Perkins Restaurant and Bakery
|This article is outdated. (March 2014)|
|Industry||Restaurant and Bakery|
|Headquarters||Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.|
|Key people||Jeff Warne, CEO|
|Revenue||$352.3 million as of FY 2005|
|Owners||Wayzata Investment Partners|
|Parent||Perkins & Marie Callender's|
The Perkins chain was established in 1958, when Matt and Ivan Perkins opened Perkins Pancake House in Cincinnati, Ohio. Throughout the Sixties, the chain expanded as a franchise. One franchisee in Minnesota, Wyman Nelson, introduced an expanded menu and an aggressive advertising campaign in 1967.
Between 1969 and 1978 Nelson consolidated Perkins and another chain, Smitty's, into Perkins 'Cake & Steak'. From headquarters in Edina, Minnesota, Nelson assumed nationwide development control of the company, and focused on opening over 220 Perkins Cake & Steak House restaurants. In 1979, Matt and Ivan Perkins retired, and sold their remaining interest in the company, including all trademark and distribution rights. In August 1979, Perkins became a wholly owned subsidiary of Memphis-based Holiday Inns, Inc. Corporate headquarters were established in Memphis, Tennessee. Matt Perkins died of heart disease in 1991 at age 79. Ivan Perkins died on February 11, 1998, and his wife Cecilia died February 25, 2013, at the age of 97.
In 1985 restaurant entrepreneur Donald N. Smith, who then served on the Board of Directors of Holiday Inns, purchased an ownership interest in Perkins and became Chairman of the Board and the company's CEO. Smith remodeled buildings, and introduced in-store bakeries, and distinctive brand imagery and standardized signage. The company became focused on table-service family dining.
The company was renamed Perkins Family Restaurants in 1987, and was organized into a master limited partnership with interests publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Perkins also expanded internationally, opening a restaurant in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. In 1990, the company began its philanthropic relationship with Give Kids the World, contributing money and meals to the Florida-based charity for terminally ill children from around the world.
In 1992 the company introduced a new building design, with the prototype restaurant opening in Springfield, Illinois, with an arched exterior façade with neon lights and an interior design with a central kitchen and baking with separate dining wings.
In the 2000s Perkins underwent business changes. In 2000 it merged with a wholly owned subsidiary of The Restaurant Company. In 2005 the parent company, TRC, was acquired by Castle Harlan, a New York-based private equity investment firm, for approximately US$245 million. In May 2006 TRC also acquired Marie Callender's, a chain of casual dining restaurants also known for their freshly baked pies.
By 2011 the company, now more than 50 years old, was in financial trouble. In June 2011 many restaurants were closed across the country with no notice given to customers and staff. There were closures in Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, and Minnesota.  Later that month, Perkins & Marie Callender's Inc. filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The company closed about 65 restaurants and laid off 2,500 workers. In the bankruptcy proceedings the company listed assets of $290 million and liabilities of $441 million. The company emerged from bankruptcy at the end of November, 2011, but continued to experience difficulties: in May 2012 it was announced that all Western New York area Perkins restaurants would close. 
- "Matthew R. Perkins, Restaurant Founder, 79".
- "Perkins, Marie Callender's Complete Combination".
- "June 2011 Closure - Michigan".
- "June 2011 Closure - Walnut Creek/Concord, CA". The San Francisco Chronicle. June 12, 2011.
- "June 2011 Closure - Spokane, WA".
- "June 2011 Closure - Santa Rosa, CA".
- "June 2011 Closure - Orlando, FL".
- "June 2011 Closure - Colorado".
- McCarty, Dawn; Milford, Phil; Smith, Heather (June 13, 2011). "Bankruptcy". Bloomberg.