In the past year, some disappointing news has revealed that many of the best stores are closing down branches across the country. Retail stores are not the only ones to suffer this difficult period and many restaurants have needed to decrease their numbers as well. Each restaurant included in this list is closing for its own reason so keep reading to see which of our favorites we are sad to see go in 2020, and which will thankfully remain open.
Pizza Hut was established in 1958 and has about 18.431 branches across the world. The shop originated in Wichita, Kansas and is a subsidiary of the larger Yum! Brands. There are about 7,500 locations in the US, but the Yum Brands recently publicized that they will be closing five hundred locations that are not reaching the quota. This process will be finished within two years.
Luby was the original company that started well-known chain restaurants like Luby’s, Koo Koo Roo, Fuddruckers, and Cheeseburger in Paradise. It was founded in 1947 with the name Luby’s Cafeteria and was later rebranded. There are 83 branches of the actual Luby’s restaurant, but recently they announced they will be closing the less successful locations. They did this before and managed to boost their revenue by gaining a profit of $6.6 million.
Steak ‘N Shake
Steak ‘N Shake, established in 1934, began as a simple burger restaurant in Normal, Illinois. Now it operates from several locations such as America, Southwest Europe, and the Middle East. Today there are 628 locations with 214 franchised. However, while they are looking for a new franchise partner they will temporarily close several dozen locations.
Tim Hortons has its headquarters in Toronto and is the largest fast-food spot in Canada. Its founders, Tim Horton and Jim Charade originally were interested in establishing a hamburger restaurant but then switched to coffee and donuts. Tim Horton’s Inc. operated 4,848 branches worldwide but recently announced its decision to downsize based on underperforming stores. The most recent was the abrupt closure of 4 restaurants in Ohio.
This burger chain originated in Seattle, Washington back in 1969. Ten years later the first franchised restaurant was built. Today, the establishments hold 562 restaurants, 90 of which are franchises. Unfortunately, after a recent downfall by 85.4%, they decided to close ten locations but are rejecting investors’ opinions to close the company altogether.
in 1983, the Hometown Buffet style restaurant was created and reached 250 restaurants when they were at their best. It is a subsidiary of Ovation Brands, which is a subsidiary of Food Management Partners. However, it has recently been under new management after being bought by Food Management. This new change hasn’t been so great for HomeTown Buffet and they have closed down over 200 restaurants as of August 2019.
McCormick & Schmick’s
After closing nearly half of their branches, this seafood joint will be closing more restaurants by 2020. With its base in Portland, Oregon, McCormick & Schmick’s is owned by the parent company Landry’s Inc. They have about forty locations around the US and five in Canada. Between their revenue, net income, assets, and equity, it’s safe to say the business is not thriving. Landry’s is responsible for closing the branches and is moving the headquarters to Texas.
At one point Fuddruckers was the go-to spot for those crispy chicken finger lovers. At its peak, there were nearly 111 franchises and 77 company-operated branches countrywide. They have a revenue of $150 million and plan to increase by closing certain stores. Its headquarters are in Texas and have gone through several different ownership changes.
Named after the old western actor Roy Rogers, the Roy Rogers Restaurants are a burger chain mostly located in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic area. They were formally known as RoBee’s House of Beef but were then bought by the Marriot hotel corporation. They had an aggressive sales campaign that attracted consumers and at one point had 600 branches across America. In 1990 it was sold to Hardee’s parent company and today there are only 48 locations still standing.
The formally known Boston Chicken commends itself on its special rotisserie chicken., However, now it is called Boston Market. It is owned by Sun Capital and is most frequently found in the Northeast/Midwest areas, but also Florida. Back in 2013, about 462 branches were standing but today that number has drastically decreased. The restaurant chain even admitted that they were going through a “multifaceted transformation plan.”
In 1958 in Cincinnati Ohio, this breakfast and bakery chain Perkins was established as a privately owned company under the name Pancake House. Several years later it was changed to Perkins Family Restaurant. It is dispersed amongst thirty-two US states around the country as well as four providences in Canada. It is also owned by the restaurant Marie Callenders, ho filed for bankruptcy themselves in 2019. Unfortunately, this led to quick store closers and 25,000 employees were laid off because of it.
This chain is more likely to found in the East coast area. It has undergone many changes since it is established in 1935, including declaring bankruptcy a few years ago. However, it made a comeback and completely transformed the menu. Today there are 167 locations but they plan to close the spots that don’t attract enough traffic.
Del Taco was founded in the 1960s as a Mexican inspired restaurant that also happens to sell burgers and fries, interesting combo. It is incredibly popular in the West and Southwest areas, and in total has 564 restaurants. However, there are plans to shut down less popular locations by 2020. They also are interested in going more towards franchising. In 2015 it was sold to Levy Acquisition making it a public company. Their plans to expand east were not incredibly successful but they still bring in considerable revenue making them a worthwhile competitor against Taco Bell.
Applebee’s is the sister restaurant to the famous IHOP and the two will be unfortunately closing down. With 1,830 restaurants worldwide, most of the locations are franchised. The restaurant once had revenue of $2.5 billion, with total assets of $935 million and 28,000 employees.
The International House Of Pancakes is one that hits home for me. The local pancake house is owned by the parent company Dine Brands Global and originated in Los Angeles, California where its headquarters remain. They are rivals to the Waffle House who will be closing down stores soon. IHOP once had revenue of $350 billion and 32,300, but it is unclear where that stands now.
Binger King has been established since 1966 and was formerly called Insta-Burger King. Currently, t has 17,8000 restaurants around the country but has been decreasing every year with no 200-250 locations expected to close
Ruby Tuesdays is a favorite local spot similar to chains like TFI Friday’s and Applebee’s. It was founded in 1972 in Knoxville, Tennessee and has about 491 stores today. Most are located in the East coast area but recently they announced they will be closing a majority of their stores due to lack of sufficient income.
This closure hits home for us. This local joint is the home to the most delicious pies you can find, especially the key lime pie! Marie Callender’s was established by Marie Callender herself, as she created the restaurant chain while living in a trailer park. She began by baking pies to support her family, and eventually, the restaurant was a huge success. Unfortunately, a trauma in the family in 2009 caused a hiccup in the restaurant’s success. Ever since her husband passed away due to head trauma, the restaurant has filed bankruptcy and closed many locations. Most of the branches that remain are in California where their headquarters are also.
Kona Grill is a sushi restaurant founded in Scottsdale, Arizona now with forty locations dispersed in the US and Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, the chain has been fighting off closures since it was founded in 1989. In the spring of 2019, they announced they were filing for bankruptcy. However, this chain is not giving up yet and hopes to find a merger despite the CEO announcing his interest in resigning.
In 2014 the fast-food sandwich shop filed for bankruptcy but made a successful comeback after decreasing its debt by $400 million. Back in 2002, this joint had 5,000 locations worldwide and now only has eight hundred. The closures started in 2007 when they said goodbye to one thousand locations in the US.
What began as a family restaurant in 1986 soon transformed into a restaurant sensation after merging with Outback Steakhouse. They changed their name to Bloomin’ Brands and began opening more domestic and international locations. There are many restaurants under Bloomin’ Brands, but Carrabas is the one with the most branch closures.
When you think of Starbucks, ‘restaurant’ might not be the word that comes to mind. However, don’t forget that the company sells other foods as well as coffee. The coffee giant made a surprising announcement back in 2018, saying it would shut down 150 locations across the U.S. in order to optimize their current market. These closures are three times more than the average rate for Starbucks.
T.G.I Friday’s story is a rather sweet one. In 1965, it was founded in New York City. The purpose behind it was to create a space for younger people – in their twenties and thirties – to meet and mingle at a comfortable and laid-back environment. Nowadays, the chain is slowly becoming less popular with that specific demographic. In 2018 and 2019, they closed down branches in key locations such as Tallahassee, Staten Island, and Washington DC.
If you tend to worry your pizza won’t be warm and fresh by the time it gets delivered to you, Papa Murphy’s figured out the solution. They created the take-and-bake method where you get the pizza at the window, take it home and then bake it. While that sounds great, in 2018 and 2019, the company had to close down over 60 locations across the United States.
Honestly, Taco Bell is Mexican-inspired at best. It isn’t so much a real representation of actual Mexican food. Anyways, now that the company is looking to expand outside the United States, it will come at a price. During 2019, the chain has closed down branches in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and four branches in Maine.
For years, Pollo Tropical has been there for the Southern Floridians with their Caribbean cooking. However, once it began expanding out to Cubans, Venezuelans, and Haitians, the company couldn’t find a stronghold. It planned on opening up shop in Texas, but it never happened. Due to massive financial losses, by the time 2019 came around, 23 branches had closed down. During 2019, the trend continued, with more branches closing.
Nowadays, the fourth-largest pizza delivery restaurant in the U.S. is having some trouble keeping afloat. The founder got himself into some trouble by using a nasty racial slur which caused him to step down last year. As a result of the outrage surrounding the incident, and due to the change in management, sales went down by 7.8%. Because of this drastic shift, analysts warned that a lot of closures would be happening in 2019. It was estimated that as many as 250 branches would be closed.
If you want a handmade pizza pie that is styled to your own liking that will be ready in five minutes, Pie Five is the place to go to. While it’s barely been ten years, the idea of fast-casual caught on in the U.S. and quickly spread outside of Texas. However, just as quickly as they rose, they began to fall a little. Over the past couple of years, the company has closed more than 30 locations. In fact, they shut down even more during 2019.
Even though Pizza Rev has only been around for 8 years, it’s already managed to make a mark. This was California’s answer to Pie Five that allowed customers to quickly grab pizzas during their lunch break. While the idea has caught on in other states, its rapid expansion is now having some issues here and there. In 2019, they’ve closed as many as 9 locations during 2019.
Eat ‘N Park
For 70 years, the residents of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio enjoyed Eat ‘N Park’s food. Even though the restaurant is doing fine on the business end, Ohio residents had 5 different restaurant locations close during 2019. Still, the other branches which are left are being upgraded, so there’s a silver lining.
Even Subway hasn’t been immune to restaurants closing over the past few years. In 2018 alone, Subway closed a whopping 1,100 branches in the United States. In 2019, there were more closures as well. Don’t despair, however. Subway is still the largest chain restaurant in the world. The company is purposely keeping the most profitable branches open.
In 2019, Chipotle has shut down 50 different locations. Despite the chain becoming more popular, some heavy setbacks over the past few years have put a dent in the company’s reputation. A few years ago, the restaurant dealt with some bad publicity: customers have gotten sick with E. coli during two outbreaks that were connected to the food they had eaten at Chipotle. In 2019, a cyber-attack left customers’ personal information at risk. Still, there are over 150 new branched that opened in 2019, so something must be going right.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
It turns out that the name hasn’t scared today’s health-conscious generation away. Over the past few years, Potbelly has made the leap and expanded outside the U.S. all the way to India. While this chain is expanding, it’s also contracting. Just three years before opening its branch in Toronto, all its shops in the city had to be closed by 2019. It has gotten to the point where selling the restaurant chain hasn’t been successful.
Jack In The Box
Honestly, Jack in the Box hasn’t had the level of success its competitors did. Since it opened in 1951, kids all over the U.S. still chose McDonald’s over Jack, and today it’s the same. The company that owns this chain also owned Qdoba until they sold in back in 2018. Since then, the burger chain has been losing a lot of business and needed to close down some of its locations as a result. This year alone, the company predicts that it will be shutting down at least 14 stores.
Noodles & Company
Founded in 1995, Noodles & Company enjoyed a few years of success before their revenue began to decline. People didn’t seem to want to get in on the noodle buzz too much after the early 2000s. What really made a difference, however, was a data breach in 2016 that compromised customers’ personal information all over the states. The data breach ended up costing the company $11 million. In addition, they had to close 10% of their locations in 2018.
Joe’s Crab Shack
An informal food seafood chain that specializes in massive buckets of crab, stuffed shrimp, and other American comfort dishes, Joe’s Crab Shack used to be beloved. It might have been their competition with Bubba Gump or other independent seafood restaurants that made them less desirable to their customers. In 2017, the company filed for bankruptcy and closed 41 of its locations. Right now, there are still 58 locations open, but more are expected to close this year.
Howard Johnson’s had fried clam everyone loved as well as 28 flavors of ice cream that travelers loved so much. In the 1960s and 1970s, there were over 1,000 roadside locations. The chain was founded in 1925, but according to Yelp reviews, the New York restaurant was still clinging to life support not too long ago. In fact, the very last location was closed only two years ago.
In 1972, this chain was founded. The co-founders bought a former haberdashery named Tom Houlihan’s Men’s Wear. However, the architect on the remodel named his project “Houlihan’s Old Place” and it stuck. Even though they seemed to have done everything right, the company is currently $50 million in debt and closing multiple locations.
Baja Fresh Mexican Grill
Baja Fresh Mexican Grill is known for its burritos, taquitos and self-serve salsa. The bar opened in 1990 but was acquired by Wendy’s in 2002. At the time, there were close to 300 units in 21 states. This chain has steadily declined since locations began closing in 2004.
Created in 1969, Ground Round’s slogan is, “The place for families, friends and sports fans”. In 2004, there were over 100 locations when the company filed for bankruptcy. Not to mention, almost have of their locations abruptly closed. Today, only 17 remain open.
This trendy yogurt shop opened in West Hollywood in 2005. Soon enough, it became a popular place with plenty of celebs shopping there as well. While the yogurt was good, that wasn’t enough. Eventually, the company expanded to 21 countries, but by 2015, only 139 locations remained open in the U.S.
Thank God Its Friday is a casual dining experience with 870 locations around the world. The restaurant was founded in New York City by Daniel Scoggin and Alan Stillman. They transferred the headquarters to Texas but there are many locations still around. They announced that they would be closing down locations between 2019 and 2020.
Carl’s Jr. is owned by CKJE Restaurant Holdings and is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the US and Canada. It originated as a hot dog cart in 1941, and later expanded to a full restaurant. Despite their popularity, they still face their own problems and have had to close several stores each year. However, they still have 1,490 remaining worldwide.