Bertucci's Has Filed For Bankruptcy For The Second Time In 4 Years

When Bertucci's Italian Restaurant filed for bankruptcy protection for the first time in 2018, the chain had 58 locations across 10 states and D.C., according to FSR Magazine. Following the Chapter 11 filing, Earl Enterprises — the operator of Earl of Sandwich, Planet Hollywood, and Buca di Beppo — purchased Bertucci's that June, with optimism about the future of the acquired company.

In 1981, the Italian eatery opened its first restaurant in Somerville, Massachusetts, and eventually expanded to other locations — all of which featured brick ovens cooking up family recipes. Fast forward through the pandemic to 2022 though, and bars and restaurants are hiring fewer people and still reeling from the longstanding effects of closures, rising labor costs, and other economic hurdles. Based on a recent bankruptcy filing from Bertucci's — just four years after the first one, per Restaurant Business – the chain appears to be unable to recover.

Why Bertucci's filed for bankruptcy protection

Bertucci's named both the pandemic and inflation as factors behind its declaration of bankruptcy, per Boston news outlet WCVB. In addition to its filing, the company has closed a number of its restaurants throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire, leaving just 31 locations open throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Though the chain restaurant reacted to inflation and other challenges with significant efforts, such as offering limited-time discounts and promotions, it was operating at a loss — and carrying roughly $48 million combined in both secured and unsecured debt and taxes owed (via Restaurant Dive).

Given the challenges that are currently facing the restaurant industry — namely inflation, persisting supply chain problems, and labor issues, as pointed out by Forbes – it's perhaps surprising that Bertucci's is just the third restaurant chain to file for bankruptcy protection this year, according to Restaurant Dive. Many restaurant operators have had to get creative with managing ongoing economic pressures, using strategies like barbell pricing to increase revenue and traffic.