Cici’s files for bankruptcy as pandemic speeds the decline of the buffet

A Cici’s Pizza restaurant in Buena Vista, Florida.

John Greim | LightRocket | Getty Pictures

Buffet chain Cici’s has filed for Chapter 11 financial extinguish security and launched its sale to D&G Investors, its main lender.

While the coronavirus pandemic has lifted gross sales for pizza chains love Papa John’s, Domino’s Pizza and Yum Producers’ Pizza Hut, buffet-sort restaurants love Cici’s noticed their gross sales tumble. All-you-can-be pleased institutions were already struggling sooner than the crisis, but dining restrictions and patrons’ heightened distress over cleanliness accelerated their decline.

Cici’s and its franchisees operate 318 areas at some stage in 26 states in the U.S. In 2010, it had better than 650 restaurants.

In financial extinguish filings Monday, Cici’s said that it had between $10 million and $50 million in property and $50 million to $100 million in liabilities. Its top two creditors were Weingarten Realty Investors and Saputo Cheese. In December, D&G Investors purchased $82 million of Cici’s debt, basically based totally totally on the alternate e-newsletter Restaurant Alternate.

The chain rebranded in 2015, losing the “Pizza” from its title because it tried to design attention to its plenty of menu items. A year later, it used to be bought by the Arlon Crew, an funding company that makes a speciality of food and agriculture.

Cici’s joins a slew of plenty of restaurant chains which enjoy sought financial extinguish security at some stage in the pandemic, including Punch Bowl Social and the guardian company of Agreeable’s Eating areas. In accordance to estimates from the National Restaurant Affiliation, better than 110,000 restaurants permanently closed in 2020.