Taylor Gourmet, a sandwich chain based in Washington, D.C., is closing dozens of locations across two cities — and a meeting with Donald Trump is partially to blame, according to the Washingtonian. The chain is rumored to be preparing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy just a year after the chain’s founder held a controversial meeting with Trump.
Taylor Gourmet, which opened its first location in 2008, had been showing signs of trouble for the past few weeks. Earlier in September, the company announced plans to terminate lease agreements at three D.C.-area locations and focus on smaller stores. Then on Friday, Eater Chicago reported the abrupt closures of two area locations; both were less than a year old. The chain has since confirmed plans to shutter 17 more locations in D.C.
Of course, POTUS wasn’t the direct cause of the chain’s financial issues, but sources tell the Washingtonian that Taylor Gourmet co-founder Casey Patten’s meeting with Donald Trump in 2017 hurt the chain’s reputation. Patten was soundly dragged on social media for accepting an invitation to an small business owners event at the White House where he was photographed shaking hands with Donald Trump. Patten later described himself to the Washington Post as “apolitical” and explained that he took part in the meeting in order to discuss immigration and employment issues that might impact Taylor Gourmet’s staff. Customers pledged to boycott the chain.
The PR nightmare led to an alleged 40 percent drop in sales, according to the Washingtonian. A spokesperson confirmed that the controversial meeting “contributed” to an undisclosed dip in sales.
• Hoagie Chain Taylor Gourmet Will Close All of Its Stores [Washingtonian]
• Three Taylor Gourmet Locations Could Close [EDC]
• D.C. Sandwich Icon Taylor Gourmet Shutters Both Chicago Restaurants [ECHI]
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