7 Restaurant Chain Closures

The Lempert Report
July 18, 2023

On today’s Bullseye, we can't blame the pandemic for these restaurant closures. What is going on?

Earlier this year, Steak ‘n Shake shuttered 11 franchised stores and two company-run locations. Since 2018, the company has reduced the number of its restaurants from 626 to 493.

Fast-food giant Burger King says it will close between 300 and 400 restaurants this year. That is about double the number of closures in a typical year for the company.

Rising building costs and pressure on franchisees’ operating margins have caused Applebee’s to pull back from growth plans. The chain now expects to end the year with up to 20 fewer U.S. locations.

At least eight Red Lobster locations closed early this year, and several others disappeared late in 2022. The closures are part of a trend that dates back to 2020.

This spring, a spate of Hardee’s closures took place in four states — Kansas, Missouri, South Carolina and Georgia. In all, a half-dozen locations closed their doors.

TGI Fridays has closed locations in Thornton, Colorado; Taunton, Massachusetts; Big Flats and Elmira, New York; and Plano, Texas. In many of these communities, residents learned of the closures abruptly after signs were posted on restaurant doors.

The first-ever Chick-fil-A recently closed its doors at the Greenbriar Mall food court location in Atlanta. The location had been doing business since 1967.

Blame it on the tight labor market, customers pinching their pennies and just maybe customers are looking for healthier fare.