The owner of the Lincoln Burger King restaurants files for bankruptcy

Matt Alberding Lincoln Journal Star

The franchisee who owns all of Lincoln Burger King’s restaurants as well as others in Southeast Nebraska has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Meridian Restaurants Unlimited, based in Ogden, Utah, filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah on March 2.

Chapter 11 is a form of bankruptcy that allows a company to reorganize its debt and continue in business.

In a statement, James Winder, managing partner and lead restructuring director for Meridian, said the company has been meeting with its creditors and Burger King officials for some time, and “a financial restructuring is the natural next step as we take the company from surviving the pandemic to thriving in a post-pandemic environment.” epidemic.”

But the company also said it does not plan to close any locations or reduce its workforce.

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In its bankruptcy filing, Meridian listed its assets and debts as being between $10 million and $50 million.

The company, which owns nine Burger King locations in Lincoln, as well as locations in Beatrice, Hastings and York, said in court filings that it had “suffered significantly from the loss of foot traffic, resulting in lower revenue without a commensurate decrease in rent liabilities, debt service liabilities and liabilities.” the other.” It also said it has seen a 33% increase in wages over the past few years and a 22% increase in the cost of supplies.

Meridian said in the filing that its original founder had acquired several Burger King restaurants with below-average sales, hoping to improve its results. Instead, according to court documents, those stores’ smaller profit margins made them more sensitive to recent increases in labor and other costs. The company said some of its restaurants are operating at a loss and have done so for several years.

Meridian acquired Nebraska Burger Kings and several businesses in Kansas in 2018 from Horizon Holdings. The company owns a total of 119 Burger King restaurants in 10 states.

A Meridian affiliate’s Lincoln location made national news in 2021 after several employees quit at once and the checkmark was changed to read, “We’re all quitting. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Employees who spoke to the Journal Star at the time said they were forced to work under difficult conditions, including working in the restaurant with a broken air conditioner during the summer that Meridian failed to fix for two weeks.

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Contact the writer at 402-473-2647 or [email protected]

on Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.