by Rick Griffin
The parent company of the Pat & Oscar’s restaurant chain has filed for Chapter 7 liquidation. As part of the bankruptcy filing, FFPE LLC recently closed its company-owned locations in Temecula, Carlsbad at Plaza Camino Real and El Cajon at Westfield Parkway at 415 Parkway Plaza in El Cajon.
Founded by local restaurateurs Oscar and Pat Sarkisian in Carmel Mountain Ranch in 1991, the chain once had 19 Southern California locations. But, the company was sold in 2000 for a reported $16 million to Sherman Oaks-based Worldwide Restaurant Concepts, which owns the Sizzler chain. At the time, the company reported assets of $331,459 and liabilities of $4.1 million. Then in 2005, ownership of Pat & Oscar’s changed again when Pacific Equity Partners, the Australian franchisee for Sizzler, paid a reported $210 million in U.S. dollars for Worldwide Restaurant Concepts. That deal included 302 Sizzler restaurants and 112 KFC restaurants around the world, in addition to the Pat & Oscar’s outlets. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, a trade publication, Pacific Equity Partners put both Pat & Oscar’s and Sizzler up for sale in the late 2000s.
Despite the Chapter 7 liquidation by FFPE, 11 franchise locations are expected to remain open. Franchisee locations include San Marcos, Mira Mesa, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Mission Valley, Eastlake, Plaza Bonita, Buena Park, South Coast Metro, Orange Town & Country, San Bernardino and Palm Desert.
“For a number of months the management of Pat & Oscar’s has worked very hard to streamline operations and return the company to profitability,” the company said in a statement. “However, we discovered that while these efforts were important and necessary, they were not going to be sufficient to save our parent company. Our franchisee group is currently working together to ensure the longevity of the Pat & Oscar’s brand at all remaining Pat & Oscar’s locations.” The statement also said that gift cards and family rewards points will still be honored, and any pending catering orders at closed restaurants will be transferred to the nearest available location.
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