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10 Restaurant Chains That Closed the Most Locations In the Past Year

Scores of major chains shuttered locations in 2023, but some were hit especially hard by closures.

A spate of closures swept the restaurant industry in 2023 as struggling chains shuttered dozens or even hundreds of locations.

Using data from the annual Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant ReportRestaurant Business Magazine published an illuminating new list of 10 chains that closed the most locations last year. Rather than focusing on chains with the largest number of closures in 2023, the list pinpointed chains that closed the largest percentage of their locations throughout the year. Only chains with 40 or more closures were considered when compiling the ranking.

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The data revealed that Boston Market—a fast-casual brand known for its rotisserie chickens and other comfort fare—shuttered the largest percentage of its restaurants (67.5%) in 2023. The chain had 91 restaurants left at the end of last year, but a slew of additional closures since the start of 2024 have brought its store count down to just 27 restaurants, Restaurant Business Magazine reported. That's a far cry from the 1,200 stores it operated at its peak.

boston market restaurant exterior and close-up of sign outside
Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock

Boston Market's top spot in the ranking was far from surprising. In recent years, it has been plagued by hundreds of store closures, mounting legal troubles, and many other financial woes.

Coming in second place, casual dining chain O'Charley's also saw a difficult year in 2023 as it shuttered more than half (54.9%) of its locations. It ended the year with 64 restaurants, a massive decline from the nearly 250 locations it operated at peak popularity.

Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

O'Charley's has been struggling financially lately due to major sales declines, rent increases, and elevated costs. Many malls and retailers that were once located near O'Charley's locations have also closed or moved over the past few decades, taking away much of the chain's potential customer foot traffic.

Here are the eight other chains that closed the most locations in 2023, according to Technomic data:

  • Au Bon Pain: The bakery-café chain closed nearly half (45%) of its restaurants last year. Restaurant Business Magazine reported that the company is down to 45 locations, but Au Bon Pain's website currently lists 48 restaurants. Au Bon Pain has struggled with store closures for years despite getting a new owner in 2021 who hoped to start growing the brand again.
  • Corner Bakery Cafe: This bakery-café chain closed 24.6% of its restaurants in 2023, bringing its total store count down to 104 at the end of the year. Corner Bakery filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2023, but an investment company rescued it from bankruptcy later in the year. Its sales have since started to improve and plans are underway to start opening new Corner Bakery locations again, per Restaurant Business Magazine.
  • Fuddruckers: This struggling burger chain has been closing locations for years, and 2024 was no exception. It shuttered 15 restaurants in 2023, accounting for 21.4% of its total locations. Fuddruckers had just 55 stores open at the end of the year.
  • TGI Fridays: The casual dining chain closed more than a fifth (20.2%) of its locations last year, ending 2023 with 233 restaurants. After facing lagging sales in recent years, TGI Fridays has been shuttering struggling locations to improve the health of the chain as a whole. The chain announced in January this year that another 36 underperforming locations would close.
tgi fridays
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock
  • Joe's Crab Shack: While Joe's Crab Shack was once publicly traded and boasted more than 100 locations about a decade ago, its footprint has shrunk significantly since then. It closed seven restaurants in 2023, bringing its store count down to 30 at the end of the year. The closures accounted for 18.9% of its locations.
  • Romano's Macaroni Grill: The Italian-American casual dining chain's footprint shrunk by 16.2% in 2023 as it shuttered six restaurants. Romano's had 31 locations in operation at the end of last year, a major drop from the 200+ restaurants it had in its heyday.
  • Quiznos: The sandwich chain has been struggling for a while and took another hit last year as it closed 14 restaurants, accounting for 14.5% of its total store count. Quiznos was down to 142 locations at the end of 2023, only a small portion of the nearly 5,000 restaurants it used to operate in the United States.
  • Johnny Carino's: Some American diners will have to find a new go-to Italian spot after Johnny Carino's closed 14.3% of its restaurants last year, lowering its location total to 30 at the end of 2023. The closures coincided with a significant 11.4% decline in the chain's system sales last year.

Consumers should expect to see plenty of additional closures sweep the nation in 2024. A plethora of major chains have already shuttered or announced plans to shutter locations this year, including the bankrupt Tex-Mex chain Tijuana Flats, Mod Pizza, Cracker Barrel, and Denny's.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe