Generally, restaurant chains on the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report added restaurants last year. The typical chain grew by eight locations, and about two-thirds finished the year with more restaurants than they’ve closed.
But plenty of restaurants shrunk last year. Here’s a look at the chains that closed the most units in 2022.
Units closed: 571 (2.7% decline)
Subway has closed some 6,000 restaurants over the past eight years, more than any other restaurant chain has closed in history. While that rate slowed last year, it continues to shrink its U.S. unit count.
Units closed: 72 (5.8%)
The take-and-bake pizza chain, which like Subway operates a system with a lot of small-scale operators, has struggled coming out of the pandemic as consumers shift to food that isn’t pizza.
Units closed: 64 (2.8%)
The ice cream chain, part of the Inspire Brands universe, came back down to earth a bit last year as the ice cream business got a bit of a headache.
Units closed: 63 (0.9%)
The Miami-based burger chain has had some closures over the past two years as franchisees work through a period with weak sales and high costs.
Long John Silver’s
Units closed: 51 (8%)
The chain, formerly a part of Yum Brands, continues to shed domestic restaurants. It has closed a third of its locations over the past five years, in part through the end of multi-brand restaurants.
Units closed: 42 (2.8%)
The 24-hour breakfast chain, much like a large swath of traditional family-dining concepts, has seen its market share decline since the pandemic.
Units closed: 41 (12%)
The fast-casual chain known for its rotisserie chicken, which once had 1,200 locations, is down to 300. That’s not included the 50 or more that have closed so far in 2023.
Jack in the Box
Units closed: 37 (1.7%)
Sometimes closures are important. The quick-service chain closed weak locations last year in a strategic decision to promote growth by getting rid of weak restaurants.
Units closed: 37 (2.1%)
The burger chain, a sister brand with Carl’s Jr., has struggled with weak sales for years. It has continued to close restaurants so far in 2023.
Units closed: 35 (0.9%)
The chicken chain generated its first unit growth in years in 2021, but reverted back to closures in 2022.
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