Dallas-based Corner Bakery Cafe is filing for bankruptcy.
On February 22, the restaurant chain filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware, according to court records.
Corner Bakery Cafe has been seen as a competitor of fast-casual restaurants such as Panera, known for its artisan-style, seasonal menu with fresh ingredients.
Corner Bakery was bought by Boston Market’s parent company, Pandya Restaurant Growth Brands, in October 2020. Pandya has closed approximately 35 Corner Bakery stores, leaving 140 locations in 20 states, according to The Dallas Morning News.
In the sale, Corner Bakery’s then-CEO Frank Paci said the deal would give the company “access to resources that we need to continue to operate our business in this challenging environment,” according to CoStar News.
Corner Bakery was already facing declining sales and unit volumes, problems that were worsened amid pandemic shutdowns, as the core of its customer base was made up of in-office workers, The Dallas Morning News reported.
“Since opening its first location in Chicago in 1991, Corner Bakery’s urban-centric fast-casual concept relied heavily on the breakfast and lunch daytime office worker crowd to drive sales and restaurant traffic,” Amanda Lai, director at McMillanDoolittle, told CoStar News.
“As remote work schedules continue to persist post-pandemic, Corner Bakery and competitors such as Au Bon Pain and Pret a Manger have been particularly challenged by weak downtown foot traffic and reduced demand for corporate catering,” Lai added.
Corner Bakery defaulted on its loans in 2022, according to Restaurant Business.
The company has roughly $20 million to $34 million in secured debt, The Takeout reported.
SSCP Restaurant Investors has acquired the company’s debt, prompting the bankruptcy, and is working to take over the business, per Restaurant Business.
According to the bankruptcy filing, Corner Bakery is asking for the court to permit it to use $3.4 million in cash to pay employee wages and food vendors.
Corner Bakery was 118th in sales in 2021 among restaurants in the United States, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.
Corner Bakery has failed to adapt to changing tastes and dining habits. Their menu is totally uninspiring and gives no reason to visit.