A Popular Shake Shack Competitor Could Be Facing Bankruptcy

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outside of BurgerFi
Updated July 18, 2024
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BurgerFi, the fast-casual dining chain known for its semi-affordable burgers, fries, and shakes, is hanging on by a thread. After announcing a loss of $6 million in the first quarter of the year, the chain revealed in a press release that its stores will undergo a “strategic review process.” 

Even so, the process wouldn’t guarantee an “outcome favorable to the Company or its stakeholders,” the statement said. Investment analysts predicted that a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy could happen soon.

In the meantime, the company has reached a forbearance agreement with its current lender, Trew Capital Management, until the end of July. 

According to BurgerFi's press release, Trew Capital and private equity firm L Catterton have loaned the company $2 million each, for a total of $4 million.

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BurgerFi’s roots run deep

Felix Mizioznikov burgerfi exterior

In 2011, the first BurgerFi opened in Lauderdale-By-the-Sea, receiving rave reviews upon its launch. The chain soon expanded rapidly, opening dozens of other locations in Florida and across the U.S. BurgerFi International owns both BurgerFi and its sibling restaurant chain, Anthony’s Coal-Fired Pizza & Wings. 

As of early April, the parent company was still operating 162 restaurants, including 102 BurgerFi locations and 60 Anthony’s locations.


It dominates Florida

Anthony Giarrusso/Adobe View from apartment condo in Florida

Of the 102 BurgerFi branches in the country, 51 are in Florida, with the original Lauderdale-by-the-sea location still standing. In the neighboring state of Georgia, there are four locations and several other restaurants in the region in states like Alabama and Tennessee.

There are also dozens of restaurants in the northeast, several of which are in the DMV area and states like New York and Connecticut. The restaurant chain is clearly integrated in several parts of the country, which raises the question of what will happen to those stores if bankruptcy is imminent.

More national chains are filing for bankruptcy or closing locations

Andriy Blokhin/Adobe outback steakhouse red sign

BurgerFi isn’t the only restaurant that’s having a difficult time financially. This year alone, several food chains experienced restaurant closures or even filed for bankruptcy. 

In February, Outback Steakhouse announced that it had closed 41 locations because they were “underperforming,” according to the restaurant’s parent company. Last month, Red Lobster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after announcing it was in $1 billion of debt.

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Bottom line

billtster burgerfi storefront during the day

The future of BurgerFi is still being determined, and it may result in the company needing to undergo some serious changes. But of course, only time will tell.

In the meantime, though, customers can still enjoy the restaurant’s famous burgers and onion rings.

Here's to hoping we don't lose another beloved and affordable place to eat... 

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Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams is a writer for FinanceBuzz. Her goal is to help consumers make smart shopping decisions, and she loves discovering products from emerging brands.