Back Yard Burgers closes in Tupelo

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – After a seven-year run, Back Yard Burgers franchisee Tim Mitchell has closed his Tupelo restaurant.
His Corinth and Columbus stores remain open, he said Tuesday.
“I appreciate all the customers we’ve had over the years,” he said. “We had quite a few that ate with us everyday and I hate it for them and our employees.”
The restaurant, located next to BancorpSouth on South Gloster Street in front of Gloster Creek Village, officially closed Monday. It employed 16.
The store’s last business day was Saturday.
Monte Jump, chief marketing officer for the Nashville-based restaurant chain, couldn’t get into specifics for the store’s closing. But he said closings of company-owned and franchised locations usually occur when the stores are either under-performing or are no longer financially feasible to continue operating.
Mitchell also declined to comment on why he closed the Tupelo location.
Back Yard Burgers was founded in Cleveland, Miss., in 1987 and moved its headquarters to Memphis in 1990. The company was acquired by BBAC and BBAC Merger Sub Inc. in 2007 and moved to Nashville. At the time of the merger, Back Yard Burgers operated 181 restaurants.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 17 of last year. At the time of its filing, Back Yard Burgers owned 25 stores, and another 64 were franchised stores.
The company said declining sales, higher food costs and high lease rates were factors in its Chapter 11 filing.
Jump said the company expects to emerge from Chapter 11 “soon,” with an eye toward future growth.
He said a reopening of the Tupelo store was a possibility if a franchise operator was available and if the company thought it would be financially feasible to do so.
Carlie Kollath contributed to this report.

Click video to hear audio