Major Pizza Hut, Wendy's franchisee files for bankruptcy

The company filed under Chapter 11 allowing restaurants to stay open, try to turn profit

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Wendy's
Wendy's fast food restaurant in Miami
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Updated: July 2, 2020 - 5:27pm

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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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