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.


America's disappearing restaurant chains- MSN Money.