Restaurant Chains That Won’t Make It Through the Year

Just like retail stores, restaurants are finding it difficult to stay above ground. It might be because not enough customers are noticing the place or they just don't have the money to eat out anymore, unless changes are made to get more customers in through their doors, these restaurants will be going bust soon.

We can never be absolutely certain, but it looks like all of these restaurants won't see 2021. But at least we've all had a good run with these places and we'll always have fond memories.


Since it set up shop some 20 years ago, Sbarro has been the go-to place for pizza. But over the years, they started cutting corners and their pizza just isn't that great anymore. goodbye to another pizzeria.

We're sad to see it go but on the other hand, we'll always remember what the pizza used to be like, and that's probably better than it stays open making lackluster cuisine.


Applebee’s has slowly been declining for a long time now. To try and stay afloat they've changed the food on their menu a few times. But I guess everyone's past the stage where they want to go out and eat reheated food. Fair enough.

Millennials are a pickier bunch and prefer things done a particular way. That way is using freshly prepared, good quality ingredients. And that's just something that Applebee's has never been able to do.

Boston Market

Boston Market started to shut down its restaurants across the country a year ago. Since it started they've lost 10% of their stores nationwide. Back in the '90s, they were immensely popular having more than 1,100 restaurants in America.

Nowadays in all of America, you'd be hard-pressed to find more than 400 locations. It doesn't help that Boston as a whole had bankruptcy right around the corner, which meant that they had to close 700 restaurants all at once.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

It doesn't help when Carrabba’s Italian Grill is owned by a company that has had a history of financial struggles. Right now, things seem to be improving slowly.

But that doesn't mean that all of Bloomin' Brands businesses are. Carrabba’s Italian Grills all across the country are closing their doors and now you'll only find 240 in America.

Golden Corral

Golden Corral is another example of a product of its time. It's clear that nowadays people aren't really looking for a place to go and have a buffet. Rather than having a lot of cheap food, they'd prefer to spend the same amount of money on less but better quality.

Golden Corral is sadly a restaurant that relies on and is known for are its buffets. Even if older people still frequent the place we don't think it'll be enough to sustain the restaurant while younger people go to other places.

Jack in the Box

Today, there are a lot of fast food places you can go to for a burger. With all the competition like McDonald's, Burger King, and more, Jack in the Box is being left behind.

The business is being overlooked while people go to more affordable places that are well established. Since 2018 the business has been struggling financially.


Chipotle is a restaurant everyone's heard of. Whether that's because of it being good or for it making you sick. It seems that annually, hundreds of customers got sick after walking out of its doors.

Chipotle has been desperate and even tried catering to special diets like keto. But it seems that people aren't interested. Who would go to a Chipotle for their special diet, anyway?

Red Robin

Red Robin has been losing revenue for years now. And if you do go there you might realize that it's quite a bit harder to get dinner than it used to.

With fewer customers rolling in through their doors every year. Red Robin is hard-pressed to keep their doors open. It's pretty sad considering how many memories a lot of people have.

Papa Murphy’s

Papa Murphy’s has been around for a while and was always a great take-and-bake pizza place. But it seems people have lost interest in recent years. This means that Papa Murphy’s across the States have been forced to close.

In 2018 alone, 97 Papa Murphy’s had to close their doors to never reopen. People just don't want a pizza-subway-esque restaurant anymore.

Chuck E. Cheese

Kids used to beg their parents to go to Chuck E. Cheese, but the chain has fallen on hard times. In June 2020, the brand declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

 Before this occurred, 11 locations already closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now, 34 will certainly follow.

Best Join Brewhouse

"Best Joint" is another bar and grill chain, and it’s been struggling lately. For the last few years, sales have dropped and dropped.

Now, it’s to the point where the stock has now plummeted 25%. Because of this massive fall, the company which owns it, DineEquity, also lost 47% of its value.


Poor Quiznos. This sandwich chain peaked in the early 2000s, but it’s just a shadow of what it once was.

At the time, it had around 5,000 stores. Then, the recession hit, and it closed around 2,000 locations. That’s a shocking number.

Pizza Hut

One of the biggest hits recently was the bankruptcy of one of the largest Pizza Hut franchisees.

NPC International filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following the prolonged shutdown of COVID-19. A total of 1,200 Pizza Huts are going to shut down in 27 states.

Steak ‘n Shake

When Steak ‘n Shake first popped up, it did really well. It expanded throughout America as well as Europe and the Middle East.

Sadly, things couldn’t stay like that. Last quarter marked the 12th straight period of declining sales.

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday used to be where everyone went to hang out, but not so much anymore.

Ruby Tuesdays was one of the first chains to update its menu and feature craft cocktails, but it wasn’t enough to keep things running smoothly.


Any restaurant that’s been open for a while will experience changes, but Friendly’s has had over its fair share of changes.

One weekend in 2019, a total of 23 Friendly’s locations shut down, but that’s only a smaller part of what’s been going on.

Checkers and Rally’s

This one is pretty unique compared to others on the list. The restaurant has a pretty strong following that’s been keeping it in business. Despite this, Checkers and Rally’s closed dozens of locations in 2019.

While part of the reason is terrible sales, there’s something else that’s turning people away...

Howard Johnson’s

Howard Johnson’s? Like the hotel? Nope. Younger people may not remember a time when Howard Johnson’s was a restaurant.

That doesn’t change the fact that this chain (if you can call it that anymore) will fall by the end of 2020.

HomeTown Buffet

HomeTown Buffet goes by one of four names. Excluding the one already mentioned, it could also be called Old Country Buffet, Country Buffet, or Ryan’s Buffet.

Whatever you call it, all of them are disappearing at an alarming rate – at least, if you loved the restaurant, it’s alarming.


Krystal’s is a southern company that seemed almost untouchable. This White Castle-esque fast food restaurant chain has 360 locations.

but it seems like that number is getting smaller and smaller every year. Then, we all realized why.


Perkins Restaurants & Bakery has had a tough time in the last year. There was a disagreement-turned-lawsuit between the company that owns the restaurant and a regional company that operates 26 Perkins restaurants.

The company that owns the brand claims that the other didn’t pay royalties for the brand and used unapproved products.

Marie Callender’s

This is another one that many younger people won’t recognize as a restaurant, and that’s just a testament to how many Marie Callender’s closed over the years.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and shut down 31 locations that year alone.


Houlihan’s has been a happy-hour spot for ages. It featured some pretty good food made from scratch, so you’d think the restaurant would be doing well.

It isn’t enough. New customers aren’t interested. Houlihan’s decided to alter its menu and even added a few “Veggie Good” options to attract millennials.

Baja Fresh

When was the last time you saw a Baja Fresh? It’s been a while. The restaurant is known for its burritos, taquitos, and self-serve salsa bar, but that just isn’t cutting it in 2020.

In 2002, the restaurant was acquired by Wendy’s, and there were close to 300 locations. Since then, locations have been steadily declining.


Fuddrucker’s is owned by Luby’s, which is having its own struggles. Because of this, Luby’s sought to sell off most of Fuddrucker’s locations to franchisees.

By doing this, Luby’s is offloading its lowest-performing stores, but who is going to purchase a bad restaurant?


O’Charley’s refuses to divulge details about its financial situation, which doesn’t bode well. What we do know is that the chain closed at least 20 restaurants since 2016; eight of those closed in one day.

The fact of the matter is that full-service bar and grill chains are struggling, and O’Charley’s is one of those.


Qdoba is owned by Jack in the Box, so if that company is struggling, it isn’t odd that this one would be as well.

In 2017, Jack in the Box decided to sell Qdoba because it wasn’t making profit. At the time, sales were down 4%.

Joe’s Crab Shack

Joe’s Crab Shack may have one of the best slogans in the restaurant business (“I got Crabs,” “Free crabs,” and “Peace, love, and crabs”).

But maybe that isn’t what people want in food? In 2017, Joe’s Crab Shack filed for bankruptcy.