The parent company of Uncle Maddio’s has filed for bankruptcy protection this month amid falling sales and closing units.
Integrity Brands, the Atlanta-based operator of the fast-casual pizza chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Georgia.
According to filings, the company has about $1.5 million in secured debt. The company said in a filing that it had less than $3,000 in cash on hand.
The bankruptcy filing listed less than $50,000 in assets.
Uncle Maddio’s emerged a decade ago as part of the burgeoning fast-casual pizza sector and quickly signed up franchisees. In 2015, it received an investment from a private-equity firm, S&S Group, which is also its largest, secured creditor.
The chain signed up operators throughout the Southeast and boasted that many of those franchisees had experience running other systems.
In 2015, the company said it was “on track to have 300 restaurants open in five years” and 1,000 units in development, and it boasted agreements with franchisees in 18 states.
But the company has not come close to those growth projections as the fast-casual pizza space has shaken out.
Uncle Maddio’s had 29 locations in 2018, according to Technomic Ignite data. That was down from 36 the year before. In 2015, the brand had 42 locations.
System sales declined 14% last year, according to Technomic.
Meanwhile, competitor MOD Pizza grew its system to more than 400 locations and about $400 million in annual system sales last year. Blaze Pizza operates 300 locations and generated more than $300 million in sales in 2018, according to Technomic.