6 Beloved Burger Chains That Have Closed For Good
It's no secret that restaurants were struggling to keep up with rapidly changing safety measures and capacity limits during most of 2020. However, in recent months, many popular chains have begun to see an uptick in sales.
But, the damage that was done during the months when the pandemic was hitting the hardest has made it that much more difficult 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 burger chains in the nation have closed several of their locations for good.
Here are just some burger chains Americans adore that have closed shop at some of their sites permanently. And for another trip down memory lane, uncover these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.
Cheeseburger in Paradise
In September of 2020, 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."
Steak 'n Shake
The iconic burger and shake chain that has been open since 1934 closed nearly 70 locations over the first half of 2020. In May of that year, 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)
This burger favorite originated in texas in 1980 but has seen a steady drop in sales for a while now. In early 2019, its parent company, Luby's, said they were closing some locations and in March 2020, five of those stores closed temporarily due to the pandemic.
By June 2020, 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. In September, Luby's Inc. announced it was selling assets after having to shut down operations at all of its locations in the spring.
The coronavirus pandemic had 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, 2020, 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.
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 2020, 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.
Yep, the Baconator could be gone for good, but only in some areas. In June 2020, 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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