All You Can Eat

All you can eat

News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

Does this mean they're out of proprietary buns? Last week, Schlotzky's, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio division.

Schlotzsky's franchises and restaurants, which feature a "menu of hot sandwiches and pizza served on proprietary buns" lost more than $11 million in 2003 and $671,000 in the first quarter of this year. It listed $111.7 million in assets and $71.3 million in liabilities.

The Austin-based corporation has 471 U.S. franchises, 21 international franchises, and 21 company-owned restaurants.

The company is asking the court to delay paying other creditors in order to pay outstanding employee wages and utility bills.

In court documents, Schlotzsky's stated its corporate stores and franchises could owe more than $40,000 in wages to workers: "Employees may not have had checks cleared if they were paid by check instead of electronic fund transfer."

Ten employees are owed more than $4,600 each.

Employees tend to leave jobs when they're not paid, Schlotzsky's noted in the court documents.

"If requested relief is not granted, many employees may seek other employment. The ability to preserve our business and assets and ultimately reorganize will be adversely affected if we are unable to retain our remaining dedicated employees."

Translation: "If we don't pay our help, they're going to quit, if they haven't already, and no one will be around to sell sandwiches because we laid off so many people already."

Last month, Schlotzky's closed 15 company restaurants and laid off 172 restaurant employees.

Much ado about fondue: The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant chain, opens Wednesday, August 18 at 14855 Blanco Road, Suite 110. The menu features lobster, shrimp, pork, and duck with dipping sauces, salads, wine, and chocolate fondue desserts.

Fondue had its heydey in the '60s and '70s (check out thrift shops for groovy fondue accoutrements from that era), as people gathered 'round the communal pot and dipped bread in various cheese and beef concoctions.

Like bell bottoms, fondue eventually came back into vogue, at least enough to warrant the Florida-based chain to open 64 Melting Pots in the U.S., with 11 more under development. Info: 479-6358. •

Compiled by Lisa Sorg


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