and Main Event’s captured markets featured median household incomes (HHIs) of $67.3K and $67.6K, respectively – just under the nationwide baseline of $69.5K. 

But the acquisition of Main Event has also allowed Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc. to broaden its visitor base. Both of the company’s brands attract plenty of singles and families with children. But while Dave & Buster’s young-adult-oriented vibe holds special appeal for people living on their own, Main Event’s child-friendly activities make it a particularly attractive destination for parental households. Together, the two chains offer something for everyone – cementing the company’s role as an eatertainment leader. 

Gaming the System With Special Promotions

Dave & Buster’s and Main Event also enjoy similar weekly visitation patterns. Unsurprisingly, the two chains are busiest on Saturdays, followed by Sundays and Fridays, and quieter during the rest of the week. But both brands have also found creative ways to boost weekday visits. On Wednesdays, Dave & Buster’s offers a 50%-off deal, letting customers play their favorite games at half the price – and fueling a significant midweek foot traffic spike. Main Event Entertainment, for its part, draws weekday crowds on Mondays with an afternoon all–you-can-play special

Friends Definitely Let Friends Let Go (Especially During Spring Break!)

Everybody needs to let their hair down sometimes – and with Spring Break right around the corner, both Dave & Buster’s and Main Event are building momentum with seasonal specials aimed at making their offerings even more affordable. 

For both chains, March is an important milestone – in 2023, Dave & Buster’s and Main Event drew 41.0% and 82.9% more traffic during the week of March 13th, respectively, than they did, on average, throughout the rest of year. And if recent visit trends are any indication, the two brands appear poised to enjoy a healthy Spring Break and a strong rest of 2024. 

For more data-driven retail and dining insights, follow

This blog includes data from Data Version 2.0, which implements improvements to our extrapolation capabilities, adds short visit monitoring, and enhances visit detection.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Text Link
Dave & Busters
Text Link
Main Event Entertainment
The Promise of Luxury Apparel
Catching Up With Ulta Beauty & Gap Brands
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below: Q1 2024 Treasure Troves
CAVA Still Going Strong
Driving Success: Auto Parts Chains in 2024
Checking in With DICK’S Sporting Goods
Mother’s Day Shopping and Dining Trends Mall Index: April 2024 Recap – Retail Resilience Heading into Spring
Dollar Stores Still Gaining Momentum
Off-Price Apparel Chains After Q1 2024: Demographics in the Balance
Walmart, Target, and Wholesale Clubs Continue to Thrive
Home Improvement and Decor Check In Office Index: April 2024 Recap – Recovery Continues
Movie Theaters in Q1 2024: A Preview of Coming Attractions?
Let’s Get Physical: Fitness In 2024
Where Are Workers Returning to Office in 2024?
2024 Wins: Sweetgreen & First Watch on the Rise
A Full-Service Turnaround: Bloomin’, Dine, and Texas Roadhouse
Wendy’s and Denny’s: Breakfast and Late Night Dining Drives Success
Coffee Chains: Q1 2024 Update and What’s Changed Since COVID
Checking in with RBI and YUM!
Chipotle & McDonald's Serving Up Success
Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 
Strong Start for Sprouts in 2024
Crocs’ Footwear Fairytale
Who Attends NCAA Final Four Events?
Eclipse Fever: How Did the (Retail and Hospitality) Stars Align?
Exploring Albertsons Companies’ Grocery Growth Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again Office Index: March 2024 Recap
Florida Spring Break Break-Up? Travelers Still Love Florida!
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield Emerging As Utah Hotspots 
Three Formulas for Experiential Retail in 2024
Aldi & Lidl Making The Cut
Texas Suburbs on the Rise
Exploring Luxury Hotel Brands’ Guest Segmentation
The St. Patrick’s Day Effect
How Can JOANN Make a Comeback?
Panera Bread Well Positioned for Possible IPO
Who Will Benefit From Family Dollar’s Downsizing?
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone
Darden Brands: Location Analytics and Consumer Behavior
Nike and lululemon: a Strong 2023, Sprinting into 2024
Where Is Retail and Dining Foot Traffic Thriving in Early 2024? White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy Mall Index: February 2024 Office Index: February 2024 Recap
Ulta Beauty Continues To Shine
First Watch Sails Into 2024
Hibbett Sports and DICK’S Sporting Goods: A Psychographic Analysis
Checking in With Discount & Dollar Stores
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024:’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note
Making It In America: International Chicken Chains Bring The Heat
Domestic Tourism at a Glance: A Q3 2023 Roundup
Five Pizza Chains On The Rise
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity
Secondhand News: Kids' Thrift Shops
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success