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Ten Dying Restaurant Chains  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 01:06 pm
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beejmi



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Here we go. Which ones do you love/hate?



Blimpie
Restaurant closings: 60.1%
Number of closures: 1,114
Sales decline: 60.4%
The first Blimpie submarine sandwich shop opened in Hoboken, N.J., in 1964. Although it remains the nation's third-largest purveyor of submarine sandwiches, Blimpie is a diminished franchise.
Blimpie was purchased in 2007 by Kahala, a franchising company that also owns Cold Stone Creamery




Ponderosa Steakhouse/Bonanza Steakhouse
Restaurant closings: 63.5%
Number of closures: 305
Sales decline: 61.7%
Ponderosa Steakhouse and Bonanza Steakhouse aim to offer "the spirit of the Old West . . . and honest-to-goodness value."
Like many other casual dining franchises, they took a hit during the most-recent recession. In 2008, the chains' parent company, Metromedia Steakhouses, filed for bankruptcy. Although the company, now called Homestyle Dining



Big Boy
Restaurant closings: 65.4%
Number of closures: 265
Sales decline: 68.4%
Big Boy, known for its double-decker hamburger and overall-wearing mascot, opened in Glendale, Calif., in 1936. The company has struggled since its former franchiser, Elias Brothers, filed for bankruptcy in 2000.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 01:08 pm
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beejmi



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Don Pablo's
Restaurant closings: 71.0%
Number of closures: 93
Sales decline: 69.6%
Don Pablo's describes itself as "Big Tex Bold Mex." Former parent Avado Brands went bankrupt twice in the last decade, most recently in 2007. In 2008, Don Pablo's was sold to a restaurant group started by Avado's bankruptcy lender.
Full-service Mexican restaurants like Don Pablo's have struggled, says Technomic’s Tristano, as fast-casual restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill



Tony Roma's
Restaurant closings: 71.6%
Number of closures: 116
Sales decline: 70.8%
Tony Roma's,



TCBY
Restaurant closings: 77.2%
Number of closures: 1,372
Sales decline: 60.4%
TCBY got its start in Arkansas, in 1981, as "This Can't Be Yogurt," and later "The Country's Best Yogurt." The business was purchased by Mrs. Fields in 2000. At the time, the Chicago Tribune noted that, "both TCBY and Mrs. Fields have considerable (brand) equity among consumers" and that "in the still-escalating fast-service wars, it makes sense for operators to offer more than one product in order to create more traffic.



Damon's Grill & Sports Bar
Restaurant closings: 78.1%
Number of closures: 107
Sales decline: 75.4%
Damon's Grill & Sports Bar, founded in 1979, is based in Columbus, Ohio, and has restaurants in the Midwest, Southeast and in the United Kingdom. The company touts its full-service, casual-dining concept.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 01:09 pm
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beejmi



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Country Kitchen
Restaurant closings: 79.1%
Number of closures: 197
Sales decline: 82.4%
Country Kitchen got its start in 1939, as a hamburger stand in Cincinnati. It went national in 1958. Currently, however, it is concentrated in the Midwest and Great Plains states.



Ground Round Grill & Bar
Restaurant closings: 80.9%
Number of closures: 106
Sales decline: 83.4%
Ground Round Grill & Bar competes in the family dining niche. The chain was founded, in 1969, to provide a "neighborhood pub" where everyone was welcomed.



Bennigan's
Restaurant closings: 88.2%
Number of closures: 247
Sales decline: 89.0%
Irish themed Bennigan's is owned by Metromedia Restaurant Group, which, as noted, filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Bennigan's abruptly shut almost all of its restaurants following the filing.
As of last year, there were just 33 Bennigan's restaurants in business. Yet there is hope for the franchise -- a group of investors purchased the company and plans to open new locations.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 01:15 pm
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tamalie
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Ground Round shut down its company owned restaurants years ago. It was an abrupt decision tied to, I believe, chapter 11 filings. Managers were told to not even let patrons finish their meals. Just hustle them out and shut it down. The franchises stayed open, but the negative publicity hurt them badly. In the long run, the biggest problem was the food just wasn't very good. As consumers became more demanding, some chains adapted and stayed relevant, like Applebee's, or stayed still and got run over, like Ground Round or, for that matter, Bennigan's.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 01:16 pm
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srossi

 

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Haven't even heard of many of them.  I've been in a Blimpie's and a Bennigan's once or twice in my life, neither will be a great loss. 

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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 01:26 pm
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BlueThunder



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I've only heard of three of them. Ponderosa was okay. I imagine the rest of the steak joints helped put them out of business.

I truly miss Bennigans. I was a regular there until they closed.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 01:36 pm
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dogfacedgremlin34
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I've heard of 6 of them and actually eaten in two, Ground Round and Ponderosa, maybe two or three times each--and that was mostly when I was in college, didn't have a pot to piss in, and was looking for some cheap all you can eat grub.

I won't miss these at all.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 01:39 pm
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Married Jo



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Here in Hickory NC we don't have any of those. We had a Big Boy when I was a kid but it's been gone 30 years now. And Hickory has TONS of restaurants...



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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 01:42 pm
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bpickering



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Ponderosa Steakhouse/Bonanza had one in the area closed about 10 years ago.

Big Boy closed about 20 years ago in my area. Eat and Park moved in. They closed in the past 10 years or so.




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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 01:52 pm
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srossi

 

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Married Jo wrote: Here in Hickory NC we don't have any of those. We had a Big Boy when I was a kid but it's been gone 30 years now. And Hickory has TONS of restaurants...
I can't help but hear Jon Reep's voice every time you post something related to Hickory.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 02:17 pm
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nyhack56



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Ground Round just opened up a small place attached to a bowling alley here in Bradley Beach, NJ.  It's the only one in NJ, I believe.  There was one Keyport/Hazlet about 20 years ago but had closed.  Still doing the penny a pound thing for kids.

TCBY closed up around here about 10 years ago.  Ponderosa, which was a buffet place around here, closed about 20 years ago.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 02:21 pm
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DaNkinator



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Too bad about Blimpie.  They're way better than the Subway's out there.  Freshly cut meat and good breads and cheeses.




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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 02:32 pm
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HBF



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Ground Round ruled when I was a kid in NJ. They had one in Fairfield that we'd go to and loved eating the free popcorn and making a mess. I loved that place.

I thought Bennigans was out of business since the '90's. That was such an "80's" restaurant that I'm shocked they're still around.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 02:38 pm
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Count Grog
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all Bennigans around here closed years ago

There is still a Blimpies in Fuquay inside Walmart hadn't eaten at one in 20 years

Don Pablo's -I've eaten once or twice in Asheville when we couldn't get in anywhere else I think that one closed

Ponderosa- was my dads favorite in Johnstown hadn't been there since he died in 2006 and then it was probably 2004 when we last ate there, I thought there was still one in Falmouth, VA off I 95.

all Tony Romas and Damons anywhere near here closed a while ago

Hadn't seen a Big Boy since the 1970's

TCBY- I wouldn't look for one so no idea

never heard of Ground Round



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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2013 03:55 pm
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NJRob65

 

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HBF wrote:
Ground Round ruled when I was a kid in NJ. They had one in Fairfield that we'd go to and loved eating the free popcorn and making a mess. I loved that place.

I thought Bennigans was out of business since the '90's. That was such an "80's" restaurant that I'm shocked they're still around.


Ground Round would put a tremendous amount of salt on the free popcorn, so customers would order more overpriced drinks. Their food was below average at best, I haven't seen one in New Jersey in about 20 years, but I haven't gone out of my way to look for one. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that their still around.

A few Bennigan's close by me, have closed within the last decade. They were mediocre.

I'm kind of surprised that there are any Blimpie's left, especially in New Jersey/New York area, but I have seen a few. More surprising is the fact they started in Hoboken. New Jersey has many excellent independent delis, which should come as no surprise due to the large Italian-American and Jewish population of the state.

Last edited on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 04:00 pm by NJRob65

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