published Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Dayton pizza restaurant comes with family arcade

Ashley Hixson, owner of Party Pizza Buffet and Family Fun Center in Dayton, Tenn., talks with Scottie and Dana Morris about their orders, while the children discuss playing in the game room.
Ashley Hixson, owner of Party Pizza Buffet and Family Fun Center in Dayton, Tenn., talks with Scottie and Dana Morris about their orders, while the children discuss playing in the game room.

Name: Party Pizza Buffet and Family Fun Center

Owner: Ashley Hixson, age 27

Location: 420 Market St., Dayton, Tenn.

Phone: 423-285-5801

Products: Salad, pasta and pizza buffet and drink (nonalcoholic) - $6.99 adults and $5.99 children, ages 4 to 11. Eat-N-Play combos include buffet and 15 tokens for the game room for $9.49 adults and $8.49 for children. Parties of 10 can reserve special seating, for a $50 fee. Hixson said there are 112 varieties of pizza for customers to choose from at the buffet, and “a local favorite” are the loaded baked potato and taco pizza. In addition to the game room, crooners can karaoke on Mondays and Tuesdays from 5 to 9 p.m., she said.

Behind the name: Hixson said the well-known pizza fun centers had made her question, “Why not have something in Dayton for kids and adults?”

Startup investment: She said it cost nearly $40,000, but that sales have steadily increased 33 percent since its July opening. Hixson, who works at Wal-Mart, utilizes the help from family members during the daytime to maintain the stream of families.

Biggest hurdle: “Getting our name out there,” Hixson said, has been the initial challenge to overcome. “To continue at the pace,” she said, since its opening, will be a goal along the way.

Biggest reward: Hixson, who has two children under 10, said she enjoyed “seeing the kids come in here and enjoying the games, with hopes of winning tickets for a selection of prizes.”

Lesson learned: Keeping focused on her goals

Five-year goal: A bigger location and a smaller children’s play area, as in popular hamburger restaurants, are goals.

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