Country Kitchen And Ground Round Among The Disappearing Restaurant Chains
Two names that are familiar to Twin Ports residents are among the list of disappearing restaurant chains.
Using data provided by food industry research firm Technomic, 24/7 Wall St. has looked at the 10 restaurant chains with the greatest decline is sales from 2001 to 2010. In every case, sales have fallen 60% or more.
The Top Ten - if that's the correct term - restaurant chains that qualify include Bennigans, Ground Round, Bakers Square, Damon's Grill, Don Pablo's, Gloria Jeans, Big Boy, Tony Roma's, Country Kitchen, and Black Angus Steakhouse.
So - what generalizations can we deduce from the list?
Many restaurants on this list are casual family-dining establishments. Most offer American-style cuisine -- steaks and burgers -- in a bar or grill setting. These restaurants -- including Bennigan's, Ground Round and Damon's -- expanded quickly during the 1990s. But their presence was overshadowed by newer restaurants that consumers found more exciting, such as Applebee's. Even now, new fast-casual restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Chipotle are outselling, and in many instances replacing, older restaurants.
Back to the two names that are probably most familiar to Northlanders: Country Kitchen and Ground Round. Country Kitchen's sales numbers are off by 67% over the last ten years -- with franchise numbers dropping from 249 in 2001 to only 64 nationally in 2010. Ground Round hasn't fared much better; Their sales numbers are off by almost 82% and the franchise numbers dropped to only 25 left in 2010.