Few restaurants were spared the effects of the pandemic, even once mighty giants. What massive breakfast chain is only barely hanging on and which pizza chains might not survive 2022.
Founded in dallas in 1958. Pizza inn is mostly located in the southern half of the U.S.
The chains menu includes pan pizzas, as well as dishes, including garlic, bread, spaghetti and strombolis. Like most restaurants, pizza inn was struck hard by the kovid 19 pandemic, while other pizza chains may have thrived. As more and more people opted to order food to their homes, this chain’s existing financial problems only worsened in 2020 and continued into 2021.
Not surprisingly, pizza, inn’s buffet locations were the most impacted by the pandemic. The company had problems even before the pandemic.
In 2019, the parent company behind the brand rave restaurant group saw an 18.5 drop in revenue approaching the end of 2020. The brand saw another 8.8 drop in revenue. If the trend continues, Pizza Inn lovers may be looking elsewhere for their alfredo cheese pizzas.
Pizza Inn, isn’t the only pizza chain or the only restaurant, largely owned by rave restaurant group that’s facing problems despite the rise in popularity of carryout and delivery during the pandemic, Pie Five isn’t your standard pizza delivery and carryout service. Instead, it has a fast casual focus.
Although the Pie Five concept showed early promise, it has been in trouble for years a trend that continued through the pandemic in 2015. The chain was opening restaurants in a variety of new states and had surpassed 100 stores.
As 2021 came to a close, there were less than 35 locations, still open and 10 locations closed in a single quarter in early 2020
The reasons for Pie Five’s demise aren’t necessarily a direct result of the pandemic. Instead, a variety of issues from poor marketing to stiff competition have no doubt contributed. While a few locations are holding on it likely won’t be long before those looking for fast casual pizza will need to rely on other chains.
The Lost Cajun
The lost cajun restaurant has been serving up southern favorites, such as fried catfish, gumbo, hobois, red beans and rice and more since 2010. Although it serves new orleans inspired cuisine, the chain was actually started in frisco colorado by louisiana native raymond griffin.
Although it started as a tiny place with only four menu items, the chain has grown to 24 locations across seven states.
Although the chain had early success, it was forced to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in april 2021. A drop in sales during the pandemic is to blame, founder and owner. Raymond griffin remained optimistic, telling fsr magazine that the lost cajun wasn’t going to disappear, but if the challenge challenges caused by lost sales and staff shortages continue, this may not be the case.
Meathead’s Burgers and Fries
Meathead’s Burgers and Fries, a chicago-based chain declared bankruptcy in april 2021.The chain operates 13 locations in the chicagoland area, they’re a fast casual concept with a menu of made-to-order, burgers hot dogs, french fries, salads and sandwiches according to yahoo.
At the start of the coven 19 pandemic, the chain received a paycheck protection program loan totaling over 980 000. In 2021. It received an additional 1.44 million in PPP funding. All of this was on top of a 6.65 million dollar loan from LQD financial that the chain took out in february of 2019 at an interest rate of 17 a year.
That means their bottom line is looking pretty dire and they owe millions to creditors, while bankruptcy protection could help the changed.
Creditors have moved to have the bankruptcy dismissed facing financial challenges and declining sales. This burger chain may fizzle out by the end of the year.
When the Covid19 pandemic first began, few restaurants were spared the effects, but one style of dining that was particularly hard hit.
Was the buffet health experts warned of the dangers of a lack of social distancing and shared utensils? Many buffet restaurants unable to adjust their businesses to the new reality decided to temporarily close until they could operate safely. Others closed their doors for good.
Ryan’s a buffet chain founded in 1978, largely shut down operations in late february and early march of 2020. Stories of Ryan’s locations. Closing often without warning started hitting the news soon after one location in charleston west virginia that had been temporarily closed.
Since march of 2020 announced it would never reopen in october of that year, Ryan’s parent company, which also owns five other buffet chains, including old country, buffet declared bankruptcy in early 2021 prior to the pandemic.
The company owned 90 restaurants in 27 states as of april 2021. Only six remained open, all of which are california locations of tahoe joe’s. While the parent company is still in operation and could revive the Ryan’s brand, it seems likely that Ryan’s will wind up being a victim of the pandemic not so long ago.
BurgerIM was a fast-growing chain taking the US by storm. The chain petals mini three-ounce, burgers made out of beef, lamb, grilled chicken, turkey, crispy chicken and a vegan impossible patty.
They also now offer full-sized burgers for those who want something larger, while the chain grew fast in its early years in the US, its problems started before the current health crisis.
One issue was incredibly fast growth thanks to its attractive franchise marketing by the end of 2019, the brand had jumped from just a few us locations to more than 1 200 franchise agreements across the nation that same year the brand considered filing for bankruptcy.
Then things got really shady their founder Oren Loni fled the country and left franchisees in a pickle, so to speak over two years later, they still haven’t filed for bankruptcy, but have dropped to a little over a hundred locations.
After a settlement with the state of California that force BurgerIM
to refund more than 57 million dollars in franchise fees and pay four million dollars in fines, it seems the brand won’t be around much longer.
BRIO Tuscan Grille and Bravo Italian Kitchen
In may of 2020, it was announced that 71 locations of the popular italian chain, BRIO Tuscan Grille and Bravo Italian Kitchen – might not reopen following temporary closures due to Covid 19.
Both chains are owned by the same parent company, FoodFirst Global Restaurants. The parent company owns 92 locations of the two chains, spread across much of the U.S.
When the pandemic struck, both chains sought to switch over to curbside, pickup and delivery orders.
Some locations were more successful than others. Food first global restaurants plan to keep 21 of its most successful locations open.
According to dayton.com in june of 2020 earl enterprises. Another restaurant company that owns brands like planet hollywood and buca di beppo stepped in the new owners promised to reopen the shuttered locations, but it remains to be seen if the buyout will be enough to keep the brands alive.
Yet another pizza restaurant struggling to keep up with the competition and changing customer preferences is pizza hut in august of 2020, the chain announced that it was closing 300 locations.
The closures were part of a deal struck between the parent company yum brands and a franchisee mpc international or npc. Even after the closures, npc pizza hut’s, largest franchisee, was left with more than 900 locations, which they placed on the sales block. At the same time, the franchisee owned around a fifth of the pizza huts in the US.
While things were looking bleak for the brand in september, the chain claimed that the remaining locations may be safe, at least for now, plus a statement from the company’s PR notes.
Some positive news throughout 2021 pizza hut has continued to see some of its strongest earnings in the past 10 years due to continued menu innovation, like the detroit style, launch, redefining value and leaning into classic menu items like the iconic stuffed crust pizza.
Dave & Buster’s
As both a restaurant and an entertainment venue, Dave & Buster’s faced a one-two punch as a result of COVID-19. Locations across the country closed their doors, many for months while waiting to see where health codes and the spreading virus would leave them.
Now, months after many restaurants, stores, and other businesses reopened, some Dave & Buster’s locations are closing their doors permanently.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, the company faced a drop in same-store sales of 75 percent. They had started the quarter with 104 locations; by the end, they had just 89.
The chain made headlines in September 2020 when it laid off 1,300 employees. Things began looking up for the chain by the summer of 2021, as they posted revenue growth for the first time since the initial closure.
However, with the future course of the pandemic still uncertain, it’s unclear whether Dave & Buster’s would survive another shut-down or drop in visitor numbers.
Chuck E. Cheese’s
Dave & Buster’s isn’t the only entertainment complex struggling to rebound during the pandemic. In 2020, Chuck E. Cheese’s, the popular children’s entertainment venue, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
As a result, they were able to pay down more than $700 million in debt, though it’s unclear yet whether that will be enough to save the ’80s and ’90s entertainment giant.
During the pandemic, 35 stores closed permanently. The chain tried to adjust to the closures by offering pizzas and other carry-out-friendly foods for curbside pickup, but it seems as though the writing may be on the wall.
In 2007, the brand celebrated 30 years of fun. Now, it seems that fun may be coming to an end.
This means that future generations of children will grow up without ever knowing what it was like to celebrate your birthday lost in a tube slide or doing a singalong with a larger-than-life rat.
Another buffet on the chopping block is Golden Corral. According to the company’s website, this classic all-you-can-eat American buffet opened its first location in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1973.
While it actually started as a steakhouse, by the mid-1980s, it had pivoted to its signature buffet-style dining. Since then, they’ve been serving hungry diners piles of fried chicken, cheesy pasta, fish, and heaps of desserts — as much as they can eat!
In 2019, the chain had nearly 500 locations. Today, it has less than 400. Golden Corral operates as a franchise, and the brand’s second-largest franchisee, Platinum Corral, closed over half of its restaurants in early 2021.
In 2020, the chain’s largest franchisee, 1069 Restaurant Group, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. While some locations and franchisees continue to hold on, it seems the chain is on an inevitable downward slide.
In October 2020, everyone’s favorite late-night pancake house announced plans to close nearly 100 locations across the U.S. That was after IHOP had already closed 16 locations in the previous quarter: In May 2020, one franchisee, which previously operated 49 IHOP locations, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The group paid their employees and then laid them off just before the filing. At the time, IHOP’s parent company, Dine Brands, said sales were down by about 75% due to pandemic-related restrictions.
Despite a bleak outlook in 2020, things were looking up for the pancake chain in mid-2021. The brand’s parent company announced that it planned to hire 10,000 employees as it looked to keep up with an increase in demand. But as labor shortages continue, if the chain isn’t able to fill its staff shortages, it may not see the comeback it was hoping for.
While their menus may have little in common, Applebee’s and IHOP are actually sister brands under the Dine Brands Global umbrella. Much like its close relative, Applebee’s has faced challenges in the wake of COVID-19.
Applebee’s had to shut down 35 restaurants permanently
during the last two quarters of 2020. The all-American brand has been facing problems for a number of years now.
In 2018, they announced the closure of 80 locations after reporting a loss of $330 million in 2017. The chain had failed to update its menus and business strategy to suit a younger audience.
Recognizing their mistake, Applebee’s rebranded, a move that alienated the families that they once catered to.
It isn’t the only casual dining chain that faced similar issues; Olive Garden has also struggled to update its image and stay relevant to modern diners. While sales started to recover in 2021, it remains to be seen if the casual dining sector can bounce back from its recent struggles.