A franchise owner of more than 1,200 Pizza Huts and 385 Wendy’s restaurants is reportedly seeking bankruptcy protection.

The franchisee, NPC International, is one of the largest chain owners in the U.S. The company employs about 37,000 workers.

NPC International was downgraded by S&P Global Ratings as well as Moody’s Investors Service after missing an interest payment on a loan that neared $800 million at the end of January, the Wall Street Journal reported. At the time, the company was already in talks with its lenders, and considering a possible bankruptcy filing, sources told the Journal. The decision to file for bankruptcy comes despite a slight sales increase during the pandemic.

NPC joins a number of other restaurants that have filed for Chapter 11 during the pandemic. Last week, the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza filed for Chapter 11, which was preceded by the bankruptcy filing of Le Pain Quotidien.

In May, Garden Fresh Restaurants, the parent company of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, closed its doors for good as coronavirus guidelines prevent buffet-style restaurants from operating in their normal capacity.

Pizza Hut, however, has started to turn around its lagging sales during the coronavirus pandemic as consumers shifted toward delivery and curbside pickup of food as dining rooms across the country were closed due to stay-at-home orders.

In early May, Yum! Brands, the parent company of Pizza Hut, reported the highest level of delivery and carryout sales in the U.S. in the last eight years. Pizza Hut had a 9% decrease in sales for the first quarter of 2020.

Pizza Hut
A Pizza Hut in Florida is facing backlash after a manager posted a note threatening to punish workers planning to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma, Sept. 11, 2017. In this photo, a patron enters a cigarette-smoke-free Pizza Hut restaurant in Niles, Illinois, Aug. 15, 2005. Getty Images