So, what were you planning to do with your summer vacation? If your plans included hanging around the homestead and perhaps going out for a nice meal or two with the family, you might want to call before you pack the family into the car and head off into the night. If you've got reservations at your local Bennigan's or Steak & Ale, check again because they don't exist any more. Casualties of the first round of bankrupt restaurant chains, these two eateries boarded up their casual bars and grills months ago.
The good news is that getting a Happy Meal won't be a problem for the foreseeable future, as McDonald's will probably pick up some of the market share left in the wake of some of the other mid-priced outlets that don't have dollar menus. Even some of the fast-food chains that survive off their strategically positioned corners of shopping mall food courts are feeling the pinch. Hot Dog on a Stick doesn't make as much sense in a recession as it did back when we all had money. Come to think of it, did Hot Dog on a Stick ever make any sense?
Still, bad debt and slowing sales are crushing places like Perkin's and its sister store Marie Callender's. With Denny's and IHOP still standing tall in the "breakfast anytime" world, these two suffer mightily in their wake. Why go "someplace like Denny's" when you can go to Denny's? And while we're on the subject of Grand Slams, even the beloved Krispy Kreme franchise is closing stores. It's a sad day when fried dough can't stay afloat.
What are the alternatives? You could buy more Top Ramen and stick close to home, waiting for the eventual boom that will bring all those "sit-down food at fast-food prices" places back to life. Or you could use this time to become more creative. I checked out the recipe for Bennigan's Broccoli Bites. Now all I need is some kitschy decor and some extra flair for my wife's suspenders and I'll be set.