Perkins & Marie Callender’s Holding, operator of two family and casual dining chains, filed for bankruptcy protection last week and plans to sell most of its assets, after suffering from lower customer traffic and rising food and labor costs.
The company said it has closed 10 Perkins restaurants and 19 Marie Callender’s restaurants. None are in Iowa.
The company plans to operate normally while it restructures.
“All remaining restaurants will be open and operating as usual and guests can expect to continue to enjoy the great food and hospitality for which Perkins and Marie Callender’s are known,” the company said on its website.
The Chapter 11 filing is the second in eight years for the Memphis-based company, which has nearly 400 stores under the Perkins and Marie Callender’s brands in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Its 2011 reorganization left it under the control of the investment firm Wayzata Investment Partners, still its majority owner.
Many dining chains have struggled to fill seats because of heavy competition and a desire among many customers for newer, fresher food options.
In a court filing, Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Warne said falling sales “across the family-dining and casual-dining industries” in 2017 and 2018, “elevated” commodity prices, rising minimum wages and “an increasingly tight labor market” were factors leading to the bankruptcy of Perkins & Marie Callender’s.
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Warne said Perkins Group will be a “stalking horse” — or initial — bidder to buy Perkins assets and some of its Foxtail bakery assets at a court-supervised auction next month.
He said talks are ongoing for Marie Callender’s and other Foxtail assets.
The company had no additional comment.
Warne said that following the closures, the company will own or franchise 355 Perkins restaurants and 28 Marie Callender’s restaurants.
Perkins was founded in 1958, and Marie Callender’s in 1948.
They merged in 2006 and recently reported about 5,379 employees.