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According to a recent report in 24/7 Wall St., in the past 10 years, some of America’s biggest food chains have lost more than 50% of their sales and have closed hundreds of locations nationwide.

24/7 characterizes these restaurants, such as Big Boy, Ponderosa and Bennigan’s, as having failed to update their brand or menu options, and many of their locations have been closed to make way for new eateries.

Based on data provided by food industry consulting and research firm Technomic Inc., 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 large restaurant chains with the biggest decline in locations and sales between 2001 and 2011.

Of the 10 chains with the biggest declines, 24/7 Wall St claims eight have filed for bankruptcy in the past decade. In some cases, hundreds of locations were closed overnight.

“The chains were either then purchased or resumed operations only once the company emerged from bankruptcy. The remaining franchises continued to operate. But reinvigorating these brands will be an uphill battle.”

These chains have been forced to devote most of their resources just to remain open.

Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic, told 24/7 Wall St. the economy’s been a big negative for these restaurants trying to gain traction or even grow, and so in many cases they’ve actually just continued to struggle and close units that were underperforming.

Based on sales data provided by Technomic, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 restaurant chains that had 60% or greater declines in the number of actual store locations operating from 2001 to 2011.

(Click “Next” to see 10 Largest Disappearing U.S. Restaurant Chains)

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