OCEAN FRONT WALK ‚Äî The owner of Hot Dog on a Stick has filed for bankruptcy protection.
HDOS Enterprises says its total debt ranges from $1 million to $10 million and it estimates assets between $10 million and $50 million.
The Los Angeles Times reports the Chapter 11 filing was made Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles.
Chief Executive Dan Smith said in a statement that like many mall-based businesses, HDOS signed expensive leases during the booming mid-2000s and that declining mall foot traffic in recent years has negatively impacted many locations.
Smith said the company, which is owned by employees, will operate as usual while it reorganizes.
Smith said the company is pursuing new leases in other locations and that it would try to renegotiate leases with landlords. Smith also said that the Chapter 11 filing would allow the company to reorganize and find more efficient ways to run its business.
The employee-owned company known for its colorful staff uniforms, battered and deep-fried hot dogs and lemonade was founded in Santa Monica near the famed Muscle Beach in 1946 and has about 93 locations, including the original shack in Santa Monica.
Representatives could not be reached for comment regarding the Ocean Front Walk location, which was originally called Party Puffs. Founder Dave Barham changed its name to Hot Dog on a Stick in 1948. Barham passed away in 1991 and left 100 percent of the company to his employees.
The corporate headquarters are located in Carlsbad, Calif.
The stores use a lot of hot dogs, roughly 4.2 million in a year, according to the company, and even more lemons for its signature lemonade.