The untimely passing of a founder leaves a Popeyes franchisee in bankruptcy. Premier Cajan King operated 30 locations in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. The business struggled amid economic shocks, the founder's passing, and changing consumer demands. It declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and would need a buyer to continue operations.
The company is now in limbo.
Popeyes specializes in Cajan flavors and Louisiana-inspired dishes. The fast food establishment suffered since the passing of its founder, Manraj "Patrick" Sidhu, in May 2022.
The locations had great success under Sidhu's leadership. He founded Premier Cajun Kings in 2018. It began with six stores in Alabama and added 24 more locations by 2019. In 2020 and 2021, the company had 500 employees and brought in $30 million in annual sales.
According to the filings, things began going South following the "unexpected" passing of Sidhu, "which triggered great operational instability for PCK’s existing Restaurants, as Mr. Sidhu was not only the sole member but also the sole manager." "This tragic loss, coupled with various macroeconomic factors, has caused tremendous uncertainty and disruption within the business," the document outlined.
Premier Cajan Kings did what it could to salvage the business. But it was not enough. The franchisee closed 10 stores and got evicted from one location. Closures seem likely for the other 19 shops if the franchise is not bought.
"Facing increased pressure from landlords, vendors, and its secured lender, the debtor has no choice but to seek relief in this Court in order to reorganize its business in chapter 11," the filing added.
While the bankruptcy proceedings continue, Premier Cajan Kings will try to keep the 19 shops open.
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