A franchisee operating most of Wisconsin's Applebee's franchises files for bankruptcy, leaving the brand's future uncertain.
25 Applebee's locations in Wisconsin will remain open during the Chapter 11 reorganisation. Applebee's website lists 31 locations in Wisconsin.
According to the bankruptcy petition, the company struggled to maintain its restaurants operational.
"Rather than close the restaurants and lay off 600 people, Chapter 11 was filed," the company's president stated.
The business bought the Wisconsin stores from another franchisee in November 2019, after they had been on the market for more than two years.
Applebee's service scores improved considerably in the first few months under new leadership, according to the bankruptcy petition.
Once the pandemic occurred, the firm closed all of its eateries owing to government-mandated shutdowns and numerous employees
testing positive for COVID-19 over the summer and fall. When that happens, their eateries must be fumigated and cleaned before reopening, Kastori added.
The franchise is seeking debtor-in-possession finance to keep it solvent until sales pick up or units are sold.
This year's bankruptcies include Golden Corral, Pizza Hut, and Wendy's franchisees.