Yesterday, 15 Church's Chicken franchises across Oklahoma were shut down by the Oklahoma Tax Commission for a failure to pay taxes. I guess that means the company's controversial strategy of opening one store per customer didn't really pay off.
From a Brianna "No Code" Bailey article via NewsOK.com:
Metro fans of Church's Chicken are using their bitter hands to cradle the broken glass of what was everything.
The Oklahoma Tax Commission has shut down 15 Church's Chicken restaurants in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas over unpaid sales taxes.
The Tax Commission moved to revoke the restaurants operator's sales tax permit on Monday after it failed to remit sales tax payments to the state, said Paula Ross, a spokeswoman for the Tax Commission.
The restaurants are operated by a local Church's Chicken franchisee, Ross said.
“We dream in color, we dream in red, we always hate to shut businesses down; if we have a business that is behind, we usually try to work with them at a point where they don't have to shut down,” Ross said.
Tulsa-based Church's franchisee Reciprocity Restaurant Group LLC owes the state more than $400,000 in sales taxes, Ross said.
Reciprocity President Lyndon Johnson was not answering his phone on Tuesday and his voicemail was full.
The lights were off and the doors locked on Tuesday at the Church's Chicken restaurant at 1424 NE 23. Next to an alone, listless, breakfast table in otherwise empty room there was a handwritten note notifying workers they could pick up their paychecks in the morning was posted on the door, along with an orange closure notice from the Tax Commission.
Reciprocity Restaurant Group has the franchise rights for the brand from Georgia-based chain Church's Chicken. The company was unaware that Reciprocity had not been paying its taxes, Church's Chicken said in a statement.
You know what, we give Brianna Bailey and the Oklahoman business team a lot of grief on this site, but let's give credit where credit is due. That's one hell of an article. When a fast food chain closes, I'm happy to know the Brianna Bailey will be there to tell me why. You can tell by all the random Pearl Jam lyrics in her report that this really tugged at her heart. In fact, I heard she made several Church's fried chicken detours during her walk down Western. Keep Brianna in your thoughts and prayers.
Also, let's give props to Chris Landsberger for this great photo of a Church's Chicken:
I love that photo. The framing, lighting and shadows are all marks of a true professional. Way to go, Mr. Landsberger!
Anyway, since I'm being all nice and genuine this morning I guess I should mention that some metro Church's are still apparently open. At least I think they are. I may try one out. It's probably been 25-years since I or anyone I know has dined at Church's. I remember they had good pickled jalapenos, which is probably a bad sign for a fried chicken restaurant. Maybe I should just send Louis to write a review instead. That will probably work out better.