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7 Regional Fast Food Chains You May Never See Again

Trying to cope during the pandemic is hurting these beloved restaurants financially.

While it seems like most fast-food restaurants are doing OK during this time thanks to most customers happy to use the drive-thru to get their burger and fry fix, not every establishment is going to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, regional fast-food chains are the spots not faring as well, as these restaurants generally have fewer locations to begin with.

Sadly, not every regional fast food restaurant you know and love is going to make it out of this rough time still standing. Here's a breakdown of seven regional fast-food chains you just may never see again. And to stay informed, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest coronavirus foods news delivered straight to your inbox.


Roy Rogers

Roy rogers
Roy Rogers/Facebook

It's no secret that this regional fast-food chain has struggled to keep its doors open for years now. According to MoneyWise, the chain once had more than 600 locations, but as of 2020, only 48 are still operating in six states—Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.


Steak 'n Shake

Steak n shake restaurant

Unfortunately, Steak 'n Shake has taken a hit during the pandemic and it was announced that 57 locations were closing. Although the drive-thru, takeout, and delivery options were available, the closing of dining rooms has caused losses for the company.


Taco Cabana

Taco cabana mexican patio cafe

Taco Cabana had closed down 19 underperforming restaurants of the 164 locations it had in Texas at the beginning of 2020, along with dealing with more than $4 million in losses. And that was all before the pandemic spread through the country. So there's a chance you'll see less and less of this Tex-Mex spot as time goes on, but currently, the chain is offering up ready-to-cook meals for customers to have at home.



Fuddruckers restaurant
Lori Martin/Shutterstock

Fuddruckers' days of offering up "the world's greatest hamburgers" might be numbered. The Texas-based chain has many of its locations listed as temporarily closed as a result of the pandemic. At the beginning of last year, there were 57 Fuddruckers locations in the country and now, only 40 remain.


Luby's Cafeteria


Luby's is the parent company of both Luby's Cafeteria and Fuddruckers and it furloughed more than half of its corporate office because of the pandemic. Unfortunately, 29 Luby's Cafeteria locations actually closed with just 34 currently remaining open, so its future post-pandemic is looking rather grim.




Potbelly is another grab-and-go favorite you're most likely going to see less of. The Chicago-based sandwich chain is considering closing up to 100 locations after seeing sales plummet during the pandemic. Back in March, 36 locations were temporarily closed, along with corporate employees being furloughed and salaries of all executive and corporate workers cut by 25 percent.



Whataburger restaurant

The San-Antonio Texas-based regional fast-food chain announced layoffs and furloughs because of the pandemic back in April. While the dining rooms are closed, drive-thru orders and curbside pickup are still available at locations. Time will tell, though, if this will be enough to keep the chain going during these unprecedented times.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
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