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Thread: 8 of America's favorite restaurant chains are desperate for customers

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Dad View Post
    Darden, no longer owns Red Lobster. Although founded by Bill Darden it was sold to Golden Gate Capital back in 2014.
    I went to a red lobster somewhat recently, I remember when I was young it was a decent place... But wow, was I disappointed. Wonder if it relates to that change.

    I bet Olive Garden is doing well because the markup on pasta is incredible... Especially if it's made in house.
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  2. #62
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howey View Post
    Or.... It could be bland food made out of boxed frozen and canned ingredients and sold at excessively high prices to a dying elderly clientale.

    Darden, owner of several of those chains, is losing money because it refuses to enter the 21st century.

    Oh. Outback here is always asked with young families, professionals and students. They can't be doing all that bad. I love their potato soup.
    I tend to think that's it. When I was a kid, middle class families liked to go to places like Red Lobster for fancy outings like graduations and such. But now these chains are being surpassed by the other local indies. I mean think about it, now we have everything under the sun to choose from, Chinese, thai, Indian, Japanese etc. Places like Red Lobster and Carrabas are replaced by some local place that is great and not terribly expensive. Fancy outings are now done at some super nice local steakhouse or Italian place. Just another one of those things that the next generation does differently. Suspect some from WWII lamented the closings of the car hop where they used to skate out and put a tray on the car window. Changing of the guard and the way things are done.
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  3. #63
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Dad View Post
    You could be right about what are these chains doing differently than the chains that are doing well?
    Price and offerings I would imagine. Like you said, Olive Garden offers a quick lunch of soup salad and breadsticks. That is quick and cheap. Their menu also has a lot of variety. Buffalo Wild Wings and Red Robin don't have a lot of variety. They don't also cater to vegans and those with gluten issues.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaFrayed View Post
    It's always interesting to see free market capitalists whine when free market capitalism is at play. Maybe, as people constantly hear from those who advocate for unbridled free market capitalism, those fast food companies need to do something to get people into their places of business. Or they could do the popular (unbridled capitalist) thing nowadays and merge into even larger companies.....then tell America how good "competition" is for the consumer.

    10 Companies That Own Your Favorite Chain Restaurants
    it could also be that they out compete each other. All those chains you can find in a mile or two radius in many places. I know one strip where all the corporate stores are, they have all those in a mile or two strip. Even have a Target, Meijers (like a target), and Walmart almost in stones throw distance.

    They saturated the place with their shitty, generic eateries.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpicturetaker12 View Post
    BINGO! EveryONE of those restaurants are a 'rung' on the middle class ladder. I'd say 3 levels. As you make it a little further up the 'food chain' within the middle class you start going to the little higher end restaurants in each income strata.

    That list of restaurants is VERY telling about the state of the middle class.

    One caveat. If middle class 'diners' really pay attention and do like WE (and others I know) try very very hard to do, is frequent the LOCALS (and a couple of small regional chains of restaurants) that could be a factor. I wouldn't know how many do that and its overall effect on the chains named above.
    I wonder how the fast food chains are doing? As these middle class joints go down, the fast food places that are cheaper are probably on the incline. That and the really high end. That tells you the direction of this country. So quick, lets give more rich people tax breaks

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    Quote Originally Posted by boontito View Post
    And Buffalo Wild Wings? I might go back if I found they'd added human food to their menu.
    or their wings are not a $1 a piece. I mean seriously, there is hardly any meat on them. I remember back in the day, 10 cent wings (then 25 cents) for Monday night football, $5 pitchers. My group of friends would have gigantic piles of wing bones piled up. I would pay $12 and get drunk and eat tons of wings. (probably 12-15 years ago, on Long Island NY)
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    Always a wait time on Sat. nights at our local Buffalo Wild Wings and Chile's.

    Applebee's not so much.

  8. #68
    Worst Person on the Site Yeti 8 Jungle Swing Champion, YetiSports 4 - Albatross Overload Champion, YetiSports7 - Snowboard FreeRide Champion, Alu`s Revenge Champion boontito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    I tend to think that's it. When I was a kid, middle class families liked to go to places like Red Lobster for fancy outings like graduations and such. But now these chains are being surpassed by the other local indies. I mean think about it, now we have everything under the sun to choose from, Chinese, thai, Indian, Japanese etc. Places like Red Lobster and Carrabas are replaced by some local place that is great and not terribly expensive. Fancy outings are now done at some super nice local steakhouse or Italian place. Just another one of those things that the next generation does differently. Suspect some from WWII lamented the closings of the car hop where they used to skate out and put a tray on the car window. Changing of the guard and the way things are done.
    There is more eating of those "fancy" meals at home these days too. With the rise of the Food Network and seemingly hundreds of cooking shows has come a trend of embracing your inner chef and trying to cook something exceptional in your own kitchen.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by HayJenn View Post
    Always a wait time on Sat. nights at our local Buffalo Wild Wings and Chile's.

    Applebee's not so much.
    That's a good point... Of the restaurants on the list, Red Robin is the only one I visit with any real frequency - and it's always full. It's rare that they can seat a table for four without a wait.

  10. #70
    Veteran Member Dr Sampson Simpson's Avatar
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    My family from Montana was in Italy visiting a family member. I saw them on facebook saying they were eating at the Hard Rock Cafe. I had to make fun of them. You are in Italy, why the hell would you eat at someplace you can eat nearly anywhere in America
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