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Home » 7 Steakhouse Chains Falling Out of Favor With Customers

7 Steakhouse Chains Falling Out of Favor With Customers

  • Food

The restaurant business has had a difficult two years as a whole, but some brands have prospered during the post-pandemic rebound. It seems that individuals prefer to eat at an expensive restaurant, like a steakhouse, when they decide to go out to supper for the first time in a while. And several steakhouse chains are currently experiencing even greater popularity than they did in 2019.

Sales at Texas Roadhouse and LongHorn Steakhouse increased by 23% and 15%, respectively, over the previous two years, according to a report from April 2022. And in the past year, businesses like Ruth’s Chris and Outback that had previously been reducing have started to develop again. In fact, 100 new outlets could be added by Outback Steakhouse in the upcoming years. Similar to this, Ruth’s hopes to expand by opening five to seven restaurants year.

However, not all steakhouses benefited from the rebirth of dining out. Certain people nevertheless had difficulties, whether they were brought on by money problems, the COVID-19 cases reappearing, or, in some cases, fraud and money laundering investigations. Here are seven steakhouses that are now having trouble retaining patrons.

Restaurant York Steak

Given that the majority of York Steak House locations were inside malls, you could nearly always expect to see the layout of what appears to be a cafeteria as you walked in. It didn’t have the vibe of your traditional steakhouse, but it was perfect for anyone who wanted a sirloin, baked potatoes, and salad. In the 1970s and the first few years of the 1980s, it gained such a following that it eventually spread to 27 states, from the south to the northeast, and some of them even extended to open bakeries, becoming York’s Choices.

However, as General Mills ceased to be the chain’s owner in the late 1980s, eateries started to close or were sold left and right.

On its website, the business states that their final location in Columbus, Ohio, “maintains the same quality and environment, where devoted clients continue to have that old nostalgic experience, with a fresh, present-day appeal,” for those who still want for a delectable steak.

Steak BLT

With the aim that it will sustain their business through the pandemic, BLT Restaurants Group, the New York-based parent company of BLT Steak and BLT Prime steakhouses, asked for and was granted a $3.3 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in 2020.

Unfortunately, BLT Restaurants Group failed to make money that year to the tune of $7.6 million and has yet to be able to pay back its debt. The business was forced to file for bankruptcy this year when the federal government refused to forgive the company’s loan.

In addition to BLT Prime and BLT Burger in Washington, D.C., Casa Nonna and The Wayfarer in New York City, and BLT Steak in White Plains, N.Y., BLT Restaurants Group has previously closed a number of its eateries. Four of the five locations are in Southeast Asia, and one is in the Caribbean; it is yet unknown how they will do.

Sizzler

This California-based steakhouse franchise originally had a reputation for providing a fine dining experience at a reasonable cost. A New York Strip with a potato side dish, a roll, and butter cost $1.39 (about $12 now) in the opening year. Additionally, there was no requirement for tips, which increased the value of dining there.

Sizzler has been having trouble since since the 1980s, when casual dining franchises like Outback and Red Lobster proved to be tough competitors. In 1996 and again in 2020, after the pandemic drove sales down by a staggering 63% in the latter year, the company declared bankruptcy twice. After shuttering 30 stores since 2018, the chain operated only roughly 100 units as of 2020.

Roadhouse Logan’s

Another steakhouse that repeatedly declared bankruptcy is this Texas-based establishment. The restaurant declared bankruptcy in 2016, and the following years saw a further decline in sales. In 2020, Gordon Biersch’s parent business CraftWorks Holdings, which also owns it, filed for bankruptcy.

Although this would seem like bad news for Logan’s Roadhouse, it could be be advantageous. CraftWorks restaurants were acquired by Fortress Investment Group, which then established SPB Hospitality. Logan’s menu makeover, ghost concept kitchens for takeout, a loyalty program and app, and a remodel of the Houston flagship restaurant all received funding and resources from SPB.

Although it’s unclear how these initiatives have benefited sales, Jim Mazany, CEO of SPB Hospitality, claims that they’ve been “greatly successful,” thus it appears like Logan’s may soon be back on track. Its footprint has decreased by almost half since 2015; perhaps it will begin to expand once more soon.

Ash & Maple

A small, expensive restaurant franchise called Maple & Ash, which was started in Chicago, has been financially stable. The company is expected to increase its gross revenue this year from $100 million to $200 million. Customers at this hip restaurant are beginning to question whether the food and experience are really worth the high price tag.

“It is significantly pricey considering what it is. It used to be great, but the costs have significantly increased “one Redditor remarked. Others criticized the cost as well as the noisy, packed “scene” that exists in Maple & Ash restaurants. In a review for Phoenix Mag, Nikki Buchanan claims that she spent $1,100 on “total mediocrity” and that “the buck is vast, the bang scarce.”

But Maple & Ash’s current problems go beyond just an exaggerated reputation and exorbitant prices. Internal strife at its parent company, What If Syndicate, is endangering the company’s operations.

Early in April, What If Syndicate partner David Pisor filed a complaint alleging that his coworker James Lasky caused him “ongoing, irreparable loss.” The lawsuit claims that Lasky’s actions have threatened the group’s seven future restaurants and “placed the company in a cash-constrained situation that gravely threatens its overall financial viability.”

Angus Black Steakhouse

In 1964, a tiny, casual-dining steakhouse opened in Seattle, Washington, and has since expanded to more than 100 locations around the country. But since opening, the restaurant has experienced a lot of ups and downs.

The year’s economic recession had a severe impact on the company, which saw its restaurant locations decline to only 69 and was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a second time. Thanks to a 2011 brand revamp that introduced the buzzy BullsEye Bar idea and raised sales significantly, that challenge was short-lived. By 2013, Black Angus has increased same-store sales for 16 straight quarters.

But after the pandemic forced Black Angus to temporarily close all of its California-based outlets, the company tried once more to recover and devise fresh plans. The business then made the decision to venture into retail.

This year saw the launch of the Black Angus Meat Market website, which allows customers to cook at home by pre-ordering their preferred brand of raw, hand-cut steaks and picking them up at the shop.

Bonanza and Ponderosa

Steakhouses like Bonanza and Ponderosa have been established since the 1960s. Unfortunately, Ponderosa and Bonanza seem to have been forgotten, just like the once-famous TV shows they were named after.

Those who are still aware of it claim that the quality is just “not as good” as it once was. The chain now only has 23 locations, down from 76 in 2017, as a result of the chain’s sales having dropped so drastically in recent years. Additionally, early this year, FAT Brands Inc., the chain’s current parent company, was the subject of a fraud and money laundering investigation.

Nevertheless, the chain has recently had record sales as a result of its decision to reinstate the buffet-style eating it discontinued owing to the Pandemic. Due to this, sales this year compared to last year, when they were still providing food in a regular restaurant setting, have increased by 30%. If they can keep driving up sales, it appears like this old-western-themed restaurant could be making a comeback. But it may be too soon to predict that their footprint will expand.