Posted: Sep 12, 2012 6:07 PM by Olivia LaBorde
Updated: Sep 12, 2012 6:07 PM
BATON ROUGE- Baton Rouge-based Piccadilly Cafeterias filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The chain says it made the move after one of its lenders, Atalaya, sued to force the company into receiver-ship.
CEO Thomas Sandeman says, " Their action should it have been gone through was to have the ability to seize bank accounts. And that was unacceptable. It would have put us out of business overnight. It literally would have put us out of business over night."
Piccadilly customer Francis Kogler says, " It's bad news because a lot of people come and they enjoy it."
Sandeman says the bankruptcy filing was the only way to keep their restaurants and food service contracts, including one with Catholic High school in- tact. But he can't promise it will stay that way.
Sandeman says, " If a restaurant is losing too much money and their unable to negotiate rents, that will be the basis for the store closure. But that doesn't necessarily mean however that everyone will lose their job."
Sandeman admits he's unsure what the future will hold for the nearly 80 restaurants nationwide.. And more than 3,500 employees.
Which is something that leaves a bad taste in some customer's mouths.
William Estep says, "There's other places to eat. But Picadilly's one of the better ones."
The restaurant chain owes between 10 and 50 million dollars to its creditors.