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Restaurants are seeking out groups


Taquitos, courtesy PRG

Dinner and a Game

With 62 locations nationwide, Dave and Buster’s restaurants have proven successful in their inventive food-and-game-play concept. Tour operators seem to have responded well to the company’s marketing for groups.

“They’re using us for day trips all over the country,” said regional tourism marketing and sales director Benjamin Maddy. “It’s been hugely successful in cities like Nashville, Orlando [Florida], Denver and Orange County [California]. Both youth and senior groups really love the games.”

The company is spreading its message this year at several travel industry events, including World Travel Mart, the Student and Youth Travel Association conference, Travel Exchange and the American Bus Association Marketplace. As representatives of the company meet tour operators, they’re talking about their dining and gaming packages — buffet dinners combined with hosted competitions on midway and arcade games — and learning about what groups value.

“I’ve found these meetings to be a great way to get in touch with tour operators,” Maddy said. “We’re soliciting a lot of feedback as far as menus go. We want to give groups what they’re looking for.”


Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.