Romano’s Macaroni Grill filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, but the Hawaii franchisee says the filing has nothing to do with the two local restaurants.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill and its rivals have been losing customers to cheaper, faster chains. Early this week, sit-down chain Ruby Tuesday Inc. agreed to be sold for $146 million and taken private after tweaks to its menu and restaurants failed to boost sales.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill’s owner Mac Acquisition LLC says its 93 restaurants will remain open. But since the beginning of the year, it has closed nearly 40 unprofitable locations. The Denver-based company has about 4,600 employees.
Randy Schoch, the owner of the Hawaii franchisee, Macaroni Grill Hawaii, said his company is completely separate and not affected by the bankruptcy.
“I was shocked as anybody. We didn’t even know anything about it,” he said. “It has nothing to do with us. We have no affiliation with them whatsoever except for a licensing agreement. This was always the fear of a franchisee. But that’s not me. We just have the same name.”
There are two Romano’s Macaroni Grill restaurants in Hawaii, at Ala Moana Center and in Waikoloa on the Big Island.