Eagan-based Buffets Inc. is headed back into bankruptcy. The restaurant chain filed for bankruptcy reorganization three years ago, but the company says that restructuring didn't free the firm from many bad leases that weighed down its finances.
The privately-held chain says it has also been hurt by the sluggish economy, high unemployment and a lack of discretionary income among its core customers.
Now, Buffets plans to close 81 of its 494 restaurants. The company will identify the affected restaurants later this week.
Buffets will also give lenders control of the company. The company's restaurants operate under the Old Country Buffet, Ryan's, Tahoe Joe's and other brands.
In a statement, Buffets CEO Mike Andrews said the restructuring arrangement will give the company the resources to revitalize its remaining restaurants.