Sweet Tomatoes closes all Illinois restaurants

All of the suburban Sweet Tomatoes restaurants, known for all-you-can-eat buffets, closed suddenly Tuesday night or this morning.

The company confirmed that restaurants in Schaumburg, St. Charles, Waukegan, Lombard, Aurora and Glenview are no longer in business.

Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., the owner of Sweet Tomatoes, filed for bankruptcy on Monday, according to a company spokesman. The company said it plans to restructure, close locations and put itself up for sale. The company would not immediately release further details about the plan.

After the restructuring, the company will still have about 100 restaurants, some with the name Soup Plantation, which operate mainly in the western U.S. near where Garden Fresh is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Sales at the company have dropped in recent years. System sales at Sweet Tomatoes declined to $187.2 million in its most recent fiscal year, from $192.1 million two years earlier, according to Nation's Restaurant News Top 100 data.

  A would-be customer reads a sign informing the public that Sweet Tomatoes in St. Charles has closed. The parent company declared bankruptcy. Rick West/
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