Three years after entering the Puerto Rico market, Cousins International Food Corp., franchisees of the International House of Pancakes concept, better known as IHOP, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its two restaurants in Caguas and Barceloneta.
According to the bankruptcy filing, the Caguas-based company owes a combined $2.8 million for both operations, listing the Economic Development Bank and the Treasury Department as the biggest creditors, with $346,467 and $461,831 pending payment, respectively.
The IHOP franchise re-entered the island’s competitive restaurant market in September 2009, with the opening of the Caguas restaurant. It opened a second restaurant in Barceloneta in May 2011.
The popular restaurant chain was first brought to the island in the mid 1990s. However, the franchisee was stripped of his rights due to poor service and restaurant appearance and the eatery — located on Ponce de León Avenue in Hato Rey — closed.
The California-based restaurant chain founded in 1958 specializes in breakfast foods such as pancakes, waffles and omelets but it also features lunch and dinner items on the menu, as well as dessert.
By definition, Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection allows a company to continue operating while they reorganize their finances, hence does not mean the immediate closing of the affected business.