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Dozens of Papa John’s declare bankruptcy, Marshall location not among them

October 1, 2011
By Per Peterson , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - A day after reports came out in Minnesota about the Papa John's franchisee going bankrupt, Mike Samuelson, owner of the Papa John's location in Marshall, says his operation is safe.

KARE-11 reported Thursday night that the franchisee owner of about 30 Papa John's in Minnesota has declared bankruptcy, but Samuelson said all is well at their location and doesn't think the store here will be affected.

"I can only speak for ourselves and we're in great shape," Samuelson said Friday. "It's gonna be a black mark for everybody."

According to the bankruptcy filing, franchisee H. Cliff Harris filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. Harris estimated on the bankruptcy-filing document that he owes money to more than 200 creditors or as many as 999 creditors. The creditors are companies from all over the country, the KARE 11 report said.

Of the 84 restaurants owned, about 40 of them are in Colorado. The employees of one Denver Papa John's restaurant were notified on Tuesday of the bankruptcy filing. Even though the note says that the purpose of the bankruptcy is to keep the company going while the parent company reorganizes its finances and manages its debt, some employees are skeptical.

The report said some employees were unable to cash this week's paycheck with their banks.

"I've been getting calls from other operators asking me what is going on, but I really don't know much yet," Samuelson said. "I'm still trying to find out. I may never know that much. I'm trying to find out if these stores are still open and if they're getting delivery, because that could affect our delivery, I don't know."

Approximately 700 Papa John's employees are in Minnesota.

In the bankruptcy-filing form, Harris estimated he owes between $10 million and $50 million to creditors. Harris blames his financial problems on the company that sold him the franchises, Papa John's International, Inc., court records said. According to The, the website of ABC's network affiliate in Denver, Harris said Papa John's International caused him to "incur significant damages that are the subject of pending litigation" against the giant franchise-seller.



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