A popular franchisee now declares an unexpected bankruptcy according to new court filings.
Premier Kings, a 172-unit Burger King franchisee, declared bankruptcy in late October, according to new court filings.
The company began experiencing “operational instability” in 2022 following the untimely death of owner Manraj “Patrick” Sidhu, who was the sole stakeholder and manager, per court documents.
Earlier this year, Premier Cajun Kings, which operated 19 Popeyes units and was also owned by Sidhu, declared bankruptcy, reports RestaurantDive.
Premier Kings marks the latest bankruptcy for a large Burger King operator, with 115-unit Meridian Restaurants Unlimited and 90-unit Toms King declaring bankruptcy during the first quarter of this year.
Parent company Restaurant Brands International has been working with franchisees to transition restaurant portfolios to other operators.
During the past few quarters, RBI has prioritized distressed situations, closing unviable restaurants and cleaning up some portfolios, CFO Matt Dunnigan said last week during the company’s earnings call.
Premier Kings — which was founded in 2009 and has locations in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida — has declined steadily since 2020.
That year, the company’s sales were $255 million, which dropped to $233.3 million in 2021.
Premier Kings had 3,605 employees as of Oct. 25.
In 2022, the company’s sales dropped to $223 million, and it had a net operating loss of $27 million.
Following Sidhu’s death, the company experienced “tremendous uncertainty and disruption in the business,” according to the filing.
It also faced macroeconomic challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations as well as “high inflation, increased borrowing rates, and increasingly limited qualified labor force.”
A trend we’re seeing across retailers and restaurants.
Other Economy News Today
Chase is now being scrutinized for freezing $50K in retiree money according to a new customer report published on Wednesday.
Barb and Steve White from Mesa, Arizona say they were stunned when they tried to log into their JPMorgan Chase bank accounts and discovered all three of them had been frozen without warning, reports The-Sun.
In total, the two retirees had more than $48,000 in their free accounts that they weren’t able to access.
The only explanation Chase gave the Whites was that the freezing of their accounts was due to recent activity, but didn’t elaborate further.
“That is like beating your head against the wall,” Barb said at the time.
“You go through person after person. ‘Oh, I’m not sure I can help you with this. Let me let you talk to this person.'”
She added: “It would have been really appropriate and nice of them to say ‘Hey, you guys, this is what we see. Can you explain? Can you give us a heads-up? Can we work this out?”
In total, the couple were locked out of their accounts for four months, AZ Family reported.
They decided to file a lawsuit against the major bank to get their money back.
Eventually, in February of this year, bank officials at Chase returned the money to the Whites but still did not explain why they had frozen their accounts.
“Chase’s attorneys called ours and said ‘Chase wants to give you your money back,'” Barb said.
Although they were relieved to have resolved the situation with Chase, the Whites said the lack of explanation from the bank is still frustrating.
“It still leaves a real bad taste in your mouth, just not having any explanation as to why,” Steve said.
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