- Bertucci’s Restaurants filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, according to court documents viewed by Restaurant Dive.
- The company formed in April 2018 after Bertucci’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta went bankrupt and Earl Enterprises bought it for $20 million.
- The 47-unit, Italian-themed restaurant said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, sales declines and increased expenses led it to declare bankruptcy for the second time in four years.
Bertucci’s has been offering promotions this year to try and get more guests in the door. In July, it temporarily lowered menu prices to 1980s levels for 14 items. In August, it launched Happy Hour and brought back its Throwback Thursdays promotion, which also priced menu items as they were in the 1980s. But these efforts don’t seem to have helped regain sales momentum lost during the pandemic.
While the casual pizza chain reported over $120 million in annual sales for 2019, sales fell to $97.9 million in 2021 and operating losses were $14 million with a net loss of $7.2 million, according to the filing. In 2018, the company had 56 locations, but its footprint shrank 16% as of 2022. Bertucci’s employee count also fell from roughly 2,000 in 2019 to 1,436 in 2022. Bertucci’s has over $20 million in secured debt, a tax obligation of $1.5 million and unsecured debt of about $26.5 million, according to the filing.
Restaurant bankruptcies have been few and far between this year. Dynamic Restaurant Holdings declared bankruptcy in September, while BLT Restaurant Group declared bankruptcy in March, in part because it was unable to repay its $3.3 million Paycheck Protection Program loan.