The news was not so mouth-watering for pizza fans Monday, as the Sbarro pizza chain filed for bankruptcy court protection.
The move comes less than three weeks after it was forced to close more than 40 percent of its restaurants across the United States.
Sbarro is best known for locations in malls, airports, train stations and highway rest stops.
It’s actually the second bankruptcy filing in less than three years by Sbarro, whose previous action was in April 2011.
Sbarro, based in Melville, N.Y., issued a statement Monday indicating the bankruptcy filing is a pre-packaged plan, which means it has already agreed on a reorganization plan with creditors that hold 98 percent of the company’s debt. That should allow it to quickly shed an estimated $140 million in debt, and emerge from bankruptcy as a healthier company.
According to CNNMoney, the company announced in February it was closing 155 company-owned restaurants in the U.S., effective immediately. That left it with 220 U.S. locations and more than 600 other locations owned by franchise operators in 40 different countries.
The closings left the company with some 2,700 employees.
Spokesman Jonathan Dedmon told CNNMoney no further closings are envisioned under the bankruptcy plan. He said Sbarro has already closed its weaker locations and expects to shed 80 percent of its debt during the bankruptcy. It has also secured $20 million in new financing.
“The previous closures and bankruptcy filing are part of an overall plan to invest in and grow the company for the future,” he said.
This latest closing announcement was one of many mass store closing announcements so far in 2014.
Just this month, Radio Shack announced plans to shut up to 1,100 stores, and office-supply giant Staples said it would close 225 locations.
Department-store chain J.C. Penney announced in January it would close 33 stores, while Macy’s said it would shut five stores and lay off 2,500 employees in a cost-cutting effort.