Garden Fresh Restaurants (Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes) is liquidating all assets under its Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. The chain, which employed thousands and was a popular place to dine with self-service food bars, was not able to survive the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and permanently closed all of its 97 restaurants and three distribution centers in early May. It is, to date, the largest restaurant bankruptcy and liquidation as a result of the pandemic.
The equipment and contents are being auctioned online until June 30 in locations across the US at www.RestaurantEquipment.Bid.
The Garden Fresh bankruptcy and resulting liquidation is an important story about the challenges facing the restaurant industry as a result of the pandemic. According to the National Restaurant Association, the industry lost over $225 billion in revenue, putting over 8 million people out of work and resulting in the temporary or permanent closing of over 150,000 locations.
Neal Sherman, president of TAGeX Brands (which operates RestaurantEquipment.Bid), an expert in restaurant closures, equipment, and liquidation says, “Garden Fresh’s bankruptcy is an early sign of the challenges to come for the restaurant industry in the wake of COVID-19. Our aim with online auctions is to ensure that quality items don’t end up in a landfill – but instead allows for sustainable repurposing that not only makes economic sense but will provide a positive outcome for surviving restaurant operators who can benefit from this liquidation.”
RestaurantEquipment.Bid is a marketplace for furniture, fixtures, small wares and supplies for restaurants. The company, part of TAGeXBrands (www.TAGeXBrands.com), specializes in closures and asset liquidation in the food service industry.
Garden Fresh was founded in 1978 in San Diego, expanding across the US with over 23 locations in Florida. At the time of the bankruptcy there were over 4,400 employees and 97 locations.