HomeTown Buffet, affiliate dining chains file for bankruptcy

Buffet chains file for bankruptcy protection
HomeTown Buffet files for bankruptcy protection

HomeTown Buffet and several affiliated buffet chains on Monday filed for its third Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing in eight years, according to court documents, potentially affecting more than 300 U.S. locations.

In addition to HomeTown, other Ovation chains seeking bankruptcy protection from creditors included Old Country Buffet, Ryan's, Fire Mountain and Tahoe Joe's, according to court documents.

A spokesman for Ovation declined to comment.

Ovation Brands shuttered 74 restaurants in February as part of its national restructuring plan.

The restaurant operator was acquired by Food Management Partners in August. The new parent company explained that the affected restaurants had been underperforming.

"It is necessary to shutter locations for the continued viability of our brands and our employees," Peter Donbavand, FMP's vice president of real estate and business development, said in a statement last month.

Ovation, based in Greer, South Carolina, operates 328 restaurants in 35 states, employing 17,000, according to its website.

The chains listed assets worth up to $50 million and liabilities of up to $100 million, according to documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas.

Buffets, the predecessor to Ovation, and the Ryan Restaurant Group merged in 2006 to create the largest U.S. buffet chain.

In early 2008, however, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to shed some of its 626 locations and cut its debt by $700 million.

The company returned to bankruptcy in 2012, this time to slim its reach from 494 restaurants.