Will COVID-19 End the American Restaurant Chain? Applebee’s and Outback Among Eateries Facing Hard Times

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Some of America’s favorite restaurant chains are in serious jeopardy as the pandemic has robbed them of customers and revenue. According to reports, Outback Steakhouse, Applebee’s and the Cheesecake Factory might have trouble paying their debts.

California Pizza Kitchen recently filed for bankruptcy.

"The chain restaurants, too, generally have very large footprints," said restaurant consultant Kate Edwards. "They depend on hundreds of people coming and dining or driving through every day. Now, drive through is great, but it can't support the rent for those very, very large dining rooms." 

But it's not only big chains that are struggling. According to Yelp, over 72,000 restaurants have closed their doors permanently since the pandemic began.

In a statement, Steve Joyce, CEO of Applebee's parent company Dine Brands, told Inside Edition Digital, “We’ve demonstrated the ability to manage our business during a challenging second quarter, and our restaurants proved their tremendous resiliency in meeting the convenience and safety needs of our guests. We remain optimistic about the overall marked improvement in industry sales and traffic data since April, and are confident in our long-term strategy and ability to quickly adapt to the ever-changing industry landscape.”

Meanwhile, Chicago, Baltimore and Boston are said to be the next coronavirus hot spots.

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