IHOP, Denny's and More Chains Permanently Close Dozens of Locations amid Pandemic

Aziz Hashim, the founder and managing partner of Ruby Tuesday owner NRD Capital, told Restaurant Business the pandemic will likely spur the closure of many more restaurants. The chain has already significantly downsized this year, going from 470 locations at the beginning of 2020 to “between 270 and 300,” according to Hashim.

"The final tally as to the permanent number of closures is to be determined for us,” Hashim said. “Some of it depends on how quickly sales come back.”

Locations of the Indianapolis-based Steak ‘n Shake and of TGI Fridays have also closed down permanently due in part to the pandemic.

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"Due to COVID-19, there have been a lot of changes throughout the restaurant industry. With business being dramatically cut overnight and the lack of rent forgiveness when it comes to landlord and rent, some of our restaurants will not recover," a spokesperson for TGI Fridays told Today, noting that 10-20% of locations may permanently close in the future.

Though many chains are only shuttering certain locations, some have closed for good. Popular west coast chain Souplantation — also known as Sweet Tomatoes outside of Southern California — announced it will not be reopening its doors after all of its locations were temporarily shut down at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Le Pain Quotidien, a fast-casual bakery chain, announced it would close all 98 of its U.S. locations after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, though at least 35 stores will potentially be reopened at a future date following a partial buyout by Aurify Brands.

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