SACRAMENTO, CA - Eight Papa John's take-out and delivery pizzerias in the Sacramento area closed Friday to the surprise of employees and customers.
The eight stores are on Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento; Fulton Avenue, Sacramento; Elverta Road, Sacramento; Foothills Boulevard, Roseville; Sunset Boulevard, Rocklin; Blue Ravine Road, Folsom; Peabody Road, Vacaville and N. Texas Street, Fairfield.
A note on the door of one of the shuttered stores identified the franchisee as APNA Investments. Papa John's corporate headquarters in Louisville listed Kishan Patel as the contact.
The note blamed "circumstances beyond our control" for the shutdown.
One employee in Folsom found out the franchisee was in trouble when the bank refused to honor his paycheck.
The note said APNA Investments anticipates filing for bankruptcy and advised employees to seek unemployment compensation from the Employment Development Department.
Papa John's corporate spokesman Darryl Carr in Louisville said three Sacramento-area Papa John's locations would remain open.
One of the remaining locations, at 2580 Arena Boulevard in Natomas, is listed as the headquarters of APNA Investments with Chetan Patel the agent for service.
There was no immediate explanation as to why the Natomas store wasn't among those shut down.
Carr said the eight stores had been struggling, but that corporate officials were blindsided when the franchisee notified them Friday morning that he was shutting down the same day.
"We certainly could have helped them look at some other options," he said.
Papa John's would seek a new franchisee to take over some or all of the shuttered stores, Carr said.
John Schnatter founded Papa John's in 1984. According to the company Website, Papa John's either owns or franchises 4,200 restaurants in all 50 states and 35 countries.