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Bankruptcy May Be Your Option

Restaurants close stores, seek bankruptcy protection

Depending on location, those in Oklahoma who are seeking to eat at a restaurant have several options. While such choice is good for consumers, an overloaded market makes it more difficult for restaurants to achieve financial success. In fact, many restaurant chains have found themselves struggling in 2016, including Old Country Buffet, Bob Evan's, Logan's Roadhouse and Ruby Tuesday, and have opted to close several locations and/or seek bankruptcy protection.

Some reports indicate that the number of restaurants in the United States grew by 7 percent between 2006 and 2014. The number peaked at approximately 638,000. However, that number has since declined to about 624,000. It is predicted that even more restaurants will close in the coming years.

Some speculate that the financial problems suffered by these chains are the product of a variety of different factors. In recent years, younger customers have opted not to eat at restaurants. Often when they do choose to eat at a restaurant, they opt for a fast-casual restaurant like Panera. Additionally, some chains reportedly opened too many restaurants too quickly, resulting in market saturation. Many restaurants are burdened by debt, such as Last Call which claimed $117 million in debt when it sought bankruptcy protection; Logan's Roadhouse bankruptcy filing includes a plan to close several locations in order to reduce $300 million in debt.

Regardless of the reasons, many restaurants in Oklahoma and across the country are left experiencing financial distress. For some, the best way to manage overwhelming debt may be to seek bankruptcy protection. An experienced attorney can help those seeking such an action fully understand their options as well as the potential ramifications.

Source: consumerist.com, "Why Are So Many Restaurant Chains Closing Locations, Filing For Bankruptcy?", Ashlee Kieler, Oct. 17, 2016

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