Check, Please! 10 Big Restaurant Chains That Are Falling Off the Menu

In the past 10 years, some of America's biggest food chains have seen their sales cut by more than half.

Former American staples such as Big Boy, Ponderosa and Bennigan's have been unable to keep luring in customers, and they've closed hundreds of locations nationwide.

Blame stale brands or menus that desperately need updating. Blame a focus on cuisines that have lost their luster. (Sorry Damon's and Tony Roma's, barbecue just isn't hot anymore.) Blame disruptive newcomers bringing more excitement to old ideas. (Goodbye, TCBY; hello Pinkberry!)

Of the 10 large restaurant chains that suffered the biggest declines between 2001 and 2011, eight have filed for bankruptcy. Those chains were then either purchased or resumed operations only once they had emerged from bankruptcy. But reinvigorating any of these brands will be an uphill battle.

Here they are: America's 10 biggest disappearing restaurant chains.


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Methodology: Based on sales data provided by Technomic, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 restaurant chains that had 60% or greater declines in the number of actual store locations operating from 2001 to 2011. In order to identify the chains that were once the biggest, restaurants had to have sales of at least $225 million in 2001 and experience 50% or greater declines in sales over the same period.