KUSA - As 9NEWS first reported on Wednesday, the two local Steak 'n Shake restaurants will not be closing as a result of a dispute with the local franchisees. The stores were not open as of Thursday morning, and signs were posted on their doors that they were "temporarily" closed. But negotiations between the company's corporate lawyers and the lawyers for the local owners are underway, and a resolution to a four-month long dispute is expected at any moment.
Sources quoted by 9NEWS said by sometime on Thursday, the stores will reopen with new owners. Those owners will be either the Steak 'n Shake corporation itself or another Steak 'n Shake franchisee who is operating in Colorado Springs.
The original Denver franchisees are attempting to recover some of their losses before surrendering their rights to the Centennial and Sheridan stores.
Sources close to the franchisees said on Wednesday that they believe it has been Steak 'n Shake's intent all along to recover corporate ownership of the stores, as they continue to be very popular. The two operations were earning about $2.5 million annually, and are among the most popular Steak 'n Shakes in the country. That means that the stores were bringing in more dollars than most McDonalds franchises, and were also out earning most Taco Bells and even most Jack in the Box restaurants.
The center of the dispute began when the Denver franchisees claimed to be losing money with the popular $4 menu meal selections - a promotion they attempted to stop offering unless individual customers asked for it.
A four-month long court battle followed, and ended Wednesday with the court finding against the franchisees.