San Diego-based Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., owners of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday. According to a news release, the company plans to close 20 to 30 of its 124 locations.
“By improving our capital structure through this restructuring, we’ll be able to accelerate the changes under way to refresh our restaurants and build a strong future,” Chief Executive John Morberg says in the release.
Backed by private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners, the deal with second lien lenders will ask the company to significantly lower its debt. Meanwhile, business will continue as usual during the process. Sun Capital, based in Florida, has a stake in Friendly’s and Boston Market as well.
Souplantation is Garden Fresh’s name for the brand’s Southern California stores. It is otherwise known as Sweet Tomatoes. Primarily located on the West Coast and in the Southwest, there are now units in 15 states.
The company, which lists both assets and debts between $1 million and $10 million, filed for chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Fast-casual operator Cosi Inc. filed for bankruptcy last week as well, another in a growing list of casual-dining chains facing same-store sales declines across the industry. Since November 2015, Fired Up Inc., Last Call, Logan’s Roadhouse Inc., and Buffets LLC have all filed for federal debt protection.
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