Restaurants

Here are some of the restaurant chains that received millions in government payroll loans

Key Points
  • Businesses in the accommodation and food services sector received more than $42 billion in funding from the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Among those recipients are large restaurant chains, such as T.G.I. Friday's and P.F. Chang's.
  • In April, Shake Shack, Ruth's Chris and several other publicly traded companies returned their loans after drawing backlash for taking money from the quickly depleted fund.
A statue of a horse stands at the entrance to a P.F. Chang's restaurant in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Scott Olson | Getty Images

Large restaurant chains received millions in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to data released Monday by the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department. 

Businesses in the accommodation and food services sector received more than $42 billion in funding from the program, accounting for 8.07% of the total loans. Roughly $130 billion of the program's $660 billion remains up for grabs.

The federal program was intended to help struggling businesses that had fewer than 500 workers, but big hotel and restaurant chains won exemptions after the coronavirus pandemic upended their industries. In April, Shake Shack, Ruth's Chris and several other publicly traded companies returned their loans after drawing backlash for taking money from the quickly depleted fund.

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Famous Dave's of America and Granite City Food & Brewery, both owned by BBQ Holdings, received loans of between $5 million and $10 million each. Their parent company, which was one of the few public companies to receive funds, has a market value of $30 million.

Other well-known restaurant recipients include full-service dining chains Ruby Tuesday, Ted's Montana Grill, P.F. Chang's and T.G.I. Friday's.

The full-service industry has been slow to recover, even as many states reopen indoor and outdoor dining. Full-service restaurant transactions fell 25% in the week ended June 28 compared to the year-ago period, according to the NPD Group.

Many of the large full-service chains that received PPP loans are backed by private equity firms. TriArtisan Capital Advisors owns the majority stake of T.G.I. Friday's, for example. The chain was supposed to go public this year through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, but the deal fell apart in April.

Fast-casual chains, including Dig Inn, Five Guys, Mod Pizza and Chopt, received PPP loans of at least $5 million. Bluestone Lane, a venture capital-backed coffee chain, also got a loan of at least $5 million.

While large fast-food chains did not apply for PPP funding, their franchisees did. Operators of some McDonald's, Wendy's and Yum Brands locations received loans in the range of $5 million to $10 million. The fast-food industry has been quicker to recover than the broader restaurant industry, with transactions declining just 13% in the week ended June 28, according to the NPD Group.

Access the full list of businesses that received PPP loans of more than $150,000 here.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the data was released from both the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department and it included all Paycheck Protection Program loans to date, not a specific round.

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