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How Much Does Dave & Buster’s Cost?

Last Updated on April 12, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Dave & Buster’s has mastered the winning formula of blending casual dining with exciting arcade entertainment for a one-of-a-kind adult fun center. Patrons can enjoy playing hundreds of thrilling multiplayer virtual reality and simulation games, test skills at classic arcade challenges, and compete with family or friends at billiards, bowling and more – then take a food and drink break before jumping back into the action. With extensive menus, full bars and daily specials across massive locations, a visit offers hours of activities tailored to all interests and budgets.

But with so many entertainment options, menu offerings, and ways to customize your ideal experience, how much does a typical visit to Dave & Buster’s really cost? Can you maximize the fun without overspending your budget? This article provides the insider pricing details you need to plan and budget wisely for an awesome day out at Dave & Buster’s.

We’ll explore the costs for everything from game credits and food to special events like parties. You’ll get money-saving tips to help decide where to splurge and where to save.

How Much Does Dave & Buster’s Cost?

A typical visit to Dave & Buster’s costs $40 to $100 per person depending on activities. You can customize your experience to match your budget. Understanding the pricing options helps maximize the fun without overspending.

In addition to games, Dave & Buster’s has an extensive dinner menu with appetizers, burgers, salads, pasta, and entrees:

  • Appetizers and Sides – $8 to $15
  • Burgers and Sandwiches – $12 to $17
  • Entrees and Salads – $15 to $25
  • Desserts – $7 to $9

Portions are generous and priced comparably to other full-service chain restaurants. Sit-down dining makes for a nice break between gaming sessions.

The bar and beverage menu at Dave & Buster’s is affordably priced:

  • Happy Hour Drinks – $5 to $8
  • Cocktails & Mixed Drinks – $10 to $14
  • Beers on Draft – $6 to $8
  • Bottled Beer – $5 to $7
  • Wine by the Glass – $7 to $12

Happy hour specials before 7pm offer the best drink deals. A full bar is available for 21+ guests.

Dave & Buster’s uses reloadable Power Cards to activate games. These cards cost $2 and are loaded with credits to play:

  • 100 credits – $10
  • 200 credits – $20

Most games cost 6-12 credits per play. Budget $40-$60 in initial Power Card credits per person for a few hours of play. Reload as needed.

Hosting a special event or private party at Dave & Buster’s ranges from $25-$50 per person depending on food, drinks, and activities included. Custom party packages are available.

Dave & Buster’s Official Website mentions promotional prices starting at $22.99 per person, with prices subject to change and varying by location. They offer a range of food, drinks, and entertainment options at their locations.

The most expensive item on the Dave and Buster’s menu, according to the websites listed, is the Black Jack New York Strip, which is priced at $19.49 on the FastFoodMenuPrices website.

According to some Reddit users, the average cost of a game at Dave and Buster’s is approximately 6.8 chips, which is roughly $1 per play if buying chips normally or 68 cents per play with buy $20 get $20 free coupons.

The price can vary depending on the type of game, with some games costing less and others costing more. It’s possible to spend around $100, but this will depend on the specific activities and purchases made during the visit.

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Options

The extensive arcade and redemption games are undoubtedly the central attraction luring most patrons into a Dave & Buster’s location. Some of the highlights include:

  • Traditional manual dexterity arcade staples like Skeeball, claw grab cranes and hoop game variations. This foster nostalgia while competing for high scores and tickets.
  • Virtual reality pods and 4D enclosures that immerse players in vividly realistic on-screen worlds and scenarios from racing to space battles.
  • Multiplayer interactive games utilizing touch screens, motion sensors, and real physical props that enable both collaborative and competitive social play. Games range from virtual air hockey to zombie dodging.
  • Full-scale sports simulation machines offering the thrills of downhill skiing, surfing, basketball shooting contests or NFL passing challenges in a safe, screen-based environment.

With hundreds of redemption games plus multiplayer options supporting anywhere from two to eight or more players simultaneously, Dave & Buster’s arcade play appeals to all ages and encourages both solo accomplishments and shared group experiences.

Menu and Dining Options at Dave & Buster

In addition to its renowned arcade, Dave & Buster’s incorporates a full-service restaurant and bar element creating a convenient dining and entertainment combo. The extensive menu was crafted to satisfy a range of appetites and tastes.

Popular fare includes classic starters and shareable plates like chicken wings, sliders, and loaded nachos. Hearty salads, burgers, and sandwiches make it easy to grab a handheld meal between gaming. And craveable entrees like pasta, steaks, ribs, and grilled fish give patrons a reason to rest their thumbs and refuel over conversation at the table. Those with a sweet tooth can indulge in towering desserts from enormous ice cream cookie sandwiches to warm chocolate brownie cakes. And it wouldn’t be a dine and play venue without affordable kid’s meal deals to please the little ones while parents enjoy grown-up grub.

Overall, prices represent noticeable value compared to many other full-service chain restaurants while portion sizes run generous. The menu aims to satisfy without emptying your wallet.

How Dave & Buster’s Power Card System Works

Rather than popping quarters into individual machines, Dave & Buster’s utilizes reloadable magnetic Power Cards to activate all games and redemption. Patrons purchase these Power Cards for a small fee, then load them upfront with gameplay credits to budget experiences in advance.

Power Cards allow starting with smaller initial amounts like 100 credits for $10. When you’re ready for more, simply reload the existing card at any kiosk rather than buying whole new cards if they expire. Most games cost between 6-15 credits per play. Budget approximately $40-$60 in initial card credits per person for a few hours of gaming fun to start. Reloads can be added anytime as needed.

You might also like our articles about the cost of bowling balls, bowling ball drilling, or Main Event bowling.

Having funds loaded on cards versus constantly feeding bills into machines enables uninterrupted gameplay while easily tracking spending totals. Kids and less experienced gamers appreciate not needing handfuls of quarters. The self-activation also reduces lines and bottlenecks at popular games.

Dave & Buster’s Game Costs and Attractions

To help budget your Power Card credits, here is an overview of how much it costs to play the various games:

  • Classic Arcade Games– The original standalone machines like Skee-Ball, claw cranes, basketball toss, whack-a-mole, driving games, and redemption ticket earners generally range from 6-8 credits per play.
  • Virtual Reality Pods– Cutting edge VR games like Star Trek Bridge Crew, Men in Black, and Dragons put you right in the action for around 8-12 credits per 5–7-minute experience.
  • Interactive Multiplayer Games– Touchscreen, motion sensor, and physical prop-based games like Giant Foosball, Super Trivia, Fruit Ninja, and Walking Dead allow 2-8 players for 8-12 credits per round.
  • Sports Simulators– Full-scale golf, football toss, basketball, and racing machine games are generally 6-10 credits per competitive round.
  • Bowling– Hit the virtual lanes on huge screens with friends for 15 credits per player per game.
  • Billiards– Test your bank shot skills at their 20+ pool tables for $8-$12 per hour.

With hundreds of game options, you’re sure to find favorites to experience again and again with budgeted Power Card credits.

Pricing for Hosting Private Events

Dave and Busters LocationIn addition to everyday walk-in visits, Dave & Buster’s offers customized party packages for memorable group events, corporate functions, and private celebrations for all occasions. Special perks may include:

  • Partial or complete venue buyouts with exclusive access
  • Tailored catering with appetizer platters, entrée buffets and personalized cakes
  • Open bar packages with beer, wine and cocktails
  • Extra game play credits or unlimited use Power Cards
  • Team bonding activities and tournaments
  • AV equipment, decorations, cake and gift table

All-inclusive pricing for private parties at Dave & Buster’s generally ranges $25-$60 per guest depending on headcount, location, food and drink selections. Renting out the entire venue buys guaranteed exclusivity. Consult your specific location for current group event rates.

Tips for Saving Money at Dave & Buster’s

While it’s easy to get carried away swiping Power Cards with abandon, a little self-restraint goes a long way toward maximizing enjoyment at Dave & Buster’s on a budget:

  • Seek out daily food and drink specials to save on the non-gaming aspects of your visit. Happy hour deals offer a prime opportunity for scoring discounted appetizers and cocktails before peak evening rates kick in.
  • Take advantage of Power Card bundle deals for bonus credits upfront rather than reloading at full a la carte rates. Watch for promotional offers.
  • Enroll in the free rewards program to earn incentives on every visit from discounts to free game plays. Status levels grant additional membership perks.
  • Opt for off-peak visiting times if your schedule has flexibility. Early afternoon and evenings tend to be far less crowded than prime weekend dinner hours when waits can slow everything down.

With a little savvy planning, you can experience all the arcade thrills, gastro pub flavors and good times with friends that Dave & Buster offers while sticking to a defined budget for the day.

An Affordable Dave & Buster’s Visit

Taking a few key tips into consideration enables an ideal Dave & Buster’s outing:

  • Check the website ahead of visiting your location for any daily food and drink specials or happy hour promotions to take advantage of on your dates. Specials rotate frequently.
  • Set a defined budget per person for the visit based on your primary interests – gaming only, dining only, or a mix of both activities. Those who want to play heavily should allocate more Power Card credit.
  • Familiarize yourself with the games and experiences offered before visiting so you can have targeted priorities. The extensive variety may seem overwhelming otherwise.
  • Arrive early enough on weekends to secure a good table. Dinning availability becomes limited during peak hours. Having a home base near power outlets benefits longer stays.
  • For fewer crowds and quicker access to games with less waiting, consider budget-friendly weekday visits over high-traffic evenings and weekends if possible.

Final Words

With hundreds of thrilling games, tasty menu items, and lively bars, Dave & Buster’s offers non-stop adult playground-style fun tailored to all interests and budgets.  Taking advantage of insider tips on saving money while maximizing experiences allows stretching your dollars further.

Whether celebrating a special occasion or just looking to play on an average weekend, keeping cost considerations in mind leads to Dave & Buster’s adventures sure to offer lasting smiles and memories without unwanted financial surprises.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the average group stay at Dave & Buster’s?

Most groups spend 2-3 hours at Dave & Buster’s to enjoy a meal along with gaming. Arriving early on weekends is recommended for the best availability of tables and games. Late nights and weekends tend to be very busy.

Can I just pay to play the games without buying any food?

Yes, you can absolutely just pay and play games without needing to purchase any food or drinks. The Power Card is all that is required for access to the arcade. No minimum purchase is required. However, the food and drinks add to the overall experience.

How long do Dave & Buster’s Power Card credits last?

Any unused credits on Dave & Buster’s Power Cards will expire 120 days after the last time the card was used to activate any games. Make sure to estimate your visit credits accurately so you don’t miss out by letting them expire. The cards hold up to 999 credits at once for return visits.

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