10 fading US restaurant chains

These eateries have stumbled over the past decade and may have trouble regaining their footing in a competitive industry.

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864Comments
Jan 8, 2013 4:14PM
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Out of all of those listed, I think I've eaten at 2 of them.  Big Boys and Blimpies.  And the only one I would miss is Blimpies. 
Jan 8, 2013 4:12PM
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Eat-Park. My car hop sister had job 50 yrs ago to cut up the strawberries for their GREAT pie!
Jan 8, 2013 4:07PM
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I look up from my desk and out the window a see a Big Boy.  Enjoy the lunch there, hope they stick around.  Sorry Red Lobster is not on the list.  One of the filthiest places I have ever eaten.

 

Jan 8, 2013 4:05PM
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what about A&W Root Beer strands?    those disappeared fast   love the frosty mugs.  the few that I find on road trips dont even serve them in glass mugs anymore
Jan 8, 2013 4:02PM
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Big Boy was wonderful when i went there in the 60s and 70s as a kid.  Loved the double decker burger  lotsa fries  and a REAL MILK SHAKE  and of course the comic books that they had...   sad to see those disappear
Jan 8, 2013 4:00PM
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We were shocked in Columbia, Maryland when our Bennigans closed!  It was always full of sutomers, and was such a unique plae to take the family out to dinner.  Hopefully they will come back, now that new investors are involved....Bennigans and the Magic Pan for crepe's were favorites!
Jan 8, 2013 3:59PM
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As a child, I remember my parents and I going to our town's Ponderosa for dinner on many a weekend night.  My favorite was a ribeye steak, well-done, smothered in onions and mushrooms, with a huge baked potato smothered in sour cream and chives.  No matter what time or day, the place always had a good crowd and the food was excellent.  Then it was gone.  Apart from the small diners and  restaurants in my area, the Ponderosa was the only big-name franchise that actually gave you a "family dining experience" worth every dollar you paid.  I miss the place. 
Jan 8, 2013 3:58PM
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I'll be sad to see Big Boy go. I remember my dad taking me there many times for a late-night ice cream sundae run. Not to mention countless dinners there too.

 

 I also feel bad about Ponderosa. That was my favorite restaurant when I was very young. It was a little out my mom's price range so it was a rare treat which made it seem even better. But then they expanded the salad bar a little too much and it eventually became a buffet that was mediocre at best. So athough I miss what it used to be, I think it's time to bow out of what it's become.

Jan 8, 2013 3:58PM
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No wonder they going OOB, I only recognize 4 chains from the group.
Jan 8, 2013 3:58PM
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After seeing all the chains closing, I feel the worst for the employees.  It's typical that they are the ones to suffer.  These chains move into small communities, push out the indies, then buckle and fold.  I was sad to see a few national icons (Big Boy) nearing it's end..but I guess in the long run, it's better that they close rather than be bought out by companies such as Bain Capitol!  They ruin businesses, adding huge debt to the original company, make 15 Million a year in consulting fees, and chop the jobs, benefits, locations, and spend all the new 'earned' money on advertising crap!
Jan 8, 2013 3:57PM
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I HAVEN'T SEEN A TCBY IN A LONG TIME I HOPE THEY HAVEN'T CLOSED...I LOVE TCBY

 

Jan 8, 2013 3:55PM
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Why would anyone want to start a business in such a communistic atmosphere.
Jan 8, 2013 3:52PM
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Go figure...Chipotle's is owned by McDonalds..so crappy unhealthy food..cheap.  It's sad that americans don't know what real food tastes like and frequent chains rather than a local establishment.
Jan 8, 2013 3:51PM
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blimpie is better then subway but there is no blimpie near me :(

Jan 8, 2013 3:48PM
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In the 50s and 60s, Bob's Big Boy, which featured both inside dining and carside dining was a popular place to go and hang out too. The food was great and I miss the fantastic hamburgers and other classics which they no longer make the same way.

 

Its faltering because they dropped who they were and became a clone of Denny's, Villiage Inn, Howard Johnson's and the like. We went to one (They call it JB's now) last month and the menu had changed so much it wasn't even recognizable as anything who they were once.

 

If this chain desires to survive it needs to go back to their roots, and our roots. I'd be the first to drive up and dine outside. Others would show up in their classic low rider or high rider cars.

 

I would love to see them go back to their roots.

Jan 8, 2013 3:45PM
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Why isn't Arby's on the list?? Once you have had possum shaved paper  thin (in a heap) on a bun, returning is not an option.
Jan 8, 2013 3:43PM
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Most of these I've never heard of. Bennigan's was trendy in Wichita back in the 1980s, but I don't live there anymore and haven't heard of one since.
Jan 8, 2013 3:34PM
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shocked that Arby's mystery meat emporium not listed.  Maybe if these joints served food that resembeled the pictures shown they could do just fine,
Jan 8, 2013 3:31PM
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I live in the middle of no where and yet there are 4 Big Boys within 50 miles of me, and they are always packed...they can't be in that much trouble.
Jan 8, 2013 3:31PM
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If the food they served was ANYTHING like the pictures they wouldn't be on this list..  Its shocking to not see Arby's mystery meat here though
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