Classic American restaurant chains are disappearing into oblivion

Old Country Buffet Closes Amherst Location

Not all of your childhood favorite chains are still going strong.

Chains from Roy Rogers to Quiznos are shrinking, reports Nation's Restaurant News. As fast-casuals with fresh ideas and business models blossom, not all of the old guard can keep up.

Here are four classic American chains that are fading away.

1. Roy Rogers

When Roy Rogers was sold to Hardee's in 1990, it was 650 locations strong. Then, the new parent company converted many to Hardee's locations, and sold others to rival restaurant chains. Today, there are about 50 locations in the US — though the company says it is trying to grow again.

2. Old Country Buffet

Earlier this month, the parent company of Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, and Ryan's closed 92 locations in a single weekend. Simultaneously, the company filed its third bankruptcy in eight years. Just ten years ago, the company had 675 locations. Today, it is down to 92 units.

3. Bennigans

In 2008, the casual-dining chain declared bankruptcy, shutting down all 150 of its domestic locations. The self-described "neighborhood restaurant and tavern" just celebrated its 40th anniversary in February. The company today has 150 restaurants open or under contract, with international expansion in Mexico, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates.

4. Quiznos

The downfall of this sandwich chain is one of the biggest cautionary tales in the industry. In the early 2000s, it seemed like Quiznos was everywhere. However, in the last decade the chain has gone from nearly 5,000 US locations to less than 1,000.

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