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One of nation's largest Burger King franchisees declares bankruptcy in Akron

TOMS King has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company operates 90 Burger King restaurants in Ohio and three other states.

AKRON, Ohio — TOMS King, one of the nation's largest operators of Burger King restaurants, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron.

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The company, which is based in Palatine, Illinois, operates 90 Burger King franchises in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Illinois.

According to its filing in the Northern District of Ohio, TOMS King "suffered significantly from the loss of foot traffic" over the past several years, particularly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The filing adds that recent increases in shipping and food costs, combined with inflation and decreased availability of labor, has exacerbated its cash flow issues. 

While some Burger King restaurants operated by TOMS King have remained profitable, others have been operating at a loss which has prevented the company from meeting their financial obligations. 

Records show that the company owes $35.5 million in secured debt to Bank of America, with an additional $14 million in unsecured debt that includes royalties and advertising contributions to the Burger King corporation, rent money owed to landlords, and payments due to vendors.  

TOMS King is also seeking a motion allowing it to continue paying wages, compensation, and benefits to its 2,087 hourly and 90 salaried employees.

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