The increasingly competitive restaurant business has taken its toll on a number of chains in 2018.
Several companies, from upstart fast casuals to legacy pizza concepts, have sought credit protection. While most put themselves up for sale, some went so far as to shut down their entire operations and liquidate.
Here’s a look at this year’s restaurant chain bankruptcies.
Papa Gino’s/D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches
Just this week, the Boston-area company that owns these two chains filed for debt protection and reached a sale agreement with one of its lenders, Wynnchurch Capital, which offered a $20 million credit bid.
The company has $62 million in debt and more than $100 million in debt overall.
Real Mex Restaurants
In one of the most shocking filings, Washington, D.C.-based sandwich concept Taylor Gourmet abruptly shut down its operations and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection—meaning it is selling off all of its assets.
According to reports, the company’s private-equity owner, KarpReilly, pulled its funding, leading to the closure of all 19 of its locations.
Mike Isabella Concepts
The restaurant operating company of Isabella, a celebrity chef, filed for credit protection in September.
The company blamed fallout over a now-settled sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Isabella’s former director of operations. Sales at many of the company’s restaurants plunged, and it lost deals to operate or open other locations.
The 32-unit, Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain filed for debt protection in September with $8.6 million in debt.
One of its franchisees, Steven Craig, provided the company with a cash infusion. Ruby’s blamed several issues for its financial setbacks, including weather and a troubled gift card program.
Applebee’s second-largest franchisee, which operated 163 restaurants in 15 states, filed for credit protection in May and blamed the brand’s poor overall performance for its problems.
The bankruptcy later evolved into a dispute between the franchisee and the brand over plans for store closures.