Bertucci’s Inc., an Italian-restaurant chain known for its brick-oven pizza, is making preparations for a bankruptcy filing, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company is lining up a buyer who would take control of the business after the filing, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the process isn’t public. The move could come as soon as next week, according to the people.
Bertucci’s woes are part of a broader downturn for midpriced, sit-down restaurant chains. They’ve struggled for years to compete with faster, more modern places where customers don’t have to leave tips. Sales at the top 500 U.S. sit-down restaurant chains rose just 1 percent last year, compared with 3.5 percent growth for the industry, according to data from Technomic.
Bertucci’s has been trying to lure diners with its new Express Lunch, which promises to bring orders within 15 minutes. Chief Executive Officer Brian Wright, who took the helm in 2016, started the program to combat rising competition from fast-casual chains like Panera Bread.
Representatives from the company didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The Northborough, Massachusetts-based chain operates about 80 restaurants in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Sales fell 2.7 percent last year to $183 million, according to Technomic. The chain opened its first location in Somerville, Massachusetts, in 1981.
—With assistance from Eliza Ronalds-Hannon
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.
This article was written by Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Leslie Patton from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.
Read Skift Table for Essential News on the Business of Restaurants
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to follow industry trends, creativity, and innovation as we help define the future of dining out.
U.K. Casual-Dining Continues Crumble With Gaucho Collapse
1 day ago
Casual-dining chains often end up in the position of overpaying for real estate in order to be where the people are right now, as opposed to building up a clientele like a neighborhood joint would. They also have to deal with more complicated financial deals that make it difficult to weather shifts in consumer tastes.