Who Owns Dave & Buster’s, the Publicly Traded Dining Chain?

Dave & Buster's is an entertainment and dining chain with locations throughout North America. Who owns the chain?

Kathryn Underwood - Author

Dec. 7 2021, Published 11:55 a.m. ET

Dave & Buster's graphic
Source: Dave & Buster's Facebook

Dave & Buster’s, a chain of over 140 locations that combine sports viewing, arcade games, and dining under one roof, has been publicly traded since 2014. The company launched its first location for people to “eat, drink, play, and watch sports” in Dallas in 1982.

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Co-founders David Corriveau and James “Buster” Corley operated two separate businesses in the 1970s. Corley had a restaurant near Corriveau’s game parlor, and they noticed some crossover in their clientele. That gave them the idea to combine the two businesses to form Dave & Buster’s. However, the co-founders are not the company’s primary owners.

Dave & Buster’s changes in ownership over the years

The entertainment and dining chain has seen several owners since its inception. Edison Brothers Stores had a majority ownership stake beginning in 1989 before the company spun out from Edison.

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dandb meal
Source: Dave and Buster's Facebook

Wellspring Capital Management, another prior private equity owner of Dave & Buster’s, acquired it in 2006. In May 2010, Oak Hill Capital Partners acquired the company from Wellspring Capital in a $570 million cash deal.

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Dave & Buster’s stock and financial results

Since 2014, the company has been publicly traded on the Nasdaq under an appropriate ticker symbol, “PLAY”. About 5.8 million shares were offered in its IPO. The company paid a dividend to shareholders from Sept. 2018 until Feb. 2020, but that was suspended indefinitely due to the pandemic. That IPO came after a failed attempt at going public. The company was also public from 1997 until 2006, according to Forbes.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2021, Dave & Buster’s reported record quarterly revenue, net income, and EBITDA. Following the closure of many locations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has roared back.

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In Sept. 2021, CEO Brian Jenkins said, “The entire team has demonstrated great resilience navigating the pandemic and positioning the Company to achieve new levels of performance.” The company's third-quarter results are expected to be announced on Dec. 7, 2021.

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Dave & Buster’s sponsors the UFC

Currently, Dave & Buster’s is a corporate sponsor of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). It also provides screening rooms for guests to watch UFC matches within its locations.

Dave & Buster’s core values and social responsibility

As a company, Dave & Buster’s focuses on four core values:

  • "Fun to our core."

  • "Everybody is somebody."

  • "'You got it!' attitude."

  • "Founders’ spirit."

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Dave & Buster’s says its mission is “to create our Guest’s first choice for frequent fun through the best combination of the latest and greatest games, ultimate sports-viewing, extraordinary food and remarkable drinks.”

The company supports two main charitable endeavors: the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the H.E.A.R.T. Fund. Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children who have terminal or life-threatening illnesses, and Dave & Buster’s says it has raised $6 million since 2012 to support that cause. The H.E.A.R.T. Fund, which stands for “Helping Employees at Rough Times,” provides financial assistance to workers facing extreme economic hardship.


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