Dozens of Dairy Queens to close after franchisee files for bankruptcy

FILE - Dairy Queen (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Dairy Queen (KXAN File Photo)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KLBK) — The parent company of dozens of Dairy Queen locations, including one in Central Texas, filed for bankruptcy on Monday.

The Vasari LLC website listed more than 70 Dairy Queen locations, including one in Giddings, Texas.

A call to the company headquarters revealed a recorded message saying the company filed for bankruptcy but the recording did not reveal much more. A look at court records made it clear the company is trying to find a way to stay in business.

Vasari LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy listing a category of debt between $10 million and $50 million. The category of assets was listed also as between $10 million and $50 million.

Chapter 11 allows for debts to be organized as opposed to Chapter 7 which calls for liquidation. Vasari’s bankruptcy petition indicated there would be enough money to pay unsecured creditors.

An emergency motion in the bankruptcy case said, “[Vasari] has identified its underperforming restaurants and will use the breathing spell provided by the filing of this bankruptcy case to continue to analyze those locations, their profitability, and potential remedies…”

Certain locations will be closed. Others might later be sold. Court records said low oil prices hit some of its restaurants. Mother nature was also a factor.

“Most recently, several of [Vasari’s] stores were negatively impacted by Hurricane Harvey – resulting in physical damage, extended closures, and loss of inventory,” the emergency motion said.

Court records also said, “[Vasari] owns/operates approximately 70 Dairy Queen (“DQ”) restaurants located in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, employing approximately nine hundred (900) non-insiders, not including twenty (20) corporate employees. Average daily performance across the Debtor’s DQ locations is $136,299.00 in net sales and 15,500 transactions.”

“While certain of the [Vasari’s] stores are profitable, [Vasari] as a whole is facing net operating losses that cannot continue unabated,” the emergency motion said.

“[Vasari] closed approximately 22 Dairy Queen locations prior to the Petition Date and anticipates that it will close approximately 9 additional Dairy Queen locations … during this Bankruptcy Case,” court records said.

The following is a preliminary list of stores to be liquidated according to a motion to retain an auctioneer.

  1. Hobbs 220 West Bender Boulevard Hobbs New Mexico 88240
  2. Raton 1630 Cedar Street Raton New Mexico 87740
  3. Clinton 720 West Gary Boulevard Clinton Oklahoma 73601
  4. Admiral 7819 East Admiral Place Admiral Oklahoma 74115
  5. Owasso 9495 North Owasso Expressway Owasso Oklahoma 74055
  6. Crosbyton 303 West Main Street Crosbyton Texas 79322
  7. Denver City 500 West Broadway Denver City Texas 79323
  8. Idalou 108 West 1st Street Idalou Texas 79329
  9. Lockney 217 South Main Street, Lockney, TX 79241 Lockney Texas 79241
  10. Merkel 1107 North 7th Street Merkel Texas 79536
  11. Post 601 North Broadway Post Texas 79356
  12. Seagraves 1005 Railroad Seagraves Texas 79359
  13. Clarendon 603 West 2nd Street Clarendon Texas 79226
  14. Claude 298 West 1st Street Claude Texas 79017
  15. Coleman 2000 South Commercial Avenue Coleman Texas 76834
  16. Perryton 1014 South Main Street Perryton Texas 79070
  17. Shamrock 1243 North Main Street Shamrock Texas 79079
  18. Wellington 1010 Houston Street Wellington Texas 79095
  19. Dalhart 215 Oak Avenue Dalhart Texas 79022
  20. Dumas 224 S. Dumas Avenue Dumas Texas 79029
  21. Gruver 200 Main Street Gruver Texas 79039
  22. Haskell 211 North 1st Street, Haskell, TX 79521-5904 Haskell Texas 79521
  23. Stratford 502 East Texas Avenue Stratford Texas 79084
  24. Cedar Hill 303 West Copper Street Cedar Hill Texas 75104
  25. Carrollton 3488 East Rosemead Parkway Carrollton Texas 75007
  26. Waco 125 LaSalle Waco Texas 76706
  27. San Augustine 1010 Nacogdoches Highway San Augustine Texas 75972
  28. Conroe 1612 North Frazier Street Conroe Texas 77301
  29. Giddings 977 East Austin Street Giddings Texas 78942

Vasari provided the following statement:

IRVING, Texas, Oct. 30, 2017 – Vasari LLC, a Dairy Queen franchisee based in Texas, filed today for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Under the Chapter 11 protection, the franchisee will restructure the company to close a significant number of underperforming restaurants by the end of the year, resulting in a smaller but financially stronger company with approximately 45 remaining restaurants in growing markets.

For continuously updated information on closures and the restructuring, visit donlinrecano.com/vasari.

“This decision was based solely on what’s best to have a healthy company and ensure the long-term success of our core restaurants for our customers, employees and other stakeholders,” said William (Bill) Spae, president and CEO of Vasari. “Given the support we have from our primary stakeholders toward a consensual plan of reorganization, we believe this process should have minimal impact on our customers and employees at the remaining restaurants.”

The restructuring allows the company to protect approximately 700 jobs at its remaining restaurants. Employees at affected locations are being paid in full for time worked, and both human resources and area operations managers are available during crew members’ transition. Vendors, customers or others with questions may direct them to Donlin, Recano & Company, Inc at (212) 771-1128 or vasariinfo@donlinrecano.com.

In the coming years, Vasari plans to modernize and improve facilities in its remaining restaurants.”

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