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(CNBC)   The restaurant industry never had a Circuit City event, where a big major player went bankrupt and closed their stores. In order to be saved, the restaurant industry must experience this   (cnbc.com) divider line 77
    More: Ironic, Investment Technology Group, pizza chain, Quiznos, casual dining, chipotles, oversupply  
•       •       •

2563 clicks; posted to Business » on 13 Mar 2014 at 12:14 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



77 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

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2014-03-12 10:49:32 PM  
How bad does your pizza have to suck that you can't sell it to teenagers in shopping malls and captive consumers in airports?
 
2014-03-12 10:49:41 PM  
Chi-Chi's was pretty well-known and is now gone, but the hepatitis was a factor there I guess
 
2014-03-12 10:50:01 PM  
Amen.

I nominate:

* Chili's
* Applebee's
* Ruby Tuesday
* TGIFridays
* On the Border
* Macaroni Grill
* Olive Garden
* Red Robin
* Texas Steakhouse

There are other chains I hate, but if just those were thinned out, the American restaurant scene would be *hugely* improved.
 
2014-03-12 10:52:19 PM  

whistleridge: Amen.

I nominate:

* Chili's
* Applebee's
* Ruby Tuesday
* TGIFridays
* On the Border
* Macaroni Grill
* Olive Garden
* Red Robin
* Texas Steakhouse

There are other chains I hate, but if just those were thinned out, the American restaurant scene would be *hugely* improved.


How about anything that is a chain
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2014-03-12 10:55:51 PM  

whistleridge: Amen.

I nominate:

* Chili's
* Applebee's
* Ruby Tuesday
* TGIFridays
* On the Border
* Macaroni Grill
* Olive Garden
* Red Robin
* Texas Steakhouse

There are other chains I hate, but if just those were thinned out, the American restaurant scene would be *hugely* improved.


I'd allow Chili's and TGI Friday's to stay, but Dead Lobster and Steakback Outhouse need to be kicked to the curb ASAP.

Bob Evans, too.
 
2014-03-12 10:56:53 PM  
Peter von Nostrand:

How about anything that is a chain

Nah. Some chains are useful. Pizza delivery, for example, or McDonald's at every exit on road trips. And like the article mentions, some newer chains aren't bad at all. I will happily have Chipotle or Five Guys or Chik Fil A (sorry, I'm southern) for lunch. 

It's only bland, soulless, only-a-step-above-microwave-dinner chains that are really clogging up the system. Flush those out, and a LOT of better stuff will be able to compete.
 
2014-03-12 11:02:52 PM  

whistleridge: It's only bland, soulless, only-a-step-above-microwave-dinner chains that are really clogging up the system. Flush those out, and a LOT of better stuff will be able to compete.


Hooray, Capitalism!
 
2014-03-12 11:05:03 PM  
I'd be happy with Whistleridge's list, but I'd keep On The Border and Macaroni Grill, and add P.F. Chang's and Outback Steakhouse.

Hell, kill off all the Darden properties.
 
2014-03-12 11:05:10 PM  
Sbarro would not be a Circuit City event. Sbarro is the restaurant equivalent of one of those actors you're surprised to learn was still alive when you hear the news of his death.
 
2014-03-12 11:06:09 PM  

jbc: whistleridge: Amen.

I nominate:

* Chili's
* Applebee's
* Ruby Tuesday
* TGIFridays
* On the Border
* Macaroni Grill
* Olive Garden
* Red Robin
* Texas Steakhouse

There are other chains I hate, but if just those were thinned out, the American restaurant scene would be *hugely* improved.

I'd allow Chili's and TGI Friday's to stay, but Dead Lobster and Steakback Outhouse need to be kicked to the curb ASAP.

Bob Evans, too.


Ruby Tuesday used to have a nice salad bar, maybe they still do, I haven't been to one in ten years or so.  Bob Evans fills the same niche as Perkins, Friendly's, or IHOP in my mind - breakfast all day and a simple menu of other stuff.  I've never gone to any of them unless I felt like breakfast food a night.

What there are way too farking many of is Subway franchises.  I'm no fan of their food, though I realize some people are, but how many do there need to be?  It seems like every shopping center has one now.
 
2014-03-12 11:06:23 PM  
No it doesn't. Or rather, it needs less chains, less attention to these monstrosities that serve pre-packaged product that push locals out of the loop--and that means local distributors as well as purveyors--and more local investment. The industry is rife with the SAME issues that infect a great many other sectors: an ossification of the markets with attention to large players as being the "industry" and conflating franchises as being EXACTLY the same as other players, despite entirely different business models, pay structures, distro chains, and banking needs.

Restaurants have plenty of casualties. MOST restaurants fail within the first three years--about 75% fail within the first three and most of those within the first two. That's the nature of the beast, and the industry thrives on the refurb equipment of this dog eat dog sort of market. What the "industry" faces is steep competition with chains that are cutting one another's throats, and choking the markets, while gutting distributors and purveyors with exclusive contracts that cut out locals from the usual chains--and worse, ship money that would go to local banks right out of the market entirely. This is a symptom that affects retail, as well as with chain stores.

What this asshat is talking about, are chains that have stock available, not the actual restaurant industry which is still active, and most often privately held, which Wall Street has little use for, save as customers for companies like Sysco or Aramark. He has conflated the industry as a whole, with the fate of chains who are watching themselves flag and flounder with far too steep a curve for competition, and they don't like it, not one bit. The drive to put in chains IS choking the market, and that means that the folks who are successful need to be agile, need to be innovative--both with their food and with their marketing and with their business models--and that is something that chains are NOT good at, because of their structure. They are experiencing the market at the point that privately held restaurants have faced for generations.

Boo. F*cking. Hoo. Get over yourselves, or get out of the way. Sbarro fades? Good, that means that there are locations that will be up for grabs, and the market will fill those niches, and hopefully with folks who will invest locally, bank locally, and purchase locally. Wall Street has done its level best to capitalize on markets, and now that they're looking at it, doesn't like what they see. And the urge to thin the herd, as it were, comes from too many players, and they don't like that idea of competition one bit--and they've stacked the deck in labor and supply as far as they can strain it, and are still losing out to innovative smaller operators, and realizing that too many chains cut their own throats trying to fill the same niches. Cry me a f*cking river.
 
2014-03-12 11:26:19 PM  
These where in almost every mall in America in the 70's and 80's.

I'm surprised they're still around.

s3-media1.ak.yelpcdn.com

Also:
d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net
 
2014-03-12 11:31:29 PM  

hubiestubert: Cry me a f*cking river


Hubie, great freaking post, and spot on
 
2014-03-12 11:33:05 PM  
optikeye:

Also:
[d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net image 513x699]


Ah, HoJo's.  There were a couple around us when I was growing up in Queens.  Some had hotels attached, if I remember correctly.  I was a young kid in the 80s, so I remember thinking that Mets 3rd baseman Howard Johnson owned them all.  When they went under, most of the ones near me became Bob's Big Boys.

Found out later on that my mother-in-law paid for college by waitressing at a HoJo near me when she was younger.
 
2014-03-12 11:39:23 PM  

optikeye: These where in almost every mall in America in the 70's and 80's.

I'm surprised they're still around.

[s3-media1.ak.yelpcdn.com image 600x400]

Also:
[d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net image 513x699]


Also:

finance-commerce.com

As far as chain steakhouses go, I really liked that one, first place I ever had escargot.
 
2014-03-12 11:41:57 PM  
Well said, hubiestubert. The remote city I live in now has few chains (supply chain is just too long), and the locals only eat there when the locally owned places are full. Not that every local restaurant is great - we have our fair share of crappy, sugary "Chinese" and greasy pub grub - but chains here fail more often than local places. Even McDonald's hasn't taken off.

It's a beautiful thing.

/I'm seriously considering bringing up a pit and starting a BBQ joint
//Not a restaurant. A BBQ joint.
 
2014-03-12 11:53:51 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Well said, hubiestubert. The remote city I live in now has few chains (supply chain is just too long), and the locals only eat there when the locally owned places are full. Not that every local restaurant is great - we have our fair share of crappy, sugary "Chinese" and greasy pub grub - but chains here fail more often than local places. Even McDonald's hasn't taken off.

It's a beautiful thing.

/I'm seriously considering bringing up a pit and starting a BBQ joint
//Not a restaurant. A BBQ joint.


If you do, and you want someone to look over your proposal, give me a ping to my gmail. I may not know your exact market, but I might be able to crunch some basics if you want a hand at the planning stage. Equipment, number of seats, beer and beverage choices, and maybe some inventory controls to start with. The real bear is in the details, and inventory control and cost analysis is boring as watching paint dry, but those numbers, licensing, and labor costs are what will make or break a place. The most important thing, beyond having some decent food to actually put out the door, and having reliable equipment and people, is to have working capital available. Too many folks figure that they'll just use what's in the kitty to pay off their initial start up costs, and then cruise when the joint takes off. And that's how I usually find a 6 burner or a convection oven, and some really cool bar stools on the cheap when these folks fold. Circle of life, but it's always better to be in the upper percentile and actually make it, than be in the herd that gives it a try, and winds up wiping themselves out sooner than later...
 
2014-03-12 11:54:30 PM  
The food concept I can't believe hasn't taken off yet:

all you can eat Mexican buffet

I went to one in Alamosa, CO one time, and it was perfection. Hand-made tortillas, all the roadside tacos or burritos or whatever you wanted, just $10.

If they can do it with pizza and Chinese, why the fark not Mexican? It's not like the ingredients are prohibitively expensive.
 
2014-03-13 12:00:21 AM  
Huh, whaddaya know, the people with all the money can still only eat one meal at a time.
 
2014-03-13 12:12:32 AM  

optikeye: These where in almost every mall in America in the 70's and 80's.

I'm surprised they're still around.

[farrell's]


There's nothing quite like having a F-86 fly into a restaurant full of kids to screw up your business plan
 
2014-03-13 12:15:52 AM  

hubiestubert: Benevolent Misanthrope: Well said, hubiestubert. The remote city I live in now has few chains (supply chain is just too long), and the locals only eat there when the locally owned places are full. Not that every local restaurant is great - we have our fair share of crappy, sugary "Chinese" and greasy pub grub - but chains here fail more often than local places. Even McDonald's hasn't taken off.

It's a beautiful thing.

/I'm seriously considering bringing up a pit and starting a BBQ joint
//Not a restaurant. A BBQ joint.

If you do, and you want someone to look over your proposal, give me a ping to my gmail. I may not know your exact market, but I might be able to crunch some basics if you want a hand at the planning stage. Equipment, number of seats, beer and beverage choices, and maybe some inventory controls to start with. The real bear is in the details, and inventory control and cost analysis is boring as watching paint dry, but those numbers, licensing, and labor costs are what will make or break a place. The most important thing, beyond having some decent food to actually put out the door, and having reliable equipment and people, is to have working capital available. Too many folks figure that they'll just use what's in the kitty to pay off their initial start up costs, and then cruise when the joint takes off. And that's how I usually find a 6 burner or a convection oven, and some really cool bar stools on the cheap when these folks fold. Circle of life, but it's always better to be in the upper percentile and actually make it, than be in the herd that gives it a try, and winds up wiping themselves out sooner than later...


Thank you kindly. A local numbers guy is already encouraging me to do this - we have a young, macho-male-heavy population (oil business) and no BBQ. I don't even need a building - just a food truck would be very successful. We are incredibly short on restaurants.

I'll let you know if it actually gets that far. I'm a librarian for fark's sake - but a librarian with a KCBS Judge Certification, 25 years of experience smoking meat, and a kick-ass finishing sauce recipe.
 
2014-03-13 12:21:21 AM  
Kill olive garden and Applebee's please
 
2014-03-13 12:24:25 AM  
A restaurant is going bankrupt?  Must be a day that ends with a 'y'.
 
2014-03-13 12:25:50 AM  

whistleridge: Amen.

I nominate:

* Chili's
* Applebee's
* Ruby Tuesday
* TGIFridays
* On the Border
* Macaroni Grill
* Olive Garden
* Red Robin
* Texas Steakhouse

There are other chains I hate, but if just those were thinned out, the American restaurant scene would be *hugely* improved.


Golden Corral and Old Country Buffett are some pretty serious omissions.

That said, Red Robin isn't terrible if you have kids...it's loud and they are fast with the check.
Ruby Tuesdays' salvation is their salad bar...or at the very least, their croutons that come with an optional side of lettuce.
 
2014-03-13 12:27:32 AM  
I know Subway is really popular, but there are seven of them in Lawrence. The town has a population of 90,000. What the hell do we need seven Subway restaurants for? What the hell do we need two Subway restaurants literally across the street from each other for?
 
2014-03-13 12:28:08 AM  
All chain restaurants suck. Make way for the independent stores. That's where the good food is. Not pre-frozen steaks and microwave soup. Actual food.
 
2014-03-13 12:29:09 AM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: optikeye: These where in almost every mall in America in the 70's and 80's.

I'm surprised they're still around.

[farrell's]

There's nothing quite like having a F-86 fly into a restaurant full of kids to screw up your business plan


Heh, I remember my old man driving me past that location and telling me that story when I was very young. Bad deal. Pretty sure we went to Gunther's right after that. At least there's no runway there.

Hubie, your post is right on, as usual. I'd like to add that chains (especially retail) seem to have a very negative effect on the corps of professional workers that used to populate them. The place tries to save a buck by not paying employees well and the effect is it seems there is a different college-age kid working every time you stop in. That's not reassuring to customers. Also, the ones that show any promise often get promoted and moved to a newly-opened location, thinning out the old stores. Saw it with Circuit, seeing it with Best Buy.

However, even independents are often guilty of falling into that same trap, mostly because they just can't compete on the ever-shrinking margins and tend to not pay workers enough to make it a profession.
 
2014-03-13 12:30:26 AM  
www.cheese-burger.net

Best food around, with the exception of everyone else.
 
2014-03-13 12:30:42 AM  

Serious Black: I know Subway is really popular, but there are seven of them in Lawrence. The town has a population of 90,000. What the hell do we need seven Subway restaurants for? What the hell do we need two Subway restaurants literally across the street from each other for?


Well, it's obvious: that is the End of the Universe.
 
2014-03-13 12:34:58 AM  
Comparing the woes of the restaurant industry to the specialty retail "big box" stores isn't even apples and oranges -- it's more like apples and mangoes.

Circuit City was one of a handful of strong players trying to sell electronics to the mass market. As other players got into the game (remember when Wal-Mart, Target and K-Mart used to have tiny little electronics sections that were mainly for TVs and junky gadgets?), Circuit City couldn't afford to remain profitable... especially because it didn't have the leverage over suppliers to offer the same sorts of sale prices Best Buy and the discount chains could offer.

It was already a terribly-run company that had made a lot of poor choices in the 1990s; its death was inevitable as the electronics industry evolved.

Restaurants are a completely different type of business. They're a public gathering place; they thrive based on the demographics of the neighborhoods they're in, not on their sale prices or their supply chains. If an individual location isn't faring well, it can be moved across town to fresher demographics and do really well. What's more, payroll (the biggest burden on other retail) isn't as much of a cost because the waitstaff work for tips.

When restaurant chains go out of business, it's usually because their brand is no longer viable. It's a long, slow death most of the time that goes unnoticed. There are so many choices available that consumers don't feel slighted when the local Perkins or Bob Evans closes shop -- after all, there's a Denny's, an IHOP, an Egg & I and a ton of local competitors available to absorb the demand.
 
2014-03-13 12:35:46 AM  

Precious Roy's Horse Dividers: Chi-Chi's was pretty well-known and is now gone, but the hepatitis was a factor there I guess


Yup. Sunday nights at Chi-Chi's in Fayettenam, Nawth Cackelacky was a staple of mine for a while, because they were the only place you could drink after 10 or some shiat.
 
2014-03-13 12:36:12 AM  
Hubie, do you have a blog or post on the Fark Foodies FB group?  I'd love to pick your brain
 
2014-03-13 12:36:54 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: Hubie, do you have a blog or post on the Fark Foodies FB group?  I'd love to pick your brain


Farking need to check profiles first.  Dumbass
 
2014-03-13 12:37:23 AM  
One slice of Ultra-Greasy With Extra Cheese? That'll be $11.50.
 
2014-03-13 12:37:34 AM  

MFAWG: Precious Roy's Horse Dividers: Chi-Chi's was pretty well-known and is now gone, but the hepatitis was a factor there I guess

Yup. Sunday nights at Chi-Chi's in Fayettenam, Nawth Cackelacky was a staple of mine for a while, because they were the only place you could drink after 10 or some shiat.


Now that I think about, I was banging the cocktail waitress too. Could have had something to do with it.

/It's hell to get old and forget the cocktail waitresses.
 
2014-03-13 12:41:09 AM  

secularsage: Circuit City was one of a handful of strong players trying to sell electronics to the mass market. As other players got into the game (remember when Wal-Mart, Target and K-Mart used to have tiny little electronics sections that were mainly for TVs and junky gadgets?), Circuit City couldn't afford to remain profitable... especially because it didn't have the leverage over suppliers to offer the same sorts of sale prices Best Buy and the discount chains could offer.


Bullshiat.  Circuit City is a classic example of what a string of bad management decisions will do to a company.   It had nothing to do with "leverage" over suppliers.  If that was even remotely true - why do dozens of other regional electronics companies remain in business and thrive?
 
2014-03-13 12:56:33 AM  
www.thewheelfx.com
 
2014-03-13 01:01:29 AM  

whistleridge: The food concept I can't believe hasn't taken off yet:

all you can eat Mexican buffet

I went to one in Alamosa, CO one time, and it was perfection. Hand-made tortillas, all the roadside tacos or burritos or whatever you wanted, just $10.

If they can do it with pizza and Chinese, why the fark not Mexican? It's not like the ingredients are prohibitively expensive.


http://www.panchosmexicanbuffetdfw.com

/likes their tamales
 
2014-03-13 01:08:35 AM  

gingerjet: secularsage: Circuit City was one of a handful of strong players trying to sell electronics to the mass market. As other players got into the game (remember when Wal-Mart, Target and K-Mart used to have tiny little electronics sections that were mainly for TVs and junky gadgets?), Circuit City couldn't afford to remain profitable... especially because it didn't have the leverage over suppliers to offer the same sorts of sale prices Best Buy and the discount chains could offer.

Bullshiat.  Circuit City is a classic example of what a string of bad management decisions will do to a company.   It had nothing to do with "leverage" over suppliers.  If that was even remotely true - why do dozens of other regional electronics companies remain in business and thrive?


Perhaps buying power would be a better term than leverage.  The death knell for Circuit City was when the company went non-commission and pushed their well-trained career sales staff out the door in favor of whoever was willing to work for slightly above minimum wage.

At that point Circuit City had nothing to differentiate it from Best Buy - the better service and more knowledgable staff were gone - so they were competing head to head with a rival that did much more volume selling the same products.  It's not unreasonable to assume that given Best Buy's considerably larger sales volume that they were able to negotiate more favorable purchase agreements with their suppliers.

The local chains have been struggling as well.  American Appliance fell before Circuit City, The Good Guys and Tweeter/Brynn-Mawr soon after.  There are still some left, but they can't compete with the Internet for price.  The only thing they can do is invest in a talented sales staff and use superior service to give people a reason to pay more than they would online.
 
2014-03-13 01:19:24 AM  

Serious Black: I know Subway is really popular, but there are seven of them in Lawrence. The town has a population of 90,000. What the hell do we need seven Subway restaurants for? What the hell do we need two Subway restaurants literally across the street from each other for?


IIRC Subway's Corporate will gladly sell a franchise to someone right across the street from another franchise. They don't have any exclusion zones around existing restaurants.
 
2014-03-13 02:00:01 AM  
I wish there were more Taco Bells here in Toronto, maybe 4 downtown, none in the East End that I know of. They are the best fast food option by far if you are vegetarian, you can eat anything on the mean since they substitute refried beans for beef.
 
2014-03-13 02:07:09 AM  
optikeye:

Also:
[d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net image 513x699]


Well, that's why HoJo's went bust. What was the cook doing outside driving foot traffic? GET BACK INSIDE AND COOK.
 
2014-03-13 02:22:28 AM  
The restaurant industry will never need to be "saved". People will still eat out. Whether they eat out in chain restaurants, locally owned restaurants, and what they will eat may be undetermined. But unless people start learning to cook, it's unlikely. Plus, with the "everyone works" mentality, who really has time to cook 21 meals per person per week? People are going to eat in restaurants or gas stations. They just might not eat in yours.
 
2014-03-13 02:25:29 AM  

Serious Black: I know Subway is really popular, but there are seven of them in Lawrence. The town has a population of 90,000. What the hell do we need seven Subway restaurants for? What the hell do we need two Subway restaurants literally across the street from each other for?


I can beat that I live a few miles outside a town of just under 9,000 and we have 3 subways 1 in the walmart supercenter
just west of town, the second is about 300 yards from the Walmart sharing a building with a Taco Johns, the third is in town about a block and a half from the lake sharing a building with  a Domino's pizza.

I have no clue how they farking keep all 3 afloat even with the tourist influxes during the summer weekends and all 3 are open year round.
 
2014-03-13 05:31:53 AM  
The thing is, restaurants fail all the time. Most are run on an "everything is leased" basis and segmented to where a failing location can be closed out without hurting the other stores.

The crazy thing is that the only big-box competition left is Walmart and Target. All the other boxes have fallen apart and the competition is companies smart enough to make people drive a little.
 
2014-03-13 07:24:20 AM  

grimlock1972: I have no clue how they farking keep all 3 afloat even with the tourist influxes during the summer weekends and all 3 are open year round.


Because Subway is, as far as restaurants go, farking dirt cheap to operate. You need half a salad bar, a fridge, a freezer, a toaster oven, and a microwave. You can throw a Subway up in the corner of a convenience store and be profitable really quickly.

Let's face it- people don't go to Subway for an amazing sandwich experience. You go because you can get a $5 footlong that will taste like you expect it to taste.
 
2014-03-13 08:24:03 AM  
We live in a town with a couple dozen great independent restaurants. So where does my mom want to go when she visits? Cracker Barrel or Olive Garden. Gahh!
 
2014-03-13 08:50:43 AM  
The last Lum's Diner in the entire US is located where I live.
 
2014-03-13 09:13:01 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: gingerjet: secularsage: Circuit City was one of a handful of strong players trying to sell electronics to the mass market. As other players got into the game (remember when Wal-Mart, Target and K-Mart used to have tiny little electronics sections that were mainly for TVs and junky gadgets?), Circuit City couldn't afford to remain profitable... especially because it didn't have the leverage over suppliers to offer the same sorts of sale prices Best Buy and the discount chains could offer.

Bullshiat.  Circuit City is a classic example of what a string of bad management decisions will do to a company.   It had nothing to do with "leverage" over suppliers.  If that was even remotely true - why do dozens of other regional electronics companies remain in business and thrive?

Perhaps buying power would be a better term than leverage.  The death knell for Circuit City was when the company went non-commission and pushed their well-trained career sales staff out the door in favor of whoever was willing to work for slightly above minimum wage.

At that point Circuit City had nothing to differentiate it from Best Buy - the better service and more knowledgable staff were gone - so they were competing head to head with a rival that did much more volume selling the same products.  It's not unreasonable to assume that given Best Buy's considerably larger sales volume that they were able to negotiate more favorable purchase agreements with their suppliers.

The local chains have been struggling as well.  American Appliance fell before Circuit City, The Good Guys and Tweeter/Brynn-Mawr soon after.  There are still some left, but they can't compete with the Internet for price.  The only thing they can do is invest in a talented sales staff and use superior service to give people a reason to pay more than they would online.


I always assumed that the end of Circuit City was when they hitched their wagon to the DivX crap.  Was a bad idea at the time, and looking back you have to wonder who thought it would work.
 
2014-03-13 09:37:20 AM  

MFAWG: Yup. Sunday nights at Chi-Chi's in Fayettenam, Nawth Cackelacky was a staple of mine for a while, because they were the only place you could drink after 10 or some shiat.

Now that I think about, I was banging the cocktail waitress too. Could have had something to do with it.


That's the thing with restaurants.  It doesn't matter how badly the chain is run.  Bennigan's, Perkins, Chi-Chi's, Darden-hell, whatever.  There will always be a handful of locations that are doing gangbusters in spite of corporate.  Won the lottery on location off the interstate. Someone built a senior-living complex next door.  A stunning waitress or two.  Managers who don't check IDs. Whatever.  Those "but they're doing amazing in Springfield" stores keep the chains afloat and money invested in the chain longer than otherwise reasonable.
 
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