These American Restaurants Are Failing to Attract Customers

The bloom is off these once popular chains

| Lauren Hamer, CheatSheet – With declining sales and customers opting for delivery, many established restaurant chains are hitting the skids.

When customers do sit down to a meal, many prefer local spots. [Dare we say some are even looking for healthier options? – Editor]

The following American restaurants may be on the brink of collapse.

1. IHOP

This pancake chain confused everyone in 2018. 

Year founded: 1958

Sign of the end: IHOP will close 30-40 locations in 2018.

Did you hear IHOP is changing its name to IHOb? If so, the restaurant’s fake-news marketing campaign worked, as it announced its switch from a “P” to “B” in honor of its new menu item: burgers.

In an effort to expand beyond breakfast, IHOP offers nearly 10 burgers, but it hasn’t helped actual profits so far. It faces 10 straight quarters of declining customer traffic.

2. Hometown and Old Country Buffets

Healthier buffet options may appeal to younger diners. 

Year founded: 1983

Sign of the end: Sales at Old Country Buffet were down 37.5% in 2017.

The owner of Hometown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, and other all-you-can-eat spots has declared bankruptcy three times in the last decade.

It also had to pay a Nebraska man more than $11 million when he got salmonella poisoning.

Between the lawsuit and a poor strategy of selling a lot of food for little money, Ovation Brands is in trouble.

They face another lawsuit from former employees who allege Ovation gave no notice before closing many locations.

3. Outback Steakhouse

Blooming onions at Outback aren’t helping slow sales. 

Year founded: 1988

Sign of the end: 9 Outback restaurants closed

Bloomin’ Brands owns Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill. All three restaurants reported negative 2016 sales, but Outback’s 4.8% decline hit hardest.

Bloomin’ management experienced a flat 2017 as customers flocked to take-out and delivery services.

The company plans to close 43 of its 1,500 restaurants nationwide (including Outback, Carrabba’s, and Bonefish Grill locations).

At last count, nine were Outback Steakhouses specifically. Read the full list at cheatsheet.com; Subway, Sonic, Fuddruckers and more 

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