Bankrupt Burgers: Fuddruckers Files Chapter 11By Todd • Apr 24th, 2010 • Category: Burger Blog
The ongoing burger wars have claimed another casualty. Popular chain Fuddruckers (through parent company Magic Brands) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it sells its $40 million worth of assets to a Florida-based company.
While none of the 135 franchisee-owned restaurants will be affected, 24 of the 85 corporate-owned Fuddruckers will close by April 30. Some, like California locations in Thousand Oaks and Lake Forest (one of two in that city), have already closed up shop, locking the big hamburger-handled doors for the last time on Thursday.
“We regret that some team members have lost their positions as a result of the restaurant closures, but these difficult actions are essential to the long-term strength of Fuddruckers,” says Magic Brands CEO Peter Large, in a statement on a special Fuddruckers website. “By shedding burdensome leases under the protection of Chapter 11, Fuddruckers will regain the financial stability and flexibility it needs to pursue strategic growth initiatives that will benefit our brand, our franchisees and, most importantly, our guests.”
Tell that to “guests” in Colorado, who will lose the only 3 Fuddruckers in the state. Or in North Carolina, where 3 of the state’s 8 locations will be gone within a week.
As I reported in my September review, the chain that started in Texas in 1980 still does a seriously tasty burger. Even though they’re not the coolest kid on the burger block anymore, my local Fuddruckers (corporate-owned, but still safe… for now) easily outranks plenty of other “hipper” and “trendier” spots when I’m looking for a fast-casual cheeseburger.
From their big beefy patties (the first place I ever saw 1-pounders on the menu) to their famous toppings bar (the first place I ever went where you personally customized your own burg), there’s a lot to love about Fuddruckers.
If you haven’t been to one lately (and many of you clearly haven’t, or I wouldn’t be writing an article with the word “bankruptcy” in it), re-visit a Fuddruckers. They’re a true legend in the burger biz, and one of the early contributors to the burger boom we’re enjoying now. They don’t deserve to go down like this.