Is Quiznos officially toast? The fast food restaurant chain, best known for its oven-toasted sandwiches, filed for pre-packaged bankruptcy protection Friday – citing tough competition in the fast food industry.
Other popular casual eateries such as Subway, Panera Bread, and Chipotle have been taking a bite out of Quiznos in the past few years, as newer competitors like Potbelly make their way into the fast-food market, offering toasted subs at a wallet friendly price to cash-strapped customers looking to save a dime.
Case in point, a turkey sandwich at Potbelly Sandwich Shop costs around $5.50, while a regular Quiznos Pesto Caesar Chicken sub costs upwards of $6.29.
The Denver-based sandwich company said in its bankruptcy petition that it has between $500 million and $1 billion of liabilities. The company’s CEO, Stuart Mathis, said Quiznos plans on restructuring by “reducing food costs (and) implementing a franchise owner rebate program,” per NY Daily News.
The company is seeking to secure a $15 million loan from senior lenders to continue business-as-usual.
Quiznos isn’t the only fast food joint that is falling on hard times recently. Just a few days before their announcement, pizza chain Sbarro LLC filed for its second bankruptcy in three years. The New York-based pizza chain filed for court protection in Manhattan on Monday. Another company in trouble – Hot Dog on a Stick, another purveyor of quick-service food typically found in your local shopping mall, who in February also filed for bankruptcy protection.
“The actions we are taking are intended to enable Quiznos to reduce our debt, execute a comprehensive plan to further enhance the customer experience, elevate the profile of the brand and help increase sales and profits for our franchise owners,” said Stuart K. Mathis, Quiznos’ chief executive.
Only seven of Quiznos’ 2,100 locations in the U.S. and 30 other countries are not independently owned and operated as franchises. Quiznos restaurants will remain open and will continue operating as usual at this time.