Another significant chain just joined the ranks of retailers and restaurants filing for bankruptcy in the last year. Uno Restaurant Holdings, owner of the Uno Chicago Grill deep-dish pizza chain filed Chapter 11 earlier this week after facing an overload of debt and declining sales, which are hurting many casual restaurant chains during the recession.
The owner of 179 full-service restaurants as well several quick-service locations in airports and other non-traditional venues, already closed 16 of its larger units.
Management says the company is in the works to shed $142 million in debt by giving bondholders a majority stake in the restaurant chain. It also says there are opportunities for growth after emerging, which could happen by the end of the spring. The Boston-based company was growing is quick-service locations before the filing, opening 160 Uno Express outlets since the summer of 2008.
Is the Uno brand strong enough to make it, or are some of the many casual chains out there bound to go away?