Restaurant Closings Increasing

I saw this over at Instapundit and I thought I had to comment on it, particularly since I live in a semi-rural area in New Hampshire that has a lot of seasonal tourist traffic. “This” is the increasing number of fast-food chain restaurants closing as a result of inflation/Bidenomics (aren’t they the same thing?) and California’s ill-advised increase in fast-food worker minimum wages to $20/hour.

While some of the focus of the post covered the issues in California, it isn’t just California seeing issues. It’s a nationwide problem which signals economic problems, not just ‘policy’ issues.

They have been putting up prices over the past two years – as they pass on higher costs to customers. But these price hikes have led to a fall in visitors.

Bigger chains like Applebee’s, TGI Fridays and Boston Market have have all recently shuttered restaurants, as have smaller chains like BurgerFi.

Red Lobster filed for bankruptcy in May and also shuttered almost 100 restaurants.

Chains have been worst hit in California where the minimum wage for fast food restaurants jumped to $20-an-hour from April 1. In early June, Mexican chain Rubio’s shut 48 locations in the state and also filed for bankruptcy.

Two weeks ago, it emerged that almost 150 Pizza Hut restaurants are set to close due to an ongoing financial dispute with one of its major franchisees.

McDonald’s is abandoning menu changes that were made in an attempt to turn it “into a ‘modern, progressive burger company’”, something that has seriously hurt their bottom line as no one, at least in the US, has been buying the new menu items.

‘And so if people really want salads from McDonald’s, we will gladly relaunch salads. But what our experience has proven is, that’s not what the consumer is looking for from McDonald’s.’

At the same time as he said the chain was ditching salads, [McDonald’s USA president Joe Erlinger] said that McDonald’s had given up on its bid to sell meat-free beef burgers in America.

He said the McPlant has been ditched because customers did not want fake meat.

The chain had been testing the McPlant at several hundred restaurants in California and Texas since trials began in late 2021.

Developed with Beyond Meat, it was made from pea and rice proteins.

At least McDonald’s is going back to a more traditional menu which may help slow or reverse the decline. If they really wanted to boost sales they should dump using vegetable/seed oils to deep fry their french fries and go back to using beef tallow. I remember when a number of McDonald’s franchises somewhere Down South offered such french fries for a limited time and they had lines out the door.

One restaurant chain that is in trouble that surprised me?


As one commenter put it:

Even Hooters is shuttering locations en masse. Hooters, for pity's sake.

If it's possible to lose money, in the United States of America, with a USP of wings, beer, sports on the tube, and curvaceous waitresses, you know the economy is officially going t*ts-up.


While I haven’t seen any of the chain restaurants closing in my part of New Hampshire, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened elsehere. I haven’t seen any of our locally owned restaurants closing either, but that also doesn’t mean much as it must be remembered that this part of my state is a popular tourist area, so we might not see much in the way of closures as might be seen in other parts of New Hampshire.

However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen here if our economy can’t get out from under the destructive effects of Bidenomics.