DineEquity Inc (DIN), the parent company for Applebee’s and IHOP announced Friday that by year’s end, it will shutter between 105 to 135 Applebee’s restaurants, while also declaring that 20 to 25 IHOP locations are also at risk of closure.

While that news may come as a surprise to frequent restaurant goers, it’s not to many other restaurant chains who had to make similar calls this year. Here’s a list of restaurant closings announcements this year:

Outback Steakhouse/Carrabba’s Italian Grill/Bonefish Grill — 43 restaurants closed
In February, Bloomin’ Brands (BLMN) announced that it will be closing 43 of its 1,500 restaurants due to lacking sales numbers. Locations include certain Outback restaurants, Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill brands.


Howard Johnson’s —Closed indefinitely

America’s first great restaurant chain came to the end of the road in 2017. The company announced in January that after nearly 60 years in the business—and a headcount of 800 stores—it had to shuttered its last location in Lake George, N.Y. for good.


Restaurant alert: These 15 chains have closed 700+ locations (and this is just the beginning)

Chain restaurants have a front-row seat to a David vs. Goliath struggle — and they’re on the wrong end of the sling!

Amid talk about a restaurant recession, it turns out the chain restaurants might not be facing woes because of lower grocery prices, competitors pushing discounts or prevailing economic headwinds.

It might be mom and pop who are cleaning the big restaurants’ clocks with a spatula in one hand and a slingshot in the other.

2017 restaurant closings: What you need to know

That’s right, diners are starting to favor independent restaurateurs over chain names in what amounts to a major reversal of longstanding consumer tastes.

Food industry consulting group Pentallect projects that locally owned indie eateries will grow by 5% over the next three years. And the chain restaurants? They’re only forecast to grow by 3% by 2020, down from the 3.6% growth that the top 500 U.S. restaurant chains saw in 2016.

So there’s a fresh angle on why so many big restaurant brands are struggling!

With that in mind, we’re keeping a running tally of which restaurants are closing and how many locations they’re shuttering.

Papa Murphy’s – 16 stores to be cut

The take-and-bake pizza chain is trimming its portfolio of company-owned restaurants by up to 16 stores as it prepares for another round of franchising activity.

“We have a clear opportunity to reduce short-term losses while giving new owners a more profitable portfolio of stores from the start,” says Jean Birch, Chair of the Board and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Papa Murphy’s Holdings.

As of early April 2017, Papa Murphy’s Holdings operated 168 of its 1,566 stores.

No word yet on which locations will be axed, but the cuts are expected to come by the end of 2017.

Bravo Cucina Italiana/Brio Tuscan Grille – 6 stores to be closed

Bravo Brio Restaurant Group Inc. announced plans in May to kill six of its restaurants in 2017.

There are currently 51 Bravo Cucina Italiana locations and 65 Brio Tuscan Grille locations across the country.

Pollo Tropical — 30 stores shuttered

Pollo Tropical, the restaurant chain best known for its chicken dishes with a Caribbean twist, announced the closure of 30 underperforming stores in April.

All locations in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Nashville were shuttered as part of a strategic renewal plan implemented by new management.

Parent company Fiesta Restaurant Group continues to operate Pollo Tropical stores in its Florida stronghold. In addition, there 19 other stores sprinkled throughout the Atlanta metro area and around the state of Texas.

Applebee’s — 40 to 60 restaurants will get the ax

In March, parent company Dine Equity signaled its intent to take between 40 to 60 Applebee’s restaurants offline permanently sometime this year.

“We believe, clearly, that restaurant closures are an important tool to preserving the financial health of the system,” interim CEO Richard Dahl told analysts during an earning calls.

Noodles & Company – 55 restaurants to close

The purveyor of American noodle dishes disclosed in February plans to shutter 55 restaurants amid slowing sales.

As of March 1, it’s already pulled the plug on 39 of those underperforming locations.

Outback Steakhouse/Carrabba’s Italian Grill/Bonefish Grill — 43 restaurants closed

In February, Bloomin’ Brands announced the closures of 43 underperforming restaurants. The casual dining giant operates some 1,500 restaurants across the Outback, Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill brands.

Although no list of the affected restaurants was released, you can see a partial list we’ve compiled based on local news reports.

Howard Johnson’s — Last store disappears forever!

This iconic American restaurant once boasted a headcount of 800 stores. But in January, the chain’s final location — in Lake George, N.Y. — got shuttered for good.


Here’s a look back of some restaurants that closed in 2016…

Applebee’s – 46 restaurants shuttered

Making a repeat appearance on this list does not bode well for a company! But such is the case with Applebee’s, which closed a first round of nearly 50 locations last year.

Bob Evans Restaurants — 27 restaurants gone

In April 2016, Bob Evans Restaurants announced the closure of 27 underperforming restaurants. Twenty-one of those restaurants closed immediately, while six other stores are expected to be phased out by the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, ownership of the brand changed earlier this year. In January 2017, the chain revealed it would be selling every single one of its more than 500 full-service restaurants nationwide to a private equity investment firm.

Golden Gate Capital, which also owns California Pizza Kitchen and Red Lobster, now owns the brand as part of its portfolio.

Subway — 359 locations finished

For the first time in history, Subway closed more stores than it opened when 359 locations went on the chopping block in 2016.

But you shouldn’t feel too bad for the sandwich shop; it still operates more than 26,000 U.S. stores, plus another 14,000 or so internationally.

That combined store count makes Subway the most ubiquitous fast-food chain on the globe!

  • gmatch

    The hedge fonds running amok. So all these franchisers are loosing their franchise and that is it what it is all about.

  • Susan Sprig

    Where are the lower grocery prices, I want to know?! I think the whole country is merely eating less as the cost of food both at the stores and at restaurants are sky high. The cost of living has increased without wage increase which leads to closed restaurants. Movie theaters will be next.

  • chris

    no one can afford to eat out if they have family.