RMH Franchise Holdings, which owns all three Lincoln Applebee's locations, declared bankruptcy Tuesday morning. The restaurants remain open for now.

The company that owns the three Lincoln Applebee's restaurants has filed for bankruptcy.

RMH Franchise Holdings, which owns the Lincoln Applebee's as well as eight others in Nebraska, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday morning in Delaware.

The petition filed Tuesday listed RMH Holdings as well as affiliated companies RMH Franchise Corp., NuLnk Inc., RMH Illinois LLC and Contex Restaurants Inc.

In its bankruptcy petition, the company, which has corporate offices in both Lincoln and Atlanta, listed both its assets and liabilities as being between $100 million and $500 million. The petition said the estimated number of creditors is between 5,000 and 10,000.

No list of creditors or any other document other than the bankruptcy petition was filed on Tuesday.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing gives a company a chance to reorganize its finances under a court's supervision so it can attempt to stay in business.

Robin Jenkins, a spokeswoman for RMH Franchise, said all locations will remain open and operating during the bankruptcy process.

"We are excited to continue serving our guests in all our neighborhoods," she said in an email.

Like many established restaurant chains, Applebee's has struggled over the past few years with competition from newer chains and a preference among millennials for fast-casual chains.

Dine Global Brands, the parent company of Applebee's, closed nearly 100 locations last year and said it planned to close another 60 to 80 this year.

RMH Franchise, which is the second-largest Applebee's franchisee, currently owns 163 locations in 15 states, which is down from 167 just a couple of months ago and 173 three years ago.

In addition to the Lincoln Applebee's, RMH owns locations in Columbus, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, North Platte, Scottsbluff, Sidney and York.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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