Cici's in Plano, Texas, is going bankrupt. The firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday with a pre-approved sale to B&G Investors.
Ten years ago, there were more than 650 outlets with plans to add 500 more. The business now has slightly over 300 sites in 26 states, including franchisees.
According to a court filing, bigger rivals were more equipped to satisfy demand for digital ordering, delivery, and takeaway services than the buffet restaurant.
Buffet-type restaurants were especially prone to the epidemic owing to their open food displays and
self-serve lines, which don't allow for sufficient social separation, resulting in decreased sales.
The enforced dining room closures "seriously impacted Cici's restaurant operations and severely reduced consumer demand," since the chain's pre-pandemic sales came from dine-in operations.
B&G Investors is buying Cici's along with its $82 million debt and will finance the business through bankruptcy, which should be finished by March.
The firm owns 11 restaurants; the remainder are franchisees not included in the bankruptcy petition.