8 Iconic American Restaurant Chains That Went Out Of Business

Published by Darron Toy on

daily pink slip from an unforgettable Mexican restaurant change of the donut shop the u.s. forgot we're asking a question what the hell happened to these eight iconic restaurants number eight Bennigan's when searching for genuine Irish pub fare who didn't look to this Pillsbury owned chain restaurant they were known for their world-famous Monte Cristo sandwich other food and of course who can forget that delicious deep-fried Monte Cristo sandwich mm-hmm plus sometimes there were hot girls as seen in this 2005 photograph still Bennigan's couldn't quite hang with the premium dining establishments like Chili's Applebee's and TGI Fridays among the problems cited were stagnant decor and too many menu items that warned the Monte Cristo sandwich they went bankrupt and closed all their restaurants in 2008 but what's this as of 2011 Bennigan's is back with a new attitude new logo and a certain crowd-pleasing menu item who knows where they'll be popping up next number 7 chi Chi's inside this weird building was some pretty delicious Mexican food and the best birthday dessert ever the fried ice cream that creamy cinnamon ice cream the playful yet flaky crust it was the best and yet it wasn't enough to save this chain from that big grease pin in the sky in October 2003 chi Chi's filed for bankruptcy one month later it wasn't just chimichangas featured on the menu it was hepatitis A the worst breakout of Hep A in US history now that's how you want to go out right there by breaking a record in 2004 chi Chi's closed their door doors forever I'm not sure if it's a happy ending but Hormel still sells chi Chi's brand chips and salsa and you can just buy it at the grocery store as for the restaurant itself it still operates in six countries outside the US oleh number six ground around the ultimate family restaurant their most famous gimmick was pay what you weigh you brought your kid in for dinner literally weigh them on a scale in front of everybody and pay only a penny a pound for their meal and let's not forget free balloons for the kids they also had a completely non-threatening totally not creepy clown named bingo oh my god yeah no idea how didn't last in 2004 the franchisor rounded up all the corporate locations and ground them into non-existence the change was immediate and some diners were asked to leave in the middle of their meal so the building could close rumor has it they made bingo the clown deliver the bad news to soften the blow it didn't work since then some franchise owners have banded together to buy the company outright have built back up to 30 locations nationwide bingo has since been fired number five Kenny Rogers roasters the story of this restaurant is pretty simple Kenny Rogers was quoted saying I can make music why not roasted chicken pretty soon a mega chain of these restaurants was born most famously Kenny Rogers Roasters was prominently featured in an episode of Seinfeld the restaurant pops up just across the street from Jerry's apartment building and Cramer gets addicted to the crispy juicy goodness Newman even others the tagline it's the wood that makes it good Kenny Rogers should have known once you're on Seinfeld you've peaked the last Roasters restaurant in the u.s. closed in 2011 but the brand continues to expand and flourish in Asia who knew Number Four Sambo's have you ever eaten in a Denny's well then you've eaten it a Sambo's the name itself came from combining the names of the two founders but most thought it was a reference to the book the story of little black Sambo so they embraced it and decorated the interior and menus with the characters from the book this proved to bite them in the ass later on because the name Sambo became racially offensive even with more than a thousand locations and the most scrumptious rootin tootin pancakes this side of the mason-dixon they had to close their doors most of those doors reopened as yep Denny's number 3 Burger Chef this was a hamburger chain that at its peak was second only to McDonald's in number of locations on top of that they came out with the fun meal a special meal for kids with a toy included sound familiar yeah they beat McDonald's to the punch on that one by nearly a decade and even sued them on it but lost the signature Burger Chef creations included the big chef and the super chef what the hell is up with that spelling anyway the whole brand was eventually sold to Hardee's with some locations being converted others completely abandoned you could say they really shift the bed on this one number two mr. doughnuts the founder of this donut joint worked with the under of Dunkin Donuts until there was a falling out I smell a sitcom mr. donut was huge the biggest competitor Dunkin Donuts ever had their claim to fame was the fact that they had 55 different types I gotta say I'm diggin the mascot just look at him eventually all mr. donut locations were converted into Duncan's at least in the US but wait there's more a Japanese company bought the franchising rights to Mister Donut in 1983 that's right to this day mr. donut is the largest and most popular donut chain in Japan number one steak and ale yet they served both those things they advertised a more upscale dimly lit steakhouse at reasonable prices steak and ale didn't fail so much as they got dragged through the mud along with Bennigan's you know that other Pillsbury owned gem in 2008 they closed the last of the steak and ales but don't count them out yet just as Bennigan's is making an epic comeback 2015 marks the return of the steak and ale with a sleek new design they're saying to be better than ever rather than just steak to eat nail to drink there will be more than just those two things on the menu watch out 21st century there's a new guy in town and his name is steak and ale 2.0 hey guys thanks for watching we put up brand new videos every week so hit that subscribe button and you won't miss a single one and remember if you watch this video work and you still have a job than you just dodged the daily pink slip you


tbb033 · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I miss Chi Chi's. Where else can you get awesome Mexican food made by white people? Portland?

Kara A · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

What about Big Boy restaurants? I thought they closed…

chief tp · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I vaguely remember steak and ale, bennigans and chi chis. I think I ate a chi chis once. never heard of the other 5.

SiriusGD · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

When I was in college I worked at a Bennigan's as a waiter. I loved that job and I used to pick up a lot of women while working. They fired me because they found out I had a tattoo on my upper arm that showed when I wore a tight shirt. 20 years later I went into a Bennigan's and almost all of the wait staff, men and women, were tatted up and piercings everywhere. Boy had times changed. But their food was crap compared to what we used to serve.

Steven Gardner · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm


Southern Oregon Cat Mom · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I remember Mr. Donut.😉

Fireball409 · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Long John Silver's

Ponce de Leon Refrigeration · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Beef Steak Charlie's, anyone

Leslieville Painter · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Great memories eating at chichis and kenny rogers with my Mom in Mississauga. nice trip down memory lane on Mothers day.. thanks for this video.

bojack40 · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

‘Pay what you weigh’! In the most obese country in the world, hoes that workin out? Oh yeah…. 😂😂😂

bojack40 · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

‘Genuine Irish pub fare’! Only in the US would anything on that menu be considered as such LoL

snipe69 · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Valle's didn't make the list, nor did Lum's

Mclovin 2018 · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Applebees ? I cant think of anything whitty to say about this place except for the food fucking sucks. White people who are living from check to check but sill trying desperately to be cool have carried this place and their gross ass fries have over the last 20 yrs square on their backs. Its o.k to let go..lol.

Tino Tse · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

As a kid my parents & i went to Chi Chi,s. But that was a one time event. And ever since the restaurant closed down. There were new Restaurants popping up. I also went to a Polynesian Restaurant named Tiki Tiki. Again. One time deal. Damn!!!!! I really miss those places. Would have love to see those places resurfaced once more.

Janet Lamm · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Bennigan's in Melbourne, FL on 192

Erin Stephens · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Mr Donut is in Florida

Magical Mudkip · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I loved ground round

Drew Hendley · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Swensens ice cream, Bombay bicycle club, Brown Derby, Burger chef

Stac Stevenson · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Chi Chi rocked

Gerpic59 · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I guess I'm spoiled because I'm from southern Arizona, but Chi-Chi's was an utterly forgettable "Mexican" restaurant. What a house of dreck!

C CM · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Glad to hear about the comebacks! Thanks for the vid!

Thick Fine · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I’m 22 so I know of none of this

Amopro 22 · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm


Blond Thought · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I tried my first Guinness at Bennigans. Couldn't finish it.

Ruby · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I had to listen to this, really liked Bennigans and that 'Monte Christo'…BUT, dude that voice!!!
Grating as hell!!

J T · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I saw Mr. Doughnut in japan, and just thought it was an original Japanese brand.

Paige Miller · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm


Sophia Brown · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Chichi was for people desperate for fake Mexican food but good salsa.

BroccoliQueefed · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

8 American restaurant chains that went out of business and aren't even missed

Joseph Reynolds · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

The Kenny Rodgers roasters in my town is now a Taco Bell.

Terrence Summerour · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I just knew Sizzler was going to make the list

Kevin M · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I want to throat punch the guy doing the voice over.

Mario Cisneros · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I see where many of us miss something . Mines was MR. DONUT. Was great in the 1970 's and 80 's .But now must watch ones health and sugar is out of style.

daveme7 Emme · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Not sure if this was the reason why someone failed but suspect is the reason. 1994 and 1995, I was stationed at the 29 Palms Marine base my last year in the Marines. A retired Marine opened up a martial arts studio. He did Tai Chi and Yoga but really the clients he was hoping for were people like me and my friend. He called his combat martial art Counter-Sambo calling his studio "Combat Town". Just think of the times and things that happened back then-Ruby Ridge, Waco, Oklahoma federal building bombing, the OJ chase and riots in LA because of the Rodney King vertices. Ultimate Fighting Championships were still in their infancy and unless you were aware of that and who fought there-really good chance you did not know much about Sambo which in the Russian tongue meant unarmed combat.As this Marine did a lot in the early eighties-he created his martial art to counter martial arts that they use-a cold war era ideal. Me and my buddy learned a lot but a letter to the editor was written highlighting that we were probably some militia as a white/right wing ideology. He asked me to write a letter explaining who we were, what we did and why. The Caveat has always been he only trains Marines(or troops from any other service) and police/law enforcement of any color or creed. The reality he was teaching us hand to hand combat and civilians not need to be trained in this particular martial art. Me and my buddy got out the same day June 1995.

Lew Mark · May 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Burger Chef …………………..

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