Wild Edibles, Bennigan’s Go Bankrupt

Two big names are going bust-o: Wild Edibles and Bennigan’s. Wild Edibles filed for bankruptcy after losing a lengthy war with its labor force. “Over the last year, the labor group Brandworkers International has persuaded 33 of Wild Edibles’ restaurant customers to take their business elsewhere,” reports Crain’s. (The death blow may have been Jeffrey Chodorow’s China Grill.) In its bankruptcy filing, Wild Edibles declared $2.1 million owed to creditors, including several seafood wholesalers in Hunts Point. It’s a rare victory for labor against management: “The company has been accused of failing to pay employees overtime and of retaliating against workers trying to organize,” says Crain’s. No such explanation was necessary to explain why Bennigan’s and its sister operation, Steak & Ale, have gone down: Bloomberg reports that the chain had earlier announced that “similar to other members of the casual-dining industry, current economic and industry trends have adversely affected the group’s overall financial performance.” Has it ever.

Wild Edibles Files for Bankruptcy Protection [Crain’s NY]
Bennigan’s, Steak & Ale Chains Seek Bankruptcy [Bloomberg]