Eight Papa John’s units in Northern California were shuttered suddenly last week as the franchise operator reportedly prepares for a bankruptcy filing.

The eight stores were operated by a franchise company called APNA Investments Inc., but phone numbers for the company appeared to be disconnected.

A note reportedly posted on the doors of the restaurants blamed “circumstances beyond our control.” The note also said a bankruptcy filing was anticipated and recommended that employees seek unemployment compensation.

The units were located in Sacramento, as well as the nearby towns of Roseville, Rocklin, Folsom, Vacaville and Fairfield. One unit reportedly operated by the franchisee remained open this week in Sacramento, but calls to the restaurant’s operators were not returned at press time.

On the Papa John’s Pizza Facebook page, company officials said they were surprised to learn of the restaurant closures on Sept. 20.

“Papa John’s was surprised to learn yesterday that APNA Investments, a Sacramento-area franchisee, had made the sudden decision to close their restaurants,” the post said. “We are also disappointed that the franchisee cannot pay its employees their final paychecks; we encourage those affected to contact the franchise owners to determine their options.”

The company also will reach out to team members to offer “guidance and possible assistance through a Franchise Team Member Relief Fund,” the Facebook post said.

Papa John’s International Inc., based in Louisville, Ky., operates or franchises more than 3,220 restaurants in North America and nearly 1,000 units in its 34-country international division.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout