Some of America’s biggest restaurant chains have lost more than 50% of their sales over the past decade as they closed hundreds of locations.
Many of these businesses failed to update their brands or menu options, making them vulnerable to a new generation of eateries.
Based on data provided by Technomic, a consulting firm for the food-service industry, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 restaurant chains with the biggest declines in both locations and sales between 2001 and 2011.
The struggling brands “tend to be older,” says Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic. The type of cuisine sometimes plays a key role, Tristano says. In the case of barbecue establishments, for instance, competition is less of a problem than the limited menu options. Barbecue fare typically attracts male customers, and it isn’t a meal diners want to eat every day.
Many of these restaurants saw their heydays come and go decades ago. Of the 10 chains with the biggest declines, eight have filed for bankruptcy in the past decade.
The tepid recovery from the recent recession will make recovery a huge challenge for these brands.