Rumors are swirling that the Steak 'n Shake chain is not in good shape and the restaurant's future may be uncertain. Currently there are two locations in Kalamazoo and one in Battle Creek.

A judge recently ordered Steak 'n Shake to pay up $7.7 million. The Biglari Holdings Inc.-owned chain became embroiled in legal drama after 286 store managers claimed they had worked 50- to 70-hour weeks without receiving overtime pay.

The U.S. District judge granted a $6 million award and demanded the company pay $1.6 million in attorney fees and $40,000 for other costs associated with the case, according to Delish. In the lawsuit, the St. Louis-based employees allege that Steak 'n Shake incorrectly classified them as exempt, while still requiring 50-plus-hour work weeks. They were also asked to simultaneously complete "non-managerial" tasks due to understaffing.

The steak burger and shake chain is also facing a similar lawsuit brought on by 1,300 other managers. Meanwhile, the company is in mediation with the original plaintiffs, but according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from May 3, Biglari Holdings Inc. will appeal the verdict

There have been other signs of trouble. Execs temporarily shut down 44 restaurants in March as sales continued to decline though a representative with the company said that some were closed to allow a franchise to take over while others were closed for equipment upgrades.

There is not word on what if any affect the chains corporate woes are having on the Battle Creek and two Kalamazoo locations.


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