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This Once-Thriving Seafood Chain Just Declared Bankruptcy

The company was named one of the top franchises of 2020.

New Orleans–inspired full-service chain The Lost Cajun, which was named one of the top franchises in 2020, has now joined the unfortunate group of restaurant businesses severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The gumbo-and-seafood concept has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, seeking protection after several of its locations closed down and with more closures pending.

According to court documents reviewed by Restaurant Business, The Lost Cajun reported liabilities of more than $1.4 million and assets of about $338,000. The chain currently includes 25 locations across seven states, with the majority located in Colorado where it was founded. However, it expects to shut down more locations.

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"A number of The Lost Cajun franchisees failed and those that remain open suffered significant revenue losses, with some indicating to the franchisor that closings are imminent," the company said in the filing.

Founded in 2010 by Raymond "Griff" Griffin, the chain started franchising in 2018 and had dozens of locations in the pipeline at the time. While the company tried to alleviate its franchisees of some of the financial burden brought on by the pandemic, like eliminating franchisee fees and reducing employee salaries, some operators still went out of business.

The company didn't outline reorganization plans in its court filing, but according to the Denver Business Journal, there still may be hope for the chain's survival. According to the company's LinkedIn page, 9 locations in Colorado are still open, and the chain is seeing some of its business returning.

For more on recent restaurant closures, check out Parent Company of These 6 Restaurant Chains Just Declared Bankruptcy, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

Mura Dominko
Mura is a Deputy Editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more