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Adored Cheeseburger Chains You May Never See Again

Say goodbye to some super iconic burgers (plus fries and shakes, too).
Sign closed in restaurant blank for fill time.

It's no secret that restaurants were struggling to keep up with rapidly changing safety measures and capacity limits during the summer. However, in recent months, many popular chains have begun to see an uptick in sales.

But, the damage that was done in the spring has made it harder for some beloved businesses to bounce back. Even some famous and historic chain restaurants are continuing to feel the effects of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, some of the most iconic cheeseburger chains in the nation have closed several of their locations for good. (Related: 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer)

Here are just seven cheeseburger chains that Americans adore that have closed shop at some of their sites permanently.

1

Cheeseburger in Paradise

cheeseburger in paradise
Cheeseburger in Paradise/ Facebook

Late last month, Cheeseburger in Paradise shuttered its last remaining location in Secaucus, New Jersey. It's not clear as to when exactly the adored burger chain officially closed its doors, because the website only lends the following insight: "Thank you for supporting Cheeseburger in Paradise. All of our restaurant locations are now permanently closed."

2

Steak 'n shake

steak n shake
Shutterstock

The iconic burger and shake chain that has been open since 1934 closed nearly 70 locations over the first half of 2020. In May, 306 Steak 'n Shake locations were still in operation, however, the chain was actively looking to sell many corporate-owned sites to those who wanted to franchise them. Since then, 18 more sites have closed. (Related: 25 Iconic Restaurants That Are Gone Forever)

3

Whataburger

whataburger sign
Shutterstock

In April, the company announced that some employees in the corporate office were being laid off and others furloughed. And even in June, when many Whataburger locations began to reopen their dining rooms at a limited capacity, more layoffs ensued in the corporate office.

4

Fuddruckers

Fuddruckers restaurant
Lori Martin/Shutterstock

This burger favorite originated in texas in 1980 but has seen a steady drop in sales for a while now. Early last year its parent company, Luby's, said they were closing some locations and in March, five of those stores closed temporarily due to the pandemic.

By June, Luby's announced that the whole company was up for sale in order to pay off outstanding debts, putting the future of "the world's greatest hamburgers" at Fuddruckers up in the air. More recently in September, Luby's Inc. announced it was selling assets after having to shut down operations at all of its locations in the spring. (Related: 7 other Regional Fast Food Chains You May Never See Again.)

5

Red Robin

outside of a red robin restaurant
Shutterstock

The coronavirus pandemic has not been kind to this fast-casual burger restaurant. Sales fell significantly when restaurants were forced to transition to carryout, delivery, and drive-thru only. The burger chain reported a near-50% decrease in sales during the week ending May 24 when compared to the same week the year prior. Since then, Red Robin has appeared to be on the upswing. In September, Restaurant Business Online reported that the beloved chain recaptured nearly 84% of its pre-covid sales.

6

Roy Rogers

Roy rogers
Roy Rogers/Facebook

Roy Rogers is among the many burger chains that were hit hard by the pandemic. In fact, you won't find this regional favorite in many states anymore. Only Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania have operating locations.

At the beginning of the year, the chain experienced a slight increase in sales after setting up DoorDash services as well as renovating the menu and technology inside restaurants. As the coronavirus infiltrated the nation, the chain was forced to take a step back. According to QSR Magazine, Roy Rogers temporarily cut 10 menu items and shut down its Fixin's Bar in June.

7

Wendy's

Wendy's exterior
Shutterstock

Yep, the Baconator could be gone for good, but only in some areas. In June, NPC International Inc, the parent company of almost 400 franchised Wendy's locations, was in talks to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to $800 million worth of debt. NPC also owns over 1,200 franchised Pizza Hut locations. So while this didn't affect all Wendy's locations, it definitely did impact the livelihood of the business in some neighborhoods.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more
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