Lifestyle Food Chuck E. Cheese Approaches Bankruptcy, Could Have to Close All Stores The popular children's restaurant is nearly $1 billion in debt, the Wall Street Journal reported By Georgia Slater Georgia Slater Twitter Georgia Slater is a writer/reporter on the Parents team at PEOPLE. She began at the brand in 2018 as an editorial intern and later returned as an intern on the Food team. Upon graduating from the University of Maryland in 2019, Georgia worked as an entertainment intern at USA Today before coming back to PEOPLE as a digital news writer. In April 2021, she began her role as a Parents writer/reporter. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 11, 2020 10:09 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty After months of keeping their doors shut amid the coronavirus pandemic, popular kid's restaurant Chuck E. Cheese may not ever reopen. The brand behind the food-and-games establishment, CEC Entertainment, is nearly $1 billion in debt and is trying to approach lenders for a $200 million loan to keep the business afloat, according to the Wall Steet Journal. On Friday, the brand announced it would be offering its top executives retention bonuses with the hopes that they would stay on in trying times. CEC said it would pay nearly $3 million total to three executives, including $1.3 million to CEO David McKillips, the Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed. The Cheesecake Factory Plans to Reopen 124 Restaurants By Mid-June 'with Limited Capacity' The Texas-based restaurant currently operates 610 locations in 47 states but had to close its stores when the pandemic struck, making it extremely difficult for the company to raise capital. In April, the brand said they were considering refinancing, bankruptcy and restructuring after the pandemic began to cause strain on the restaurant industry, the WSJ reported. Chuck E. Cheese. According to The Takeout, some 17,000 workers were laid off in March. In an attempt to make money during the pandemic, the store masqueraded as Pasqually's Pizza and Wings on delivery apps, a reference to one of Chuck E. Cheese's bandmates. Chuck E. Cheese Says Goodbye to Tokens and Their Animatronic Robot Band at Over 80 Locations Employees who were kept on board helped to operate Pasqually's as a takeout brand. But Chuck E. Cheese is not the only restaurant chain to struggle amid the global health crisis. Some outposts of IHOP, Denny’s, Ruby Tuesday, TGI Fridays and more have permanently shuttered due to hardships brought on by the pandemic. CFRA Holdings, a franchisee operating 49 IHOP locations, filed for bankruptcy in early May and cited the coronavirus as the primary reason, according to FSR Magazine. Aziz Hashim, the founder and managing partner of Ruby Tuesday owner NRD Capital, told Restaurant Business the pandemic will likely spur the closure of many more restaurants. A Denny’s franchisee, Feast American Diners, closed 15 locations of the popular breakfast chain while locations of the Indianapolis-based chain Steak ‘n Shake and of TGI Fridays have also closed down permanently due in part to the pandemic. As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.