Major Pizza Hut, Wendy's franchisee files for bankruptcy
The company filed under Chapter 11 allowing restaurants to stay open, try to turn profit
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
NPC International, which operates roughly 1,200 Pizza Hut and Wendy’s restaurants across the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy - becoming one of the most recent businesses needing court relief as a result of the coronavirus.
Among the other major, well known companies to file for bankruptcy since the pandemic hit in mid March are J Crew, Neiman Marcus, 24-Hour Fitness and Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company CEC Entertainment and Hertz.
Having nearly $1 billion in debt and rising labor and food costs also reportedly contributed to the company’s decision to file Wednesday for Chapter 11 protection. Such a filing allows companies to restructure debt with creditors so they can continue to operate and try to turn a profit.
“While NPC’s Chapter 11 filing was expected, we view it as an opportunity to create a better future for NPC’s Pizza Hut restaurants,” a Pizza Hut spokesperson said in a statement. “As NPC works through this process, we support an outcome resulting in an organization with a lower, more sustainable level of debt, ownership focus on operational excellence and a greater level of restaurant investment.”
NPC employs nearly 40,000 people in 27 U.S. states, according to its website.
NPC operates only a small portion of Wendy's roughly 6,500 US restaurants. A Wendy's spokesperson told CNN Business that NPC's restaurants were "generally performing very well" and the franchisee has kept current with their financial obligations.
"We expect that NPC will continue to be a productive member of the Wendy's family, and we will continue to stay closely coordinated and support them moving forward," the burger chain told the news outlet.
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