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The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

Restaurant Chains we might be Losing in 2024


Due to COVID and people being more interested in what’s in their food and where it was sourced, As well as false advertisements and lying to their customers, many restaurants are closing. This doesn’t mean the franchise as a whole is going down. 

Here’s a list of restaurants we might be losing in 2024. I had also put down the closest locations near us just in case they do close. 


   The Applebee franchise has been around since 1980. However, recently, the company has been struggling. Trouble seems to have ramped up with the arrival of COVID-19. According to Applebees 2023 was supposed to be the year they made their great return, but sadly that wasn’t the case and many of their restaurants are underperforming. The total revenue decreased 13%. To visit a local franchise go to Applebee’s Grill + Bar, 375 S Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057.

Buffalo Wild Wings:

   Buffalo Wild Wings has been serving food up to its game-watching guests since 1982. However, over forty years after it started, they have been criticized for serving customers wings that aren’t actually wings, and the company went to court for it numerous times. They had also closed most of their restaurants for underperforming and underpaying their staff. To visit a local franchise go to Buffalo Wild Wings, 225 Tukwila Pkwy, Tukwila, WA 98188

White Castle:

   They were the original burger chain best known for their sliders. This year, White Castle was sued by one of its managers and the fallout could cost the company $17 billion. In February 2023, a White Castle in  Illinois was found to have breached its state’s laws on using digital identification systems. They’d been using a technology in-store for 10 years that did not ask whether or not their personal information was real. The Supreme Court ruled that the franchise be required to pay for every single instance in which it occurred, and would most likely end in bankruptcy.

Old Country Buffet: 

   The former popular “all-you-can-eat buffet” once had more than 600 locations. But in 2023, this number is at a mere 13 in total. Multiple filings of bankruptcy were primarily brought on by a salmonella lawsuit that lost the franchise millions. Almost all locations of the Old Country Buffet have been permanently closed. Sadly, in Federal Way one was closed and abandoned, Also due to COVID-19 buffets are just art as popular as they used to be. 


   Hardee’s is most known for one-of-a-kind premium and innovative menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thick burgers, Made from Scratch Biscuits, and Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders, but they declared bankruptcy in spring 2023 following the closure of a whopping 39 restaurants. Citing court documents, reported that they faced traffic declines during the COVID-19 pandemic and struggled with the elevated food and labor costs that have plagued the wider restaurant industry. 

Red Lobster:

   Since its opening in 1968, Red Lobster has been serving fresh lobster. While the chain prides itself on affordable seafood for everyone, the restaurant has struggled significantly in recent years and shuttered several once-successful locations. The seafood joint previously had over 700 restaurants globally, but that number has been dwindling. In 2021 Red Lobster lost five units, and in 2022 through 2023, the chain shuttered eight more.  Even though these closures only account for 1% of Red Lobsters’ locations. To visit a local franchise go to Red Lobster, 2006 S 320th St, Federal Way, WA 98003

Burger King:

   Despite the aggressive push to revamp the brand with its $400 million “Reclaim the Flame” initiative, Burger King has seen a few franchisees fail since the start of the year. So far, they had to close 26 restaurants in Michigan after Burger King sued it for allegedly failing to pay required royalties, ad fund payments, and other charges. A Burger King was closed in Rainier Ave South. To visit a local franchise go to Burger King, 110 SW 41st St, Renton, WA 98057

Krispy Kreme:

   Despite record sales in 2022 and an exciting partnership with McDonald’s for potential network points, we may be expecting donuts sold at McDonald’s because of this partnership. Krispy Kreme still plans to close 14 locations in 2023. They also lost 10 units in 2022, as a result of the company needing help to bring in customers and revenue. To visit a local franchise go to Krispy Kreme, 1900 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

In conclusion, many of their troubles come from COVID-19, underperforming, and rising costs due to inflation. I am sure things won’t be as bad in the future, but at the moment we are seeing a huge decrease in these restaurants and for some many will not be returning to the spotlight. 


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Kenna Sloan
Kenna Sloan, Staff
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