It's never the right time to say goodbye. While we usually say that to someone going through a breakup, nostalgic products also warrant a moment of reflection on the changes that come all too soon. How great does it feel to see your favorite childhood food on the shelf at the store, snickering at the fact your mom actually let you eat that stuff?
In the information age, everything gets challenged, including our most beloved stores and products. Here are some of the most lovable products facing extinction.
Fabric Softeners Are Hard On Our Insides
As cancer continues to be one of the most heartbreaking modern epidemics, it has caused the public to turn a skeptical eye at the products in their homes. Unfortunately for fabric softener brands, they no longer pass the safety test. According to Ackerman Cancer Center, fabric softener coats clothes with many harmful chemicals that have been linked to asthma, pancreatic cancer, and respiratory and nervous system damage.
Sales of fabric softeners have dropped 15% in the past decade, suggesting that buyers would rather not risk the adverse health effects. Instead, consumers are opting for safer and cheaper alternatives, like white distilled vinegar.
The Gluten-Free Craze is Hurting Wheaties Cereal
Few foods have seen more public pushback than wheat. Talk about whiplash! Wheat used to be one of the biggest staples in the American diet, preached as a healthy alternative to most other starches. Then, the gluten-free phenomenon entered.
Forbes reports that 300% more Americans are gluten-free than they were in 2009, three-quarters of which have not been diagnosed with celiac disease. Even so, strong testimonials have convinced the general public to at least give it a try, especially with the low carb diet back in full swing. This is bad news for Wheaties, an iconic cereal we're seeing less and less of on the shelves.
People Aren't Buying The Chevrolet Cruze Anymore
Now that crossover cars are becoming increasingly more popular, sedans are being phased out. More automakers are recognizing that customers find crossover vehicles better suit their needs. And when it's time to get another vehicle, 66.9 percent of U.S. households that currently own a crossover say they plan on buying another, according to CNBC.
One of the sedan models taking the hit is the Chevy Cruze, which is seeing sales down 28 percent. Chevrolet, noting the decline in sales, is making the necessary adjustments, which means that 1,500 workers might be impacted.
It's The End Of The Line For The Volkswagon Beetle
The Volkswagen Beetle was first introduced to the United States in 1949, but it wasn't until the 1960s that it became the hottest car to drive. In 1970, 570,000 Beetles were sold, and sales surpassed the Ford Model T, making the Beetle the world's best-selling car.
Three different models of the Beetle were introduced over the decades, and finally, in 2019, VW announced that the last Type 3 Beetle rolled off the production line, and they would no longer be making the beloved Bug.
Tiffany & Co. Might Be Too Much Of A Strong, Independent Woman
Bet you didn't know that the iconic jewelry brand was named after a man, NOT a woman. Let's go way back in time, to 1837, when Charles Lewis Tiffany started a fancy goods store in New York City. Women flocked to buy then-contemporary pieces of jewelry. Clean rather than gaudy, the jewelry set the standard for pure silver, 92% pure to be exact.
Fast-forward almost 200 years, and the company's stocks have dropped 20%. Millennials just love their cheap jewelry. But with new management to help rebrand, the company hopes shoppers will see the value in their luxury jewelry.
Say Au Revoir To Chef Boyardee
Unless your parents were one of those health gurus, you had Chef Boyardee at some point in your childhood. The famous canned pasta was a parent go-to and child favorite. The downside is that the idea of a meal in a can is no longer a sales pitch.
While Statista shows that the market of ready meals is expected to increase 2% annually in the U.S., meal box subscriptions make it easier than ever to have a ready meal that's also a healthy meal. Statista shows that the revenue of meal kits is expected to have increased ten-fold in 2020 since 2015.
Diet Pepsi is Fizzling Out
Soda water companies have managed to soothe the cravings of soda lovers without the cost of fake sugar. Sugar substitutions have faced scrutiny for the past few years with critics going as far as saying they may cause cancer. While more recent studies have shown this correlation to actually be a myth, such suggestions recall the famous phrase "if it's too good to be true, it is."
Mayo Clinic says that while artificial sweeteners are safe to consume, moderation is the key. As such, diet sodas have become the very treat they sought to replace, pushing Diet Pepsi further down the beverage ladder.
Budweiser Doesn't Quite Stack Up To Newer Options
For decades Budweiser and Bud Light have topped the charts for bestselling beers in America. However, its sales have inched down in the past couple of years. The trend is likely to continue since millennials are all now of drinking age, but seeking out alternatives.
According to USA Today, millennials are less infatuated with beer than older generations, consuming more wine and cocktails than beer. One reason for this may be that stores now offer various alcoholic beverages, such as hard seltzer and hard lemonade. If the beer brands keep getting substituted for their fruity alternatives, they just might get canned.
Who Needs Costco Wholesale?
The New York Times published an article in 2018 that unmasks a surprising discovery: Americans aren't having as many kids. The fertility rate hit an all-time low for two consecutive years, causing researchers to ask themselves if millennials may be a more unique generation than we initially realized.
As careers, financial security, and personal freedom increase, the need for buy-in-bulk supermarkets is decreasing. This is bad news for Costco, a company that seems to have gotten their business model from 19 Kids And Counting. Plus, if young people have more money they'll be less desperate for those famous free samples.
Kenmore Might Have Some Chilling News
What Kenmore is to Sears was like cheese to mac n cheese. It was the ingredient that made the whole thing work. The shock of a huge company like Sears going belly up has left all stores facing technological takeover. But what about the products within the stores?
With access to any number of brands for a given product, conveniently placed alongside all of the specs and pricing information, buyers can now select their appliances based on their specific needs. Kenmore appliances may have appeared in most kitchens long ago, but that was when Sears was the go-to store.
Department Stores Are Departing
Department stores are the buffet of product shopping. If a woman has a last-minute obligation and nothing to wear, boom! Jewelry, perfume, outfit, shoes are found and purchased in one spot. Best of all, you can find something for the entire family without having to see the light of day, making department stores a Christmas season staple.
That is until the internet revolutionized shopping. Statista projected in 2017 that in 2021 230.5 million Americans will shop online, which is about 70%. Research suggests we may have already crushed that number in 2019, leaving department stores an empty, expired fad.
To Eat Old Country Buffet, You're Going To Have To Travel Out To The Old Country
So many buffets, so little time. That's how it was at the turn of the 21st century with restaurants like Sizzler, Souplantation, and Hometown Buffet at every turn. But the buffet craze is fading away. With companies like Door Dash and Uber Eats, the thrill of easy access to varied food choices is becoming blasé.
It's no surprise then that Old Country Buffet closed down several of its locations in the past few years. Only about 20 branches remain open and are often the only location in the entire state.
SlimFast Is Dropping Value Fast
Dieting has evolved so much over the years, always coming back to the same final message that eating right and exercise is really the best way to lose weight. But sometimes people want a quicker solution that won't break the bank. SlimFast used to be that option.
But not anymore. In 2000 the company sold for over $2 billion. Last year, it sold for $350 million. That's nearly a 20% decrease in market value over the course of two decades. It's easy to recognize that the price is going the wrong direction: down and off our shelves.
Kodak Is Struggling To Make A Coin
Kodak, the king of disposable cameras. You can still hear the nostalgic sound of winding the film before your next shot and can still feel the burning curiosity of what photos you would be handed when you picked them up from the store. And let's not forget the old wedding trick of turning every guest into a personal photographer with these bad boys.
But then they sold their patents, the value of which was probably eaten in one bite by cellphones. So, Kodak came up with KodakCoin, a way for photographs to get due currency for their photos. It just hasn't taken off yet.
Claire's May Have Run Out Of Ears To Pierce
The place that pierced over 100 million ears declared bankruptcy last year. After dropping in stock, Claire's stores didn't have more to give. The junior Forever 21, Claire's offers dazzling accessories that range from hairpieces to purses and wallets to tutus.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking is the store's theme of friendship found in many of its products. Friendship bracelets, missing piece necklaces, and other matching accessories are as much a part of this store's decor as the purple tags and rainbow sequins. Even if they do go under, they'll still be the BFF of girls who grew up in their stores.
Harley Davidson Is No Longer The Cool Kid
Motorcycles used to represent ideas of rebellion, freedom, nonconformity, and independence. While this still may be true to an extent, it just doesn't phase younger generations the way it did their parents. Modern "cool" has less to do with loud motors and skull tattoos, and more to do with health and environmental consciousness.
As a result, researchers predict sales will continue to drop while electric scooters and bicycles rise. Plus, Uber and Lyft have made it easier than ever to get around, especially in when drinking is involved.
Crocs Might Croak
When Crocs first hit the market, no one could have predicted that these shoes would become so... their own style. The fashion debate only increased their popularity as celebrities started sporting the footwear along with moms on the go, toddlers, and young adults. Before long, everyone who didn't hate them had them.
For those who do hate the shoes, get ready to give a big told-you-so. 180 Croc stores were announced to be closing in 2018. In an attempt to save their sales, Crocs is rolling out some new styles. But if we've learned anything it's that they'll be hit or miss.
Trading In Light Yogurt For Greek
Because of trendy foods and the desire to eat as healthy as they can, younger generations have left yogurt, especially light yogurt, in the dust. Instead, they prefer natural and protein-rich yogurts like Greek yogurt, instead of yogurt that offers a lower-calorie option.
In 2016, Yoplait Light yogurt sales fell 8.5% and continues to fall. It's clear that the only people buying it now are older generations or those with kids. Millennial would never dare have a breakfast bowl with anything but Greek yogurt.
Hand Me My Hydro Flask, Please
Traditional plastic water bottles are becoming a thing of the past. When they're not piling up in the back seat of your car, you can find them collecting dust on the shelves at your local grocery store.
Younger people have become more aware of the harm that plastic causes, so making the switch to glass or metal bottles is the way to go. Brands like Hydro Flask have gotten extremely popular over the years due to this.
Campbell's Can't Keep Up
Nutrition fads exploded in the 20th century, and just keep rising along with obesity rates. Hidden Profits Marketing shows that between 30-40% of all adults in America were obese in 2018. With heightened awareness comes heightened standards for food.
Campbell's soup may be a staple of pop culture, but it's rapidly losing its spot in kitchen pantries. It's not surprising when you look at the nutrition facts. Compared to Amy's version, Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup has more than double the sodium, 69% your daily value, 30 more calories and 6 more grams of carbohydrates. That's unsettling.
The iPod Will Never Be The Same
The iPod revolutionized transportable music players. When CD players were replaced by mp3 players, buyers didn't seem to know what direction to go. Apple essentially took them by the hand and led them straight to the iPod.
Every kid on the bus had an iPod to drain out the loud kids with the gentle click of scrolling through their favorite songs. However, the iPod ended up becoming overtaken by its very own iPhone as smartphones started offering a wider range of music. Today, the iPod nano and shuffle are no more.
The Fiat Is Returning To Its Birthplace
The Fiat became a popular car in America thanks to its stylish look and compact composition. Unfortunately, its classy design could only go so far in the states, with Americans having a higher tendency to buy large and practical cars.
The Italian-made car will continue its sales in Europe. However, our "the bigger, the better" attitude made Fiat inclined to remove itself from U.S. markets almost entirely. Although the company did come out with an SUV, theirs struggled to keep up with well-established SUV brands.
Who Still Needs The Gucci Bag?
Not only are designer clothes experiencing a sales drop, but so are their handbag counterparts. Brands like Gucci and Michael Kors have been selling bags at a major discount due to millennials losing interest in their products.
Young people also don't have as money to spend on them. This is the "kiss of death for trendy fashion brands, particularly those positioned in the up-market younger consumer sectors," industry expert Robin Lewis wrote on his blog.
No More Razor Blades
Razor sales are drastically falling. There is a rise in the laid-back approach to shaving. Men younger than the age of 45 have adopted this trait and it's sent the razor industry into a frenzy.
CNN reported in 2018 that Gillette had to stage an intervention by cutting the prices on their products by an average of 12%. Studies show that over the last decade, the number of times per week men shave dropped from 3.7 to 3.2.
The Cheesecake Factory Stopped Paying Its Rent
In March 2020, the Cheesecake Factory's chairman and CEO David Overton announced in an open letter to its landlord that the popular restaurant chain would not be able to pay rent at any of its 294 locations for the month of April. Within the same month, 27 locations closed its doors.
Employing 38,000 people, the Cheesecake Factory is one of the largest restaurant employers in America. Since the announcement, the Cheesecake Factory stock has fallen by more than 50 percent.
IHOP Is Hopping Out Of Business
IHOP, short for the International House of Pancakes, has been one of the go-to breakfast places for families since 1958. The pancake house was founded in Los Angeles, California, and the headquarters have since remained in the Golden State. This is somewhat ironic, considering California is one of the healthier states in the continental U.S.
Due to the rising number of people who are beginning to eat healthier and watch their calorie intake, IHOP is getting hit hard. Their customer base is minimizing and business is slowing due to the "unhealthy" menu. Owner Dine Brands said they were going to close as many as 40 locations.
Taco Bell Is No Longer The Whole Enchilada
What started off as a dream for a man working a hot dog stand turned into one of the most popular "Mexican" fast-food chains in America. Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell in 1962, after watching the Mexican restaurant next to his stand make way more money than him. Bell's first restaurant was actually named Taco Tia, basing his foods off of the neighboring Mexican stands.
As we all know, the name changed to Taco Bell, and the restaurant quickly expanded. Unfortunately, it has been announced that there will be some cutbacks in locations in 2021 as well as some pretty drastic menu changes.
Steak 'n Shake Is Turning Off Some Griddles
In 1934, the casual burger chain Steak 'n Shake was founded by Gus Belt in Normal, Illinois. The most popular items, you guessed it, were steakburgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. In the beginning, the chain did very well, with restaurants throughout America, Southwest Europe, and the Middle East. Belt's chain was eventually bought by the owner of Maxim magazine, Sardar Biglari.
Currently, the chain has 628 restaurants, 214 of which are franchised. Even with all of the locations, several dozen of the restaurants are going to be shut down temporarily until they can find a new partner to open them back up.
Golden Corral Locations Shut Down And Employees Were Furloughed
In mid-2020 Golden Corral buffet chain announced that they would be closing 35 of its locations, and furloughing 2,290 employees. The beloved restaurant chain tried to stay afloat during tough times, but ultimately felt that they had no choice.
The announcement was made by CEO Lance Trenary, who said "It is truly an emotional and challenging time for our country. The realities of the current situation have forced us to make difficult decisions."
Sbarro, The Italian Eatery In The Mall Food Court
Sbarro is probably one of the storefronts at the food court of your local mall. The restaurant was founded in 1956 in Brooklyn, which makes sense since it's an Italian joint! The chain is also wildly popular on college campuses, giving students a way to grab a quick bite on the way to class.
The "Fresh Italian Cooking" restaurant has several locations, but its headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio. It might have been beneficial to keep the Italian restaurant’s base in New York because, in 2014, it was announced that the chain was going to be making several closures through 2021.
Red Robin, YUUMMM!
The famous Red Robin burger chain was founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1969, with the first franchised restaurant opening just one year later. It's no wonder the restaurant’s jingle became so wildly known, with 562 U.S. locations and a few in Canada, you’d be hard-pressed not to hear it on the radio or television.
Red Robin announced that it would be closing ten locations due to underperformance after one awful year — the net income dropped almost 90%. Right now, the company is rejecting the suggestions of investors to close down the company as a whole.
It Looks Like Burger King Is No Longer The King
As one of the more notable fast-food chains around, it is curious as to why Burger King made the list. Founded in 1966 as "Insta-Burger King," the Jacksonville, Florida, restaurant quickly gained a following. The burger place has a total of 17,800 restaurants operating around the United States.
Could it be the increase in health-food awareness and people counting calories? Whatever the reason, Burger King announced that they are going to be shutting down 200-250 underperforming restaurants. That's 100-150 more than the previous year, which makes us think we are going to see BK go out of business in our lifetime.
If Applebee's Closes, Where Will We Get $1 Drinks?
When a restaurant has dollar margarita days, you know something fishy is going on behind the scenes. Applebee's has 1,830 locations throughout the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico, and fifteen other countries. The restaurant tried to modernize itself to win over the new millennial generation, adding WiFi and tablets at every table. It backfired.
The older, long-time customers did not like the change and stopped bringing Applebee’s business. In addition, president Steven Layt resigned because he refused to relocate with the headquarters, and the "neighborhood grill" locations started to swiftly shut down. Maybe they should keep doing the dollar drink days.
O'Charley’s, Former Place To Go For "Good Food And Good Times"
Another casual restaurant chain, O'Charley’s, has been struggling to remain open. With around 200 locations throughout 17 states in the south and midwest, the restaurant has announced that it would be closing down some of its stores. They went as far as closing eight locations in one day and taking away the sole restaurant in Florida.
Fidelity National is said to be acquiring "what’s left" of O’Charley’s. Still, it is yet to be seen whether or not the company is going to try and revamp the restaurant or make it something else altogether. Hopefully, there will still be some “Good Food and Good Times.”
Friendly's Is Not Feeling Very Friendly Right Now
Founded in 1935 in Springfield, Massachusetts, Friendly's is predominately an East Coast family-friendly restaurant. Right now, it has 167 locations up and down the Atlantic coast. The interesting fact about this chain is that it was founded during the Great Depression, and somehow it made it out alive.
Over the years the restaurant has been through a lot of changes, even declaring bankruptcy. But out of the bankruptcy ashes came a new vision and a new menu, but a plan to still close the stores that are not making money. It will be interesting to see which stores are standing by the end of 2021.
Carrabba's Italian Grill Should Have Gone With The Endless Salad & Breadsticks
Carrabba's Italian Grill was founded in 1986 as a family restaurant. Opening its first location in Houston, Texas, the restaurant took off and ended up merging with Outback Steakhouse, Inc, later becoming Bloomin’ Brands. The Italian Grill began expanding when it was decided to open up a few locations in Florida, and then it went international in 2015 when a branch was opened in Brazil.
While Carrabba’s was expanding it was also making strategic closures as well. Out of 1,500 restaurants under Bloomin’ Brands, Carrabba’s is the only subsidiary that keeps closing branches due to underperformance issues.
Chilis Cut Down Its Menu Options
With so many popular chain restaurants struggling to stay afloat, it's no surprise that Chili’s is, too. In 2020, sales at Chili’s locations dropped to about a third of their year-ago revenues due to the pandemic. The company introduced menu rebranding and other various promotions, including a loyalty program.
Ironically, instead of increasing their profits, that program began to eat into them. In hopes to come out on top, they decided to cut their menu options in half to simplify their kitchen operations.
Ruby Tuesday Is Looking Forward To The Weekend
Like Friendly's, Ruby Tuesday is an East Coast chain, but this restaurant has some branches on the Pacific Coast, too. The restaurant was founded in 1972 in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has seen some major dips in revenue over the past few years. Which, unfortunately, has resulted in many of the restaurants closing.
At last count, the chain has around 491 stores around the world. But according to Restaurant Business, that number is due to nearly 50% of the stores closing over the past ten years. They said it was because customers were enjoying the convenience of take-out instead of actually sitting down in a restaurant.
Fuddruckers, The World's Greatest Burger
Aside from grinding their own meat and baking buns on-site, Fuddruckers is known for their thick and creamy milkshakes. The restaurant had 11 franchises and 77 company-operating branches in the U.S. Not too bad for a burger place! Unfortunately, like a lot of restaurants, the 2008 financial crisis hit Fuddruckers hard, and in 2010, they filed for bankruptcy.
Management believes that closing down various locations will help increase their profits. As long as they don't change their menu, we’re sure the general public will be okay with one or two stores shutting down…maybe.
Carl's Jr. Kept Quiet For Long Enough
In 1941, Carl's Jr. started off as a hot dog cart before becoming a full-fledged restaurant a few years later. The owners, Carl Karcher, and his wife have been able to sustain the restaurant over time, opening a total of 1,490 locations worldwide, operating in 44 states, 38 countries, and several US territories.
That doesn’t mean they’re not susceptible to store closures. Even though the public doesn’t hear about it, Carl’s Jr. closes a few stores each year. We’re not sure why they don’t make an announcement, but we hope it’s just because of income issues and not a bad health inspection grade.
Quiznos Sub's First Store Might Be Closing Soon
Quiznos is a fast-food chain that focuses solely on sub sandwiches. It was founded in 1981 by Jimmy Lambatos and sold to Rick and Richard Schaden ten years later, growing to nearly 5,000 stores after the fact. However, as of June 2018, the number of stores has decreased substantially — there are only 800 locations left.
The company filed for bankruptcy in 2014, saying that they were still going to operate while they worked on their debt and made operational improvements. They were able to decrease their debt to $400 million and then decided to sell to the California-based company High Bluff Capital.
T.G.I. Friday's Is No Longer Thanking Goodness It’s Friday
Known for its red-and-white soccer shirt-clad employees, T.G.I. Friday's was founded in 1965 by Daniel Scoggin and Alan Stillman. The casual dining restaurant has 870 locations set up around the world, everywhere except for sub-Saharan Africa. Needless to say, the family restaurant did alright for itself!
In recent years T.G.I.F. has tried to revamp its menu back to its singles-bar roots instead of the casual-dining it is now known for. Unfortunately, the change did not come quickly enough for some of the locations, and management announced that it is going to be closing in underperforming areas throughout 2019 and 2020.
Hooters Was Initially A Joke
In the world of "men pleasing" restaurants, Hooters was definitely a trailblazer. It was the first of its kind and what it lacked in food quality they sure made up for in waitress showmanship. Funnily enough, the owners decided to open the first restaurant on April Fools' day because they were certain the idea was going to fail. Insert eye-roll here.
Recently, the chain has not been doing too well. There is stiff competition in the sit-down, casual dining market. Perhaps their new idea, a fast-food chain called Hoots, will help win over customers.
Olive Garden Profits Are Down By 60%
In March 2020, Darden Restaurants, which owns the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and other casual dining restaurant chains, reported that their profits dropped as much as 60% compared to 2019 reports.
While Olive Garden's customers enjoy the food, a major draw is the dining experience, which means take-out alone isn’t going to keep Olive Garden locations open. Already-struggling Olive Garden locations have started closing in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Birmingham, Alabama.
Boston Market Is Letting Go Of Their Homestyle Cooking
Once known as Boston Chicken, Boston Market has been a casual-dining family restaurant since its opening in 1984. The restaurant specializes in rotisserie chicken but also has fan favorites such as mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese on the menu. The chain is most common in the Northeast and Midwest of America, but because Sun Capital owns the chain, you can find branches down south in Florida, too.
As of 2013, around 462 stores have been opened, but that number has rapidly decreased throughout the years. Boston Market said that it was in the middle of a "multifaceted transformation plan," explaining the extensive restaurant closures.
Long Live The Hut
You may remember going to Pizza Hut on a first date, or going there after a soccer game and ordering way too many pies, breadsticks, and pitchers of Pepsi. Talk about a stomach ache that was well worth it. We hate to say it, but the Hut you remember is soon going to be nothing but a distant memory.
The chain has decided that it is going to get out of the sit-down restaurant business and strictly become a carryout and delivery store. What does that mean for the public? The stores are going to go from 7,450 to around 7,000.
Perkins Family Restaurant And Bakery Is No Longer Perky
Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery, formally known as Perkins Pancake House, was founded back in 1958 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The breakfast and bakery chain is located in 32 U.S. states and four provinces in Canada. The chain is owned by the company Marie Callender's.
Unfortunately, the parent company filed for bankruptcy in August 2019, resulting in a mass of abrupt closures. The thing is, these closures were out of the blue, and neither staff nor customers knew it was happening until the restaurants had "out of business" on their doors. That move gave Perkins a lot of heat, and rightfully so.
Marie Callender's Is Hanging In There For Now
Marie Callender's was established by the one and only Marie Callender, who baked pies and cakes to help with her family bring in much-needed extra income. Her family lived in a trailer park at the time, but they took a risk and opened the restaurant. It was a success.
The chain went downhill in 2009, after Marie’s husband, Don, fell in their home and passed away from resulting head trauma. Since then, the restaurant has filed for bankruptcy multiple times and has closed down many of its locations. Luckily they were able to keep 28 of the stores open, for the time being.
Kona Grill Was An Interesting Choice For An Arizona Restaurant
First off, a sushi restaurant chain founded in Scottsdale, Arizona, is most likely destined for failure. Although the chain has been struggling since its opening in 1998, Kona grill was able to get 40 stores up and running in both the U.S. and Puerto Rico plus some international locations.
Kona Grill filed for bankruptcy in the spring of 2019 and announced that they are seeking a merger. Once the bankruptcy petition was filed, it was also announced that the CEO of the Kona Grill is considering leaving the company. Way to leave when things get a little tough!
Hometown Buffet Should Have Kept To Itself
At its peak, the buffet-style restaurant HomeTown Buffet had more than 250 stores throughout the U.S. Founded by C. Dennis Scott in 1989, the restaurant was a family favorite for many years. In 2008, they filed for bankruptcy.
Even though they kept operating during that time, 52 stores nationwide immediately shut down as a result. The chain was recently bought by Food Management, after running as a solo company for 28 years. HomeTown Buffet felt a massive hit with the new management, going from 250 stores to 33 in 2019, and it is most likely that more branches will be closing in the coming year.
Luby's Is Heading Back To 2009
Luby's is an old-school cafeteria-style restaurant that was founded in 1947 in San Antonio, Texas. Bob Luby and his son originally opened a restaurant called New England Dairy Lunch, but Bob quickly expanded to Luby’s. The cafeteria-style was immensely popular, and the chain quickly put up 83 chains throughout the Houston area.
Like some of the other stores on this list, 2009 brought a bit of a rough patch. Luby’s shut down 25 stores and laid off staff as a cost-cutting measure. It worked, and the chain made $6.6 million in profit. Unfortunately, it looks like they’re going to try the same strategy in the coming years.
Tim Hortons Might Have A Secret
Tim Hortons is the largest fast-food chain in Canada. It was founded by a Canadian hockey player, Tim Horton, and his business partner Jim Charade. Of course, Tim Horton from Canada played hockey. What started off as a hamburger venture quickly turned into a coffee and donut shop instead.
It was very successful and the two were able to open 4,848 stores all over the world, making the restaurant a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Unfortunately, stores have been shutting down due to underperformance. Most recently, the company shut down four Tim Horton stores in Dayton, Ohio very abruptly. Maybe there is something going on that the owners aren't telling the public?
McCormick & Schmick's Is Swimming Away
McCormick & Schmick's is a seafood restaurant that was founded in 1979 by Douglas Schmick and Bill McCormick and is owned by the parent company, Landrys, Inc. The American chain started off in Portland, Oregon, but quickly expanded throughout the country and Canada. Unfortunately, that little parent company is responsible for closing about half of the business branches, with more coming in 2021.
Right now, there are about 40 locations up and running, in addition to five in Canada. The revenue, net income, assets, and equity have all plummeted. It doesn’t sound like this restaurant is going to be around for much longer.
Roy Rogers Is Dwindling Fast
Named after the famous old western actor, Roy Rogers, the fast-food burger chain is a staple in the American Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. If you're old enough, you might know Roy Rogers as RoBee’s House of Beef, that is, until it was bought out by the Marriott Corporation in 1968. The hotel chain used the name Roy Rogers for the first time that year.
Not sure how the public was going to take the re-branding, Marriott went with a very aggressive sales campaign. It worked, quickly drawing in customers. At its peak, Roy Rogers had around 600 branches, but recent years haven’t been too kind. They are down to 48.