7 disappearing restaurant chains

American's ever-changing tastes present risks to even the best-run and most-popular eateries. And the competition never rests.

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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

651Comments
Aug 14, 2013 9:21PM
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Too bad, I remember back in the 50s and 60s we has so many great restaurants, each with its own character and taste. Now it all tastes the same.  
Aug 14, 2013 7:37PM
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"American's ever-changing tastes present risks to even the best-run and most-popular eateries. And the competition never rests."

 

You don't think it's related more to shrinking wages, increased costs, especially in insurance and the fact that most people can only afford Dollar Menu items? Subway just nixed the chips to cut the sub and soda combo down to $4. That makes it one of the ONLY lunches under $5. Less doesn't make it better, just more pathetic that America can't afford lunch.

Meanwhile... Wall Street bonuses are UP.

Aug 15, 2013 5:19AM
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How many times are you going to run this story?
Aug 14, 2013 7:49PM
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In the early 1980's, Imperial Group Limited of London, England, purchased all stock in the Howard Johnson's Company taking over total control, shortly there after dismissing Mr. Johnson, the son of the founder.  Then there next major blunder was to close down manufacturing and distribution which had

survived the great depression,  there went Howard Johnson's famous 28 flavors of ice cream.  At that point the restaurants really began to suffer sales on the same food and ice cream that you could buy everywhere else.  The 800 or so restaurants were sold to anyone that would buy them, the motor lodge division was eventually sold off and the new group operating motels only under the name Howard Johnson instead of Howard Johnson's.  There were a lot of us that were laid off in this mess including Mr. H. B. Johnson.

Aug 15, 2013 2:01PM
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Racism is where you find it. If you look hard enough everything can be construed as racist especially in today's pc society. Always liked the story of little black sambo.

Aug 14, 2013 9:45PM
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Chi Chi's closed most of their locations due to health code violations. Sambos got a lot of attention because it was called a 'racist' chain (which is silly.)
There are not many chain restaurants that know how to serve good food.
(Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday's are among the worst of the bunch.)

Aug 15, 2013 3:16PM
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I avoid all "chain" restaurants, I can't think of one that doesn't serve crappy plastic food.  I try to stick with the locally owned "mom & pop" joints- the food and the customer service are usually better and the prices tend to be comparable or even less than the franchised shops. 
Aug 15, 2013 4:14PM
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"Sambo" does not have "negative racial stereotypes." An Asian Indian boy tricks a tiger, saving himself and brings home food for his family. A great children's tale.
Aug 14, 2013 7:59PM
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There is a "Sambos" still operating in Lincoln City, Oregon.......
Aug 14, 2013 11:12PM
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Kind of sad - the local KFC has tough chicken with lousy taste.  That is - when they don't give a thigh instead of a breast - of course they charge for the breast.

 

Sad - when a customer can get better chicken at the local Walmart or the local Krogers.

 

And that helps (in part) explain why some businesses fail.

 

It was sad that he local Sonic lasted only about a year - many think the franchise owner didn't start with enough money.

 

It is sad that he local Pizza Hut closed its eat in - for carry out only.

Aug 15, 2013 8:01AM
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This is ANOTHER one of MSN's go-to topics.  Seem familiar? 
Aug 15, 2013 10:12AM
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LMAO. Dow dives 200 in early trading!!!!  7 restaurant chains fading away!!  LMAO!  I'm not worried.  I will worry when I see Insurance companies going under, when I see hosptials no longer adding wings, and when I see doctor's offices closing.  Right now, all I see is 7 restaurant chains closing and probably 7 more insurance companies sending emails of the best offers ever, more "ask your doctor" ads and more medicare supplement scams on the "ask your doctor" box.  But, just wait...look at all the thumbs down I'll get from the "ask your doctor' addicts!!!!  The Taliban in Washington has destoyed the country.  LMAO at them too!  When it collapses, they'll finally be OUT!!!!
Aug 15, 2013 11:45AM
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Chi Chi's was a great place to hang for happy hour - 2 for 1 margarita's, free chips & salsa. But the company figured out that they could market the salsa & make more money than operating a restaurant chain. With no overhead- getting other stores to carry your goods - it was a no brainer.

 

And the fried ice cream- man I miss that too!

Aug 14, 2013 7:33PM
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Any business that stands still will be destined to go out-of-business. And these days.......quickly at that!
Aug 15, 2013 7:45AM
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My first job  was at Sambos in North Miami Beach in 1980.. What Memories....
Aug 14, 2013 8:45PM
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Some I never visited, a few I miss like Ground Round, and I love Bennegans.  Always stop at the one in Clear Lake, IA anytime I'm going through.  Unfortunately, some try to grow faster than they can support while others just never really had a long term offering.  A good bar and grill with healthy food and decent prices has become very hard to find!!!  Can't think of many of the chain outfits that are worth visiting.
Aug 15, 2013 8:59AM
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Speaking of declining food quality/flavor: What happened to the 'good ol' McD's french fries'? Ever since the so-called healthy eating 'craze', they '(had to)' quit frying in the better oils etc that they were using. I worked for Termicold, a cold-storage facility in Riverdale, IA. We had to 'throw out' (REALLY THROW OUT, and no one was allowed to dumpster dive), any package/carton that was 'crushed' even on the corners only. They were proud of their rep for the best tasting ff.

 

Also, have you ever seen the back rooms of 'any' restaurant. My late husband delivered to some places and told me some horror stories. A lot of eating joints don't have stainless steel food preparing surfaces and the ones that do seldom disinfect them. I feel the fast food places are cleaner than the regular restaurants. I love Sonic but you can't find them in the smaller towns-decent (quite good tasting) food and good portions. When I worked in OK, that was my 'go-to' place.

Aug 15, 2013 10:17AM
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Need to update. Says "disappearing", but a few have disappeared.
Aug 15, 2013 10:08AM
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And taste tends to be affected by price as the economy tanks further.
Aug 14, 2013 9:43PM
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There is a Mister Donut in Godfrey, IL.
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