News broke on Monday, November 5 that the parent company of Papa Gino’s Pizzeria and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches had filed for bankruptcy, following the unexpected closure of 95 locations over the weekend.
According to the news release from parent company PGHC Holdings, they filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in order to sell both restaurant chains. PGHC Holdings, a Massachusetts-based company, said the locations closed over the weekend were under-performing. In the news release, the company also revealed that it is selling both restaurant chains to Wynnchurch Capital. PGHC is hoping that by selling Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo, the chains’ finances would be strengthened and they would be able to remodel and expand.
“For some time, we have been pursuing a plan to strengthen our financial footing and secure capital for investment in our restaurants, while also addressing our significant debt load,” said Chief Financial Officer Corey Wendland.
While it seems that the company knew which locations were going to be shut down, many of them closed without warning and left customers and employees confused. Employees of both Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo went to work over the weekend, but found out that they had no jobs when they got there. The restaurant industry is estimated to create about 1.6 million jobs by 2027, but with closings of major chains like this more people seem to be left without jobs than with them.
In the case of Keith Thibotot, a general manager at the D’Angelo in Seekonk, MA, he was getting ready to open the restaurant on Sunday when he got a call from other locations of the chain. They told him Seekonk was on the list, and then a representative from PGHC was at his door asking if Thibotot could help shut down the location permanently.
According to the news release, there are 100 Papa Gino’s restaurants and 78 D’Angelo restaurants still operating and open for business throughout New England. There is just one Papa Gino’s Pizzeria left in all of Connecticut after the weekend of abrupt closings. Messages on the doors of other locations simply said that they were now permanently closed and offered a coupon to use at the one open restaurant. Phone calls resulted in a similar message with no real explanation for confounded customers.
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