Cici pizza buffet chain files for bankruptcy

By Jordan Valinsky | CNN Affairs

Cici’s, a restaurant chain known for its pizza buffets, has filed for bankruptcy.

In a court case Monday night, Cici blamed his Chapter 11 case on the “Unpredictable and unprecedented scale” of the pandemic, which has decimated its results and the demand of its customers because it depends heavily on its dining rooms.

The Texas-based company has more than 300 locations in 26 states, a steep drop from the roughly 650 restaurants it owned a decade ago. Cici’s ditched the ‘pizza’ of its name in 2015 and expanded its menu to focus on its limitless soup, salad and dessert options. The company was bought by Arlon, a food and agriculture investment company, a year later.

contrary to other pizza chains, Cici’s did not benefit from the delivery. The company said the dining-at-home trend “poses significant challenges” to its buffet model and admitted that it “needs to work harder and more creatively” to differentiate itself from its competition.

Cici has between $ 50 and $ 100 million in liabilities. The chain reached an agreement in December for its main lender, D&G Investors, to buy the company and its $ 82 million debt.

The pandemic has decimated the restaurant industry. Restrictions on indoor dining and economic difficulties in making money through delivery or take-out have forced a number of chains to file for bankruptcy in recent months, including Sizzler United States, Friendly, California Pizza Kitchen and Vapiano.

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