Chuck E. Cheese's fights sales slump with mascot makeover

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent to the Chuck E. Cheese’s family eats and entertainment chain, has given its signature mouse mascot a major facelift as it tackles first-quarter slippage of same-store sales.

In advertising that debuted nationally on Thursday, the new Chuck E. Cheese has grown slimmer, gained a guitar and become more rock star-like, getting a new singing and speaking voice from Jaret Reddick, the front man for the pop-punk band Bowling For Soup.

“Chuck E. is the hero at the heart of our restaurants,” said Scott McDaniel, chief marketing officer at Irving, Texas-based CEC Entertainment. “For the first time in years, we’re changing the way we communicate with our key patrons — kids.” The mouse mascot got his start 35 years ago as a New Jersey-styled rat that sometimes carried a cigar.