Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAY) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jun 11, 2019 • 05:00 pm ET
Brian A. Jenkins
due to the timing of Easter and spring breaks and the impact of weather during those specific time periods, and this year was no exception. You may recall that our comp sales were tracking up about 1% after the first seven weeks in the quarter and before the impact of the Easter shift. In the back half of the quarter, the net impact of the Easter rollover proved unfavorable, resulting in a slight decline in overall comps for the quarter.
On a positive note, comp sales in amusements were up nearly 2%, and our Q1 guest poll scores for key metrics improved compared to the prior year, an important indication our strategy is resonating with guests. As we look forward to the remainder of the year, we are working to drive awareness of our F&B improvements but expect this will take time. Additionally, we expect increased competition over the balance of the year as we continue to see aggressive entry into our markets. Based on the year-to-date performance, recent trends and our current read of the competitive landscape, we are lowering our full year estimates on key metrics, and Scott will provide specific guidance in his prepared remarks. While we are pleased to have reached new high levels for sales, EBITDA and EPS, we are working with urgency to improve our comp sales performance, and we'll continue to focus on our four strategic priorities to strengthen the brand and drive long-term shareholder value.
Our first priority is to evolve our offering, including our amusements and F&B. In amusements, we continue to differentiate our brand by offering bigger, better marquee titles to delight our guests. Looking at Q1 our new release slate included two proprietary titles, Marvel Contest of Champions and Star Trek, Dark Remnant. Both titles are performing well for us. Combining fan-favorite titles with our proprietary gaming technology allows our customers to deepen their connection with our brand through these iconic properties. Star Trek is proving to be a strong addition to our growing library of VR titles, and the continued strength of Jurassic World VR Expedition a year after its launch is a strong sign of its sustainability.
Furthering our commitment to our best-in-class VR technology in Q2, we've launched Men in Black: Galactic Getaway, our fourth VR title ahead of the release of the new Men in Black: International movie, with subtle differences in gameplay, dialogue that responds to the players' performance and completely different endings, this game entices guests to play multiple times to get the full experience.
Turning to F&B. Our focus remains on simplification, quality and accessibility. With a 35% smaller menu today compared to the beginning of last year, we have reduced complexity in kitchen processes and improved our ability to deliver items quicker on busier nights. Our guest poll scores for speed of service in both the dining room and bar were up in Q1 this year compared to the same period last year, indicating our simplification efforts are beginning to pay-off.