The End of an Era

Restaurants closing in 2024:

  • Fuddruckers is expected to close ALL locations by the end of the year
  • Old Country Buffet is closing ALL remainder locations
  • IHOP is closing 100 locations
  • Buffalo Wild Wings is closing ALL Canada locations as well as 60 locations in the US
  • Applebee’s is closing 35 locations
  • Red Lobster is closing 50 locations as they enter bankruptcy
  • Denny’s is closing 20 locations by the end of the year
  • Marie Callender’s is shutting down ALL remainder locations
  • Pizza Hut is planning to close 500 locations
  • Outback Steakhouse is closing 41 of their 700 locations
  • Sai Baro is closing a total of 50 locations with majority being mall locations
  • Mard Pizza is closing a total of 27 locations
  • Ruby Tuesday is closing 16 more locations in 2024.
  • BDQ is closing 8 of their 59 locations.
  • Joe’s Crab Shack is closing 41 of their 60 locations
  • Bonefish Grill is closing 7 locations

This is what cultural and economic decline looks like. Apparently 60 years of relentless immigration are not, in fact, good for the economy or the traditional culture. I wonder, however, how much of these failures are related to economic contraction, reduced consumer spending, and excessive debt versus the lack of appeal held by these traditional restaurant franchises for the newcomers.

UPDATE: A reader writes to explain what he saw at Outback Steakhouse:

Your assessment of the restaurant closures is spot on. I worked at an Outback for 5 years in a nice Chicago Suburb. When I started, Outback was still in its prime but only a year in they began to shift their marketing campaign. Between couponing, offering deals like “all you can eat shrimp”, and bending over for any customer that had the slightest complaint by comping their meal, it slowly but consistently brought the level of the clientele down. This was especially frustrating for myself and the servers alike that were used to 20% tips being the norm (when good service was provided of course) – however with the cheaper and more diverse customers, the tips became less and less. I think what happened is that Outback as a corporation became short-sighted and wanted to attract new customers but in the end it only caused them to be hurt by having to shrink margins to just keep these new customers happy by giving away so many freebees. A few years after I left, to no surprise, the location that I worked at closed.