Beloved Restaurant Chains We Might Sadly Lose In 2020


No, we can’t say for certain that these restaurants
will be gone for good in 2020. After all, many of them are revamping their
menus and business models in the hopes of staying afloat. But will they succeed? Here are some chains that might be closing
in 2020 unless things turn around. Hungry? Well, perhaps a pop into Perkins will do the
trick. “Hi, I’m Jenny, your server, and I believe
this is yours.” “No, I ordered the omelette.” “Oh I’m sorry, I’ll just…” “Oh nuh nuh nuh nuh no. Wait. That looks really good.” But good luck finding a Perkins restaurant. As of November 2019, there are only 300 Perkins
locations scattered throughout the United States. While it’s unlikely that every location will
be boarded up by the end of 2020, the restaurant chain has definitely seen better days. Perkins is in financial trouble. In August 2019, Perkins & Marie Callender’s
Inc., which merged in 2006, filed for bankruptcy protection, and 10 underperforming Perkins
restaurants were closed. Business isn’t exactly on the upswing, either. In September 2019, the restaurant group split
after 13 years of partnership, and now Perkins is part of the Waffle House knockoff Huddle
House. The brand has blamed dwindling guest traffic,
minimum wage hikes, and the labor market for its struggling restaurants. Those struggles, though, have been going on
for years. Filing for bankruptcy protection, closing
multiple restaurants, and ending a once successful business relationship? None of this suggests good things are on the
horizon, but perhaps it isn’t all doom and gloom. Huddle House is reporting pretty strong business,
so maybe some of that energy can be transferred over to Perkins. We wish we could tell you Marie Callender’s
is in good shape, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, it’s safe to say Marie Callender’s
is seriously struggling right now, so gather ye pot pies while ye may! “The warm, home-cooked happiness of Marie
Callender’s pot pies. So delicious because we start from scratch!” There are only 28 Marie Callender’s restaurants
still operating, and it’s worth noting that there were nearly twice as many locations
still open in 2017. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that
this spells bad news for a brand. In August 2019, the brand lost 19 locations,
but a Salt Lake City location did later reopen. So there’s that? While Marie Callender’s has been around since
the 1940s, it was clearly the weaker link in the partnership with Perkins. Perkins was sold to Huddle House for $51.5
million, but Marie Callender’s fetched a far lower price, selling for just $1.75 million. It wasn’t picked up by another brand, but
it was purchased by a new company that named itself Marie Callender’s Inc. The brand is having a tough time competing
with similar chains such as the Black Bear Diner. Long story short, if you have a Marie Callender’s
in your town, enjoy it while you can. Rotisserie chicken restaurants aren’t exactly
spreading like wildfire these days, and even Boston Market is struggling to stay afloat. In fact, numerous locations are on the chopping
block, even though the chain offers slow-roasted chicken that’s free of antibiotics. “In a world of fake, fried and frozen, Boston
Market promises to make food good.” In July 2019, the company announced that 10
percent of its stores would be closing for good. In a letter, CEO Frances Allen claimed these
closures were necessary, writing that: “We must take steps to ensure our operational
structure will support long-term sustainability. Part of that effort involves continuously
analyzing our geographic footprint and real estate portfolio to assess the ongoing viability
of locations.” Unfortunately, sales were down in 2018, too. In fact, Boston Market’s financial troubles
go back at least 20 years. Before Boston Market was bought and subsequently
sold by McDonald’s, the chain filed for bankruptcy in 1998. The company is clearly hoping to turn things
around, offering a new loyalty program, menu additions, and a revised branding strategy
to accompany mobile ordering. Only time will tell if this bird is cooked
for good. In 2017, Food Business News declared a “burger
boom,” with growing chains like Habit Burger Grill on the rise. Surely a “burger boom” would be great news
for an established gourmet burger chain like Red Robin, right? Wrong! Better stock up on all your favorite breakout
burgers while you still can! “From the Red Robin kitchens, destined to
be a breakout burger! The El Ranchero, with candied bacon, onion
straws, and a jalapeno ranch kick.” Sadly, Red Robin is currently struggling to
stay afloat. In fact, sales have been slipping at the chain
for some time. In early 2018, the chain announced it would
be cutting overhead costs by getting rid of busboys. John Gordon, an analyst at Pacific Management
Consulting Group, was simply beside himself over the move, telling Nation’s Restaurant
News: “It was just atrocious. We knew that was going to screw up the customer
flow and…sure enough, it did.” In June 2019, Nation’s Restaurant News reported
that, “Red Robin’s stock [is] trading at about
$31 a share, down from $55 in early January 2018.” By November 2019, the chain had a net loss
of $1.8 million, despite an uptick in same-store sales at certain locations. Traffic was down at restaurants, but the average
customer’s check was up. That might count as a small win. Nevertheless, execs at Red Robin suspended
its refranchising program, claiming the idea would be revisited when the numbers looked
a bit better. Although the company recently brought on a
new CEO, Red Robin is still a long way away from flying high. Make no mistake: Tim Hortons is still doing
well quite well in its native Canada. In fact, Restaurant Business reports that
80 percent of Canadians visit a Tim Hortons location at least once a month. Unfortunately, its United States locations
aren’t doing quite so hot, despite, or perhaps because of, special Mother’s Day promotions
like this: “I think it’s very important to recognize
moms, because moms are the heart and soul of communities.” And to think that almost half the chain’s
American locations are just a stone’s throw away from Canada. Sadly, many U.S. locations are reportedly
closing up shop due to a distinct decline in sales. Factors reportedly include regionalization
and problems, plus intense competition from other chains like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. As of November 2019, Tim Hortons can be found
in twelve states, but locations seem to be closing left and right. Half of its Minnesota stores closed in Spring
2019, followed by closings in Michigan and Ohio later that year. Tim Hortons has plans to expand to Europe,
Mexico, and Asia, but its future success in the U.S. remains murky at best. In August 2019, research analyst Miranda Lambert
told CNBC: “Anywhere where Starbucks and/or Dunkin hasn’t
completely taken over, I think might actually be a better fit for them.” Well, that pretty much cancels out the entire
United States, doesn’t it? Hungry? Why not head over to the nearest Steak ‘n
Shake and treat yourself to a fabulous feast? “A Steak ‘n Shake burger tastes different
because it’s fresh.” “There’s a love that marinates in your mouth.” But if you’re indeed craving Steak n’ Shake,
you may want to head over there as soon as possible. After all, the closure of 100 restaurants
is never a good thing for a chain, even if those closures are supposedly “temporary.” By September 2019, Steak ‘n Shake had closed
over 106 restaurants, and the chain lost a staggering $861,000 in the year’s third financial
quarter, according to QSR Magazine. In 2019, the beloved diner, known for its
shakes and steak burgers, cut a quarter of its company-owned restaurants. But at least Steak n’ Shake lost less money
in 2019 than it did in 2018. Nevertheless, the chain is basically bleeding
cash. In fact, November 2019 marked the 12th straight
period of floundering sales, according to Indiana Business Journal. Steak ‘n Shake tried to shape up in 2018 by
launching a plan to move every company-owned restaurant to the franchise model. Sadly, it seems this initiative barely got
off the ground. So far, only four of these 100-plus restaurants
have reopened under franchise partnerships. Who knows? Perhaps your local Steak ‘n Shake will reopen
in 2020. Perhaps not. If you happen to live near a Steak ‘n Shake
that is still in business, we strongly urge you to order your favorite steak burger while
you still can. It might be a good time to cue up Mick Jagger
singing “Goodbye Ruby Tuesday.” Because the American chain of the same name
has been seriously struggling lately. “I say Ruby, you say…” “Can I just eat?” “And dessert to share!” “Halo!” “Dinner for two at Ruby Tuesday!” Between August 2017 and January 2018, Ruby
Tuesday closed over 100 locations due to a significant decline in dine-in traffic. We wish we could report that this famous bar
and grill has once again become a bustling suburban hotspot, but no. There were even more closures in 2019, and
now, there are only 460 locations left. That’s quite a drop from the 950 Ruby Tuesday
restaurants that existed a decade ago. The powers that be at Ruby Tuesday have certainly
tried turning things around: They’ve brought in numerous CEOs and revamped the chain’s
menu several times. So far, nothing has worked. While it’s unlikely that the remaining 460
Ruby Tuesday locations will all close in 2020, we do expect that number to keep dwindling. Friendly’s went through some tough times in
2019, and 2020 isn’t looking much brighter. In April 2019, the chain closed 23 of its
restaurants in the Northeast. Higher-ups at the company blamed the closures
on slow sales, claiming that people were reaching for healthier options instead of scarfing
down endless ice cream sundaes. Hard to say whether or not there’s any truth
to that assertion. But for whatever reason, several more restaurants
closed in Massachusetts and New York in November and December 2019, leaving staffers in the
dust. “Former Friendly employees now demanding answers
after a shutdown shocker.” In a statement, a spokesperson for Friendly’s
said that, “As shifting consumer demographics and market
dynamics present challenges across the industry, it is incumbent on us to regularly evaluate
our restaurant footprint with a focus on long-term viability…Unfortunately, in some cases,
this process results in the difficult decision to close underperforming locations that can
no longer be sustained by the local market.” Sadly, we strongly suspect 2020 will be another
tough year for this American diner and ice cream parlor. In this day and age, delivery apps and fast-casual
seem to be the dominating trends in the food industry, and cafeterias are quickly going
the way of the video store. Chain cafeterias like Luby’s are starting
to become a forgotten relic of the past, and the Texas-based eatery has recently fallen
upon tough times. “Luby’s is an institution. It kind of feels like home to me? I know what to expect at Luby’s, and it’s
always a warm environment.” Well, even though Luby’s has been a Texas
tradition for over 65 years, its sales have been declining, and several locations have
closed up shop. In July 2019, the brand shuttered several
restaurants in an attempt to pay off a hefty amount of debt. Yes, it turns out the company is financially
in the hole, to the tune of $35.9 million. That’s an awful lot of money, and Luby’s declining
sales can’t be helping. CEO Chris Pappas admitted in November 2019, “We are not pleased with our shareholder value,
same-store sales, guest traffic results, or corporate overhead.” According to Restaurant Business, the company
started to explore what they called “strategic alternatives” back in September 2019. And what would such strategies entail? Hard to say, but we suspect that means they’re
trying to sell the brand. If so, even more locations could close as
a result. According to the Small Business Trends website,
pizzerias are one of the most profitable restaurant formats today. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be helping the
pizza chain Pie Five. The company has only been around since 2011,
and it might not last long into the new decade. The Dallas-based chain has shrunk by about
40 percent: Two years ago, there were 100 locations. As of December 2019, there are only 58 locations
that are still open. Meanwhile, sales at the pizzeria continue
to slip each fiscal quarter. In September 2019, Pie Five’s parent company
Rave Restaurant Group brought in former Noodles & Company executive Scott Black. In an announcement, the company said: “Scott is assisting us in sharpening our distinctive
service model to create a guest experience that capitalizes on the customization, approachability,
and speed of dining with Pie Five.” The company also landed new CEO Brandon Solano
in October, who believes the restaurant’s trouble boils down to the fact that nobody
really knows all that much about it. “Pie Five went wrong from the beginning. Consumers don’t know what Pie Five stands
for…If all you stand for is, ‘Hey, we sell pizza,’ you are in deep weeds.” Solano and a research firm are reportedly
trying to figure out how to make Pie Five more appetizing to potential customers. Perhaps they should start by adding the word
“Pizza” into the name somewhere. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about restaurant
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26 thoughts on “Beloved Restaurant Chains We Might Sadly Lose In 2020

  1. How can a corporate chain blame minimum wage hikes? It was stagnant for two decades, and your busy model failed cos of greed.

  2. Even though unemployment is low families cannot afford to eat out. This is not a good sign. What is going to happen if we pay a living wage?

  3. So what I’m hearing is restaurants that have bad service or mediocre food with higher prices are struggling. Well color me shocked.

  4. Steak and shake always seems to suffer from terrible service although the food is usually decent.
    Friendly's for whatever reason never seemed to advertise the fact that they actually sold food not just ice cream.
    And especially in the wintertime people aren't eating as much ice cream.
    But they had fantastic burgers and other freshly cooked items.

  5. I ate at Marie Callender‘s four years ago. Or should I say the last time I ate at Marie Callender‘s. The food was seriously dated by a couple decades. I believe this is why they are struggling. They need to update their recipes. Their pies are absolutely wonderful, but everything else I would not recommend.

    Steak ‘n Shake what can I say. It is not the same place as it was in 1964. Back then they kept their hamburger meat in a refrigerator next to the grill. We will take a handful of hamburger shape it and cook it. They did not squish the burger trying to get all the moisture out. It was heavenly. And I’ll never forget there’s fruit baskets either. Out of nostalgia I last tried Steak ‘n Shake two years ago. It was awful, and the burgers were even worse.

  6. The reason why ice cream parlors are having a hard time is because of people trying to eat more healthy…. But, indulging in something really good, we are looking for the ice cream custard’s, less air wiped in. It is expensive, but, eating less and enjoying more.

  7. I love the happy beat music that plays while this tragedy unfolds. Oh oh do y'all have a video on Bonanza Restaurants? I wanna see that. We had one near my hometown and I'd love to relive that.

  8. Here in Florida we call it steak and wait. Terrible service, long time to get any food. And they don’t care… Bye

  9. Good riddance to these relics of an old world… Meat is horrific, disgusting, and the past… Veganism is the future 🙏🏼 if these places can’t keep up with the times, than they’re going to close. Goodbye 👋🏼

  10. I never knew Marie Calendar was a restaurant, I thought they one sold frozen dinner in grocery stores 🤦🏽‍♀️😂

  11. Some of these restaurant names are just terrible – Friendlys? Pie 5, Ruby Tuesday… generic Steak and Shake, its not a name that makes u wanna get up and go out to.

  12. Just had S&S yesterday, love the burgers & skakes…not feeling the, miniature shoe string fries though! It's all about, the fries with me! They taste just fine, but bigger is always better for my buck! #Ijs

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