America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains

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Foodbme
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2012/06/10 16:57:32 (permalink)

America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains

All of these chains are in decline. Some are in Bankruptcy. The $64,000.00 Question is WHY?
Most of them fall into the "Casual Dining" Category:
  1. Bennigan's
  2. Ground Round Grill & Bar
  3. Baker's Square
  4. Damon's
  5. Don Pablo
  6. Gloria Jean's Coffees
  7. Big Boy
  8. Tony Roma's
  9. Country Kitchen
  10. Black Angus
If you want to read the whole article:
http://247wallst.com/2011/10/12/america%e2%80%99s-disappearing-restaurant-chains/
#1

29 Replies Related Threads

    gostillerz
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/10 17:13:44 (permalink)
    I always liked Don Pablo's. It's a shame about Big Boy though.
    #2
    michaelcarraher
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/10 19:05:43 (permalink)
    It's a Darwinian business.  Failure rates for restaurants are extremely high.  Restaurants are always going under and new restaurants (and chains) are always opening.
    Often chains start out well and then over expand (including taking on too much debt) or fail to maintain good quality control over their various locations.
    Or tastes change.  Casual dining restaurants seem to be losing ground to fast casual.
    And often these restaurants, with their faux atmospheres, aren't able to build strong customer loyalty (the way real Roadfood restaurants do).  Any restaurant, except maybe turnpike rest stops, needs for people to keep coming back.
    #3
    mr chips
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/10 20:29:51 (permalink)
    None of these restaurants had very good food. Black Angus and Tony Roma were the only 2 of these chains with much of a presence in the pacific northwest and I really did not eat at either one in the last 20 years.
    #4
    felix4067
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/10 20:54:11 (permalink)
    Mostly I think it's because other than a few small differences, they are all exactly the same place, and they all cluster together. You can only have so many restaurants that are virtually indistinguishable from one another in the same 1/2-mile stretch of road before something has to give.
    #5
    ann peeples
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/11 10:58:28 (permalink)
    With the exception of Bakers Square, we havent seen any of the restaurants Foodbme mentioned in years in the Milwaukee area. I still mourn the closing of Big Boy around here.
    #6
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/11 11:39:51 (permalink)
    Big Boy (franchisee: Frischs) is alive and doing quite well in Cincinnati
     
    Some of the others have existed at one time or another in Cincinnati but only one of them is left - Don Pablos - with very few locations remaining
    #7
    SeamusD
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/11 11:44:23 (permalink)
    I liked Don Pablo also, but found it a bit more expensive than some of the other Mexican places in the Columbus area when I lived out there. I have a propensity to eat at local places rather than chains anyway.
    But, I did go to Tony Roma's and Black Angus in Bellevue, WA on occasion, and don't remember ever having an unacceptable meal.
    #8
    wanderingjew
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/11 11:55:41 (permalink)
    We don't have any of those chains here in RI
     
    The chains that seem to do well here are KFC, Taco Bell, Smokey Bones, On The Border and Chipotle's. Actually the most popular chain is probably Panera
     
    Frankly if they all went away I wouldn't mind a bit!
    #9
    Ahi Mpls.
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/11 12:08:57 (permalink)
      Wow, at one point we had all of those places, ( except Damon's?)  And now the only one left is Baker's Square.
        I ADORED Country Kitchen's salad bar circa 1976, It was the only place I could get a big bowl of beets & cottage cheese.   
       My Mom thought I was insane. 
     
    #10
    HollyDolly
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/11 13:17:08 (permalink)
    Well we have Bennigan's and Houlihan's.Don't think we ever had the rest. We had a Coco's at one time .And I think there is  or was an Au Bon Pan located at some hotel on Loop410  in San Antonio.
    Anybody remember Po Folk's?
    There were several Don Pedro restaurants in San Antonio, but I think they were a local chain.There is only one Pancho's Buffet on the west side of town.They used to be around  all over,and not just San Antonio.It was mexican food,and you raised the little flag an dth ewaitress would bring you more food.
    #11
    Louis
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/11 21:07:16 (permalink)
    My experience with restaurant chains in general is that you know things are getting bad for the chain and will probably get worse when they start using inferior materials with which to prepare their meals.  Chains will invariably cut the quality of their products when that is the very thing they should leave alone.  What on earth would entice a person to return to eat ANOTHER inferior meal?  If you burn a customer a few times with an inferior product, you've lost him.  Probably forever.  This same rule applies as well to non franchised restaurants.  And yet I've seen this scenario played out again and again for nearly 40 years.
    #12
    ces1948
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/11 22:53:10 (permalink)
    There is a Tony Roma's which is fairly new located in Jensen Beach, Fl. I have not been there but we used to have company party's at the long gone location in Johnson City, TN. Never had a complaint.
     
    #13
    ces1948
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/11 23:04:07 (permalink)
    BTW not to get off subject but at some point the rib places like Bobby Rubino's, Tony Roma's and Damon's sprang up like weeds.
    #14
    JRPfeff
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/11 23:25:23 (permalink)
    I blame the Stern's.
     
    It won't be long until a ChainFood website pops up to fill the void.
    #15
    CCinNJ
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/12 01:02:58 (permalink)
    Here's a recent article about Sizzler Bennigan's & Ground Round...

    http://m.entrepreneur.com/article/223526
    #16
    Foodbme
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/12 04:26:03 (permalink)
    One chain that doesn't seem to be affected is TGI Fridays. Or is it?
    #17
    Cosmos
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/12 08:58:56 (permalink)
    No tears shed here...
    #18
    CCinNJ
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/12 11:11:11 (permalink)
    Here's Forbes list of the "best" chain restaurants...

    http://www.forbes.com/pic...t-chain-restaurants-2/
    #19
    kozel
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/12 11:49:52 (permalink)
    JRPfeff
    I blame the Stern's.

    Bingo!
    #20
    ken8038
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/12 12:03:38 (permalink)
    <<Here's Forbes list of the "best" chain restaurants...

    http://www.forbes.com/pic...t-chain-restaurants-2/
     
    Holy Cow. Olive Garden came in 3rd. Certainly no Italian-Amercians were involved in the voting...
     
    #21
    CCinNJ
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/12 12:17:23 (permalink)
    I hear thunder.

    We don't see as many chain-type restaurants in this neighborhood. Thank God for city streets and only one "route" in Bayonne.. Many of the new chains that are on Rte. 440 are in trouble. Feelin' good in the neighborhood.
    #22
    kozel
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/06/12 14:09:50 (permalink)
    I have a question for our Texas friends.  What happened to the Trail Dust Steakhouse chain?  I think the one in Arlington and the one in Aubrey called "The Parker Bros Trail Dust" are the only 2 left.   There were even 2 in Colorado at one point and they're gone too.  Interesting place; if you wore a tie, they cut it off and nailed it to the wall. There was a slide from the 2nd floor to the dance floor below. They were know for their mesquite grilled steaks.   I remember them fondly from the 80's.
     
    http://youtu.be/IIPU3IG27OA
     

    #23
    the grillman
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/08/20 13:46:06 (permalink)
    none of the places on that list were really any good; very mediocre.  that's why they aren't surviving.  If you are a chain, and do a good job, like Panera/ ChickFilA/Chipolte you will grow nicely.  People will seek out a nice experience.
    #24
    jmckee
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/08/21 13:36:52 (permalink)
    Frisch's Big Boy is alive and well in Cincinnati. And is a very good place to eat.
    #25
    BarbaraCt
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/08/22 10:06:15 (permalink)
    I remember Po Folks. It was then just "Folks". We used to go to one in Atlanta when we were down there. GREAT chicken, always refills on iced tea. Good sides, too.
    #26
    RCDoggin
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/08/22 11:00:47 (permalink)
    I certainly don't get it.  How can these chains go down just because they serve crappy food?  There's and entire generation out there now that wouldn't know good food and think that going to Red Lobster is really living it up. 
    #27
    carolina bob
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/08/22 15:19:46 (permalink)
    RCDoggin

    I certainly don't get it.  How can these chains go down just because they serve crappy food?  There's and entire generation out there now that wouldn't know good food and think that going to Red Lobster is really living it up. 

     
    My guess is that it's because some chains are crappier than others ( Lone Star Steakhouse as opposed to Texas Roadhouse ), along with the inept management that appears to be so prevalent in the restaurant industry.       
    #28
    Louis
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/08/22 19:41:27 (permalink)
    I think Felix4067 hit the nail on the head.  Most of the chains are nearly identical in their offerings.  In the public's mind, there is nothing on the menu to distinguish one from the other.  The ones that DO survive have a distinctive identity.  And if they want to survive in the marketplace, their food had better be good!
     
    #29
    AndreaB
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    Re:America’s Disappearing Restaurant Chains 2012/08/28 16:43:00 (permalink)
    I like Big Boy, but will not miss the others on the list.  And yah, re TGI Friday's, once they changed their chicken fajita salad that was it for me.  I don't know why these chains screw up their menus to save a buck when it costs them in the end as customers no longer return as items they came for are gone.
     
     
    #30
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