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 10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped

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Root-Beer Man

  • Total Posts: 331
  • Joined: 1/9/2006
  • Location: Noblesville, IN
10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped Thu, 02/6/14 4:01 PM (permalink)
It took them a while, but flop they did. Some of these were favourites of mine. I liked Sambo's and Lums. Even HoJo holds a place in my heart from my childhood travels. I wish they were still around, to be frank. Lums made one my favourite hotdogs ever. Not as good as the Dog House, Jr. in Gulfport, but still a good dog.
 
http://money.howstuffwork...restaurants.htm#page=0
 
 
 
#1
    felix4067

    • Total Posts: 3289
    • Joined: 12/13/2003
    • Location: Near Grand Rapids, MI
    Re:10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped Thu, 02/6/14 4:55 PM (permalink)
    We used to have Burger Chef, but it was pretty bad. I didn't even like it when I was a kid even though getting a burger from a restaurant was a pretty big deal back then.
     
    Sambo's we used to go to all the time! I was on a par with a Village Inn, Denny's, etc. Not wonderful, not bad, just serviceable food for a decent price.
     
    Chi-Chi's is gone? Who's making all their products that sell like mad at the grocery store? I see their brand salsa everywhere I go.
     
    Kenny Roger's Roasters was awful chicken. Awful. And the one we had here was in the stupidest location possible if they expected to do any business. We went once, and then decided it wasn't worth it to drive several blocks out of the way to a residential neighbourhood (it was located by a grocery store, drug store, and gas station) to eat sub-par chicken. And although Bennigan's is not actually one of the ten, its picture is there. I liked them, although I couldn't often afford to go there. They had a killer Monte Christo.
     
    Of the others, the only ones I've ever heard of are Howard Johnson's and Lums, although I've never eaten at either one. I'm more familiar with them through their mention in books I've read than anything else.
     
    #2
      lleechef

      • Total Posts: 6213
      • Joined: 3/22/2003
      • Location: Gahanna, OH
      Re:10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped Thu, 02/6/14 6:00 PM (permalink)
      Chi Chi's folded after the outbreak of Hepatitis A in Pennsylvania that killed 3 people.  Actually the location where it happened was located about 5 miles from my parents' house.  The only other one I heard of was HoJo's...........I have never eaten at either of these places.
       
      #3
        Glenn1234

        • Total Posts: 508
        • Joined: 3/24/2009
        • Location: Northern VA (the nasty Washington D.C. 'burbs part
        Re:10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped Thu, 02/6/14 6:19 PM (permalink)
        Flops?  Wow!  Most restaurateurs would love to have "flops" like those.  Most of those chains lasted several decades.  In the restaurant world, most of those on the list were some VERY long-lived places.  To me, "a flop" is a place that is bad enough so that it closes within about a year after opening.   HoJo's  - A three-quarters of a century "flop"?  I don't think so.  Most on the list lasted a few decades or more. 
        "New Coke".  -  Now THAT was a flop! 
           
         
        Glenn
         
         
        <message edited by Glenn1234 on Thu, 02/6/14 6:21 PM>
         
        #4
          collinf

          • Total Posts: 159
          • Joined: 10/10/2008
          • Location: Shawnee, KS
          Re:10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped Fri, 02/7/14 8:42 AM (permalink)
          Glenn1234


          Flops?  Wow!  Most restaurateurs would love to have "flops" like those.  Most of those chains lasted several decades.  In the restaurant world, most of those on the list were some VERY long-lived places.  To me, "a flop" is a place that is bad enough so that it closes within about a year after opening.   HoJo's  - A three-quarters of a century "flop"?  I don't think so.  Most on the list lasted a few decades or more. 
          "New Coke".  -  Now THAT was a flop! 
           
          Glenn

           
          I agree.  I don't think Howard Johnson's would meet the definition of a flop.  Out of business, yes.  But  a business that is no longer in business does not a flop make.
           
           
           
          #5
            ScreamingChicken

            • Total Posts: 4712
            • Joined: 11/5/2004
            • Location: Stoughton, WI
            Re:10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped Fri, 02/7/14 8:52 AM (permalink)
            I'd never heard of White Tower until reading about it here at RF, and had no idea it was started in Milwaukee.  I imagine the name "Saxe" isn't all that rare, but it still makes me wonder if the Saxes of White Tower have any connection to Saxe's Lone Star located outside of Whitewater.
             
            #6
              MellowRoast

              • Total Posts: 1929
              • Joined: 8/21/2007
              • Location: 'Nooga
              Re:10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped Fri, 02/7/14 9:41 AM (permalink)
              Yes, Howard Johnson's restaurants were successful for decades.
               
              #7
                Davebassman

                • Total Posts: 116
                • Joined: 3/14/2012
                • Location: Herndon, VA
                Re:10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped Fri, 02/7/14 10:59 AM (permalink)
                I grew up in Newport News, VA. We had several of these "failed chains". The local Burger Chef wasn't known for it's food as much as for a place for teenagers to hang out in the parking lot. Sambos was a favorite place to go late-night for munchie food after a night of partying. After Sambo's folded, Jack-In-The-Box was was the only late-night alternative (and it folded soon after). When Chi-Chi's opened at Hampton Coliseum Mall, there were lines around the building to get in. Mexican food (even pseudo-Mexican food) was a novelty in Tidewater in the 70's. I had friends who bartended there and was quite surprised when it folded.
                 
                #8
                  SeamusD

                  • Total Posts: 939
                  • Joined: 4/1/2008
                  • Location: Syracuse, NY
                  Re:10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped Sat, 02/8/14 2:27 PM (permalink)
                  Where I grew up, we had a Lum's across the street from a Sambo's. Always went to Sambo's, never went to Lum's and I'm not sure why. Sambo's turned into a Perkin's, then into a Denny's.
                   
                  #9
                    the grillman

                    • Total Posts: 624
                    • Joined: 6/27/2005
                    • Location: Saint Charles, MO
                    Re:10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped Sun, 02/9/14 9:11 PM (permalink)
                    I remember several of these from when I was a kid...Burger Chef, because you could pile on the lettuce and tomatoes; Howard Johnson, for the clams and the ice cream, and Lums, for the hot dogs, which we always had to go there for whenever my grandmother was with us, she dearly loved those hot dogs steamed in beer.   Don't remember much unique about the others.
                     
                    #10
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