The Texas-based operator of the Furr’s Fresh Buffet restaurant chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday, citing a surprising culprit for the move—the brutal winter weather.
Already crunched for cash by an effort to overhaul its restaurants, located throughout the Southwest, Buffet Partners LP said the December storm that brought ice and sleet to North Texas, leaving tens of thousands of people without power and stranding drivers, put a chill on its business.
“In December the Texas market suffered an ice storm and unusually cold weather, causing a significant loss in guest count and hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost profit,” the company said in court papers. “This was detrimental to already tenuous liquidity, and with no available line of credit, the debtor was unable to continue to weather the financial storm, eventually leading to the Chapter 11 filing.”
Buffet Partners, of Plano, Texas, said it would use the breathing room of bankruptcy to restructure a debt load that tops $40 million. The chain, which employs more than 2,000 people, plans to continue operating its 29 restaurants in Arizona, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas during the Chapter 11 case.