9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer
The first round of restaurant closures in the spring saw several fast food chains filing for bankruptcy, hundreds of restaurant locations closing for good, and some fast casual brands disappearing forever.
But it looks like restaurant closures are nowhere near over. The second wave of closures was put in motion this summer, and by the end of this year, we'll see hundreds, if not thousands more fast food locations closing all over the country.
In case you missed it, here are some of the biggest chains that have started the process of restaurant closures, which is slated to continue through the year.
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You may have to say goodbye to a Pizza Hut in your area soon. Due to one of their biggest franchisees filing for bankruptcy, the pizza chain announced a closure of some 300 locations last month. While it remains to be seen which exact locations are closing, it is presumed that the restaurants that rely on dine-in foot traffic will be the first ones on the chopping block, as those have suffered most during the pandemic.
While we still don't know how many Burger King locations will be closing this year, the chain's parent company announced in August the number could be in the hundreds. Burger King was posed for rapid growth before the pandemic hit, but is putting those plans on hold in order to prune the underperforming locations and invest in more drive-thrus, for which they've already unveiled new designs.
The coffee and fast food chain is owned by the same parent company as Burger King, and is another brand whose locations are looking at substantial closures. However, Tim Horton's is the largest quick service chain in Canada, and most of the closures are expected to take place in that market.
Blue Star Donuts
The iconic regional donut chain, and a sought-after foodie destination, has shuttered 4 of their 11 locations in Oregon and Southern California, including their flagship store in Portland. The company is filing for bankruptcy which will give them a chance to restructure their debt and hopefully keep their remaining locations open.
In July, America's favorite coffee chain announced the closure of a whopping 800 locations by the end of the year. About half of the shuttering stores are located in Speedway gas stations, part of a partnership between the two brands that came to an end this year. But there's no reason to panic—the closing locations represent only about 8% of Dunkin's stores nationwide, so there should still be plenty of opportunities to get their coffee and donuts.
California Pizza Kitchen
In July, California Pizza Kitchen filed for bankruptcy. Although this doesn't spell the end for the beloved pizza brand, the company will be closing down less profitable locations in the coming months. Local reports of CPK location closures have already started, with most recent stores shuttering in Fresno and San Luis Obispo, CA, and Detroit suburbs of Livonia and Farmington Hills.
Potbelly did manage to escape the grim predictions that they would be closing up to a 100 locations due to the pandemic. But the chain will still end up shuttering close to 50 locations this year, which means there is a high probability that their delicious sandwiches will no longer be available in your city.
McDonald's has also started pruning the number of their stores this year, announcing in July they would be closing 200 restaurants. More than half of those locations are smaller units located inside Walmart stores, which is representative of the fast food giant's long-term plan of transitioning from malls and similar retail areas to the currently more desirable business model of drive-thrus.
Pret a Manger
The U.K.-based company has seen its American sales dwindle during the pandemic by a devastating 87%. So in a move meant to stabilize their U.S. business, the chain is closing down all locations in Boston and Chicago. The closures amount to 17 closed restaurants, with only one single store remaining on the University of Chicago's campus.