Bertucci’s Inc., a Massachusetts-based restaurant chain best known for its brick oven pizza, has announced that it will file for bankruptcy in the coming weeks. Currently, Bertucci’s operates more than 80 locations throughout the northeastern United States. Its first location opened in 1981.
Bertucci’s reported that its sales fell 2.7% in 2017. That year, it made a total of $183 million in sales. It reported these figures to Technomic, a Chicago-based food service industry research firm. Overall, sales at the top 500 sit-down restaurants in the United States rose 1% in 2017 and overall, the industry saw sales rise by 3.5%. Bertucci’s has not announced much about its plan to file for bankruptcy, other than that the company is searching for a buyer to take the reigns once it completes the bankruptcy process. Currently, it is owned by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. Debt is nothing new for the Italian restaurant chain; in 2015, its current owner refinanced its debt to set it on a more sustainable course. Its current bankruptcy plan is another attempt to bring the company into a new era where it can be profitable again.
Competing with Fast Casual Food Retailers
Bertucci’s is not the only sit-down restaurant that has struggled to remain relevant in the changing restaurant landscape in the past decade. The 2010s have seen a significant rise in popularity and profits for fast-casual restaurants like Panera Bread, Chipotle, and Smashburger. Other sit-down restaurants that have felt the crunch of these retailers entering the marketplace are Olive Garden and Red Lobster, two restaurants that traditionally filled the mid-range sit-down restaurant niche between fast food and more upscale options. At fast-casual restaurants, diners do not have to leave tips. They can also easily get in, get their food, and leave, making them an attractive dining option for busy professionals and students.
Some of these restaurants, Bertucci’s included, have attempted to take back some of their market share from fast-casual newcomers by offering similar dining experiences. The ability to enjoy a high-quality meal at a comparatively low price point without having to spend much time at a restaurant is what draws diners to fast-casual restaurants. Bertucci’s recently began offering its Express Lunch menu, a lunchtime deal that promises to have diners’ orders to them within 15 minutes of ordering, as an answer to Chipotle and Panera Bread’s short wait times. Olive Garden employed a similar strategy with its lunch-focused small plates menu.
Work with an Experienced Palatine Bankruptcy Attorney
Learn more about Chapter 11 and other bankruptcy options for businesses facing insurmountable levels of debt. Contact our team of experienced bankruptcy lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial consultation in our office, during which we can go over all the circumstances you are facing to determine the best choice for you to take toward regaining control of your company’s finances. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Michal Kubalczyk)