The owners of Old Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet and several other all-you-can-eat restaurant chains are planning a quick bankruptcy sale of their assets and some of their leases, hoping to sell them by the summer.
San Antonio-based Fresh Acquisitions LLC and Buffets LLC along with several affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection on Tuesday, marking the fourth trip to bankruptcy since 2008 for some of the sister chains. Together, the companies owe about $ 13.5 million in secured debt and more than $ 5.3 million in unsecured liabilities, according to court documents.
The companies said they filed for bankruptcy again after the Covid-19 pandemic and government-imposed shutdowns disrupted restaurant operations and significantly limited customer demand.
Before the pandemic, companies operated 90 restaurants in 27 states, including other brands such as Furr’s Fresh Buffet, Country Buffet, Ryan’s, Fire Mountain, and Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse.
But the sharp decline in restaurant sales due to occupancy restrictions and the ban on family-style buffets has forced businesses to close all their restaurants at will. The only places currently open are six Tahoe Joe’s restaurants in California, which had revenues of around $ 21 million a year before the pandemic, according to court documents.