John Jarvis, the founder and chairman of Ramada Jarvis, has admitted that the 42-strong hotel chain might have to restructure its £110m debt burden or sell some properties.
The leisure market has been badly hit by the credit crunch and many of the big hotel groups are thought to be looking to ease the terms of their loans.
Mr Jarvis said: "The hospitality business has levelled out. If we were to do this, a restructuring could look at the whole debt package or we might look at [selling] some of the portfolio."
"All bright management will be looking at their options."
Mr Jarvis floated the business in 1996, and led a management buyout backed by Irish venture capitalist Lioncourt seven years later.
The company was worth about £300m when it was listed on the stock exchange and was taken private for £159m.
Mr Jarvis is a former chairman and chief executive of rival hoteliers Hilton International.