Fast food restaurants that have died off

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What's America's Most Hated Fast-Food?

Millennials are dining out more than other generations, according to TD Bank's Consumer Spending Index, so it's probably safe to say fast food will stay put for now. In fact, millennials grab coffee or food to go 11 times per month, more than Gen Xers (seven times) and Boomers (five times), spending almost $80 month.

But food trends come and go, and not every fast food chain is built to last. Just look at the crop of brands that emerged in the mid-20th century. Would anyone even recognize Burger Chef today? How about Minnie Pearl's Fried Chicken? (Okay, that one's a classic.)

Here's a look at some chains that are no longer with us — although it's probably for the best, considering the strain regularly eating out can put on your wallet. Plus, high levels of debt (and any missed payments related to them) can seriously damage your credit score. You can see where yours currently stands by viewing your two free credit scores, updated each month, on Credit.com.

1. Gino's Hamburgers

Date of birth: Unknown

Signature move: Fresh ground beef and secret sauce

Backstory: Founded by Baltimore Colts lineman Gino Marchetti, running back Alan Ameche and their friend Louis Fischer, the popular chain was known for its signature jingle, "Everybody Goes to Gino's."

Cause of death: Marriott bought out the brand, and it was discontinued in 1982, according to the Baltimore Post-Examiner.

2. Minnie Pearl's Fried Chicken

Date of birth: 1967

Signature move: Making TV star Sarah Colley Cannon's onstage character, Minnie Pearl, its spokesperson.

Backstory: Nashville attorney John Jay Hooker copied Kentucky Fried Chicken's winning franchise formula.

Cause of death: As Franchise Times explains, a lack of restaurant experience took its toll, leading some units to close and others to lose money. The stock price plummeted, and the chain went kaput in the early 1970s.

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3. Top Hat Drive-In

Date of birth: 1953

Signature move: As Minyanville describes it, unveiling "a parking lot with speakers where customers could order from their cars and be served by car hops." Sound familiar?

Backstory: Troy Smith, a one-time milkman in Shawnee, Oklahoma, opened up Troy's Pan Full of Chicken after the war. His spin-off operation, Top Hat Drive-In, set the standard for other restaurants to come.

Cause of death: In 1959, Smith and Charles Pappe, a Top Hat customer who later became a partner, renamed the venture Sonic.

Date of birth: 1958

4. Burger Chef

Signature move: Launching "The Triple Threat," or what's know today as the burger-fries-and-drink combo meal.

Backstory: Meant to present a "more highbrow version of Burger King," as Time put it, the Indianapolis chain spread like wildfire. By December 1967, it was the second largest restaurant chain in the country, right after McDonald's.

Cause of death: In 1982, Burger Chef was sold to Hardee's.

You can see the full list of fast food restaurants that have died off here.

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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

RELATED: 10 money-saving fast-food hacks
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Fast food restaurants that have died off

Restaurant: McDonald’s

Hack: Order two four-piece nuggets instead of one six-piece. It’s cheaper, you get more nuggets and you get more sauces. Score.

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Restaurant: McDonald’s

Hack: Order a McDouble without the ketchup and mustard but with lettuce and Big Mac sauce. You'll pay for the Big Mac taste for the price of a McDouble.

Photo credit: Getty

Restaurant: Chipotle

Hack: Order half of one protein and half of another kind (like chicken and steak). You’ll almost always get more than half of each and end up with up to 1.5x the protein in your burrito or bowl for the price of a normal portion.

Photo credit: Getty

Restaurant: Krispy Kreme

Hack: Fill out the survey on the bottom of your receipt for a free doughnut with the purchase of one. Hypothetically if you kept doing this, you could win unlimited free doughnuts. Not advised.

Photo credit: AP

Restaurant: Arby’s

Hack: Order two junior roast beef sandwiches instead of one regular classic. You'll end up with more meat for a lower price.

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Restaurant: Jamba Juice

Hack: Substitute any ingredient in any smoothie for the same price. If you’re craving a smoothie with non-fat yogurt instead of mango, or extra strawberries instead of blueberries, customize it to your liking without any extra charge. It will save you more than being charged for creating your own smoothie from scratch.

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Restaurant: Jack in the Box

Hack: Order two Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers and combine them into one for a much cheaper version of a Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger. 

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Restaurant: McDonald’s

Hack: Order a sausage McMuffin off of the dollar menu but ask for the sausage to be substituted with egg—an egg McMuffin for a dollar.

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Restaurant: Any pizza place

Hack: When you call to order delivery, ask if there were any orders that weren’t delivered—the pizza place will often give you those orders for a discounted price (perfect if cold pizza is your thing.)

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Restaurant: Subway

Hack: Order a Double Steak and Cheese Sub instead of the Philly Cheese Steak Sub—you’ll get the same sandwich at a normal foot-long price.

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