Dave & Buster’s CEO Stephen King to retire

Dave & Buster’s CEO Stephen King to retire

Same-store sales fall 4.9 percent in the first quarter

Dave and Buster's Inc. CEO Stephen King, left, will retire on Aug. 5. He will be succeeded by Brian Jenkins, chief financial officer, the company said Monday.

King, who had been with the Dallas-based eatertainment company for a dozen years, will remain as chairman.

“I have loved being a part of this brand for over 12 years, and I am very proud of all that the team has accomplished during our time together,” King said in a statement. “While I will remain on the board as chairman, after almost 35 years in the hospitality industry, I am looking forward to retirement and spending more time with my wife and family."

Jenkins has served as Dave & Buster’s senior vice president and CFO since December 2006. Prior to joining the company, he spent 10 years at Six Flags Inc.

“Over the past 20 years, I've developed the passion for the entertainment business,” Jenkins said during a first-quarter earnings call. “Entertainment is in my DNA, I've always looked at our business through an entertainment lens and believe that our relatively low frequency continues to represent an opportunity for us.”

Dave & Buster’s will conduct a nationwide search for a new CFO. Joe DeProspero, vice president of finance, will assume CFO responsibilities in the interim.

For the first quarter ended May 6, Dave & Buster’s net income declined 1.5 percent, to $42.2 million, from $42.8 million the previous year. Per-share income rose to $1.04, from 98 cents last year. Revenue increased 9.2 percent, to $332.2 million, from $304.1 million the previous year.

Same-store sales declined 4.9 percent in the quarter.

In mid-June, Dave & Buster’s will launch a new virtual-reality attraction based on the popular movie “Jurassic World.”

“It does represent some of the biggest investments we've made as a company in amusement, a single game,” King said. “We're going to follow it up later in the year with another game that we think also resonates well with guests.”

The company also introduced a pared-down menu in February, which King said has helped simplify some kitchen processes.

“We remain on track to test a quick-casual offering inside D&B during the back half of the year, and we continue to view this as a complimentary delivery mechanism to casual dining inside our facility,” he said. “Improving service and reducing friction in the guest experience is also a strategic priority for us.”

Dave & Buster’s, founded in 1982, has 115 locations in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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