2015 - Restaurant Chain Closing and Openings

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Store closing and store opening numbers are being closely watched in 2015 because they are not only key indicators of the trajectory of individual retail chains but also key indicators of quickly shifting consumer preferences and buying habits. This is also true of the restaurant niche of the retail industry where the tastes and dietary preferences of full service, QSR, and fast food consumers can turn winners into losers overnight.


Unfortunately, getting complete restaurant chain opening and closing plans and predictions for any given calendar year can be a challenge. One reason is that most of the largest U.S. restaurant chains are privately owned and only publicly traded restaurant companies feel an obligation to make their expansion and downsizing plans public. Also, because restaurant chains like Subway, Burger King, and Papa John’s are comprised of both company-owned and franchised stores, there is some loss of control over long-term planning. The participation of thousands of individual restaurant store owners creates an understandable amount of operational unpredictability.  

When McDonald’s reported in April that 350 of its stores had been closed in the first quarter of 2015, in addition to the 350 store closings the chain had already planned for 2015, all sorts of conclusions were drawn about the relevance of McDonald’s offerings, the acceptance of the all-American brand in global markets, the fate of fast food in general, and the inability of McDonald’s to remain competitive against new restaurant concepts that are popping up around the world. While some of those conclusions were logical and predictive, they weren’t necessarily backed up by solid numbers evidence.

Store Closings

Certainly, 750 store closings are not insignificant for any restaurant chain, even one the size of McDonald’s worldwide. But those 750 store closings are offset by at least 1000 McDonald’s store openings planned in the U.S., Europe, China, Asia-Pacific and even Kazakhstan. A net 300 additions to the McDonald’s global store count is not much of an expansion, but it’s not a cataclysmic downsizing either, as many incomplete analyses implied.

An overall comparison of store opening and closing numbers provides evidence that in 2015, a mature McDonald’s global restaurant chain is holding its own despite changing consumer dietary concerns and eating preferences worldwide. And it’s only a complete comparison of store openings and closings that can provide any valid conclusions about the health and trajectory of any restaurant chain in 2015. 

What follows is a complete, updated, and ongoing list of U.S. based restaurant chains that are closing underperforming retail store locations, downsizing or going bankrupt and out of business in the 2015 calendar year. This list is arranged alphabetically according to the name of the restaurant chain. The number in the left column indicates the number of restaurant store closings or openings planned for 2015, according to official company statements and/or reliable research resources.

Click the links for additional research information about the individual U.S. based restaurant chains.

2015 Largest Restaurant Chain Openings and Closings

Complete List of U.S. Based Restaurant Chains Closing Domestic and International Locations and Downsizing Chains:

1    American Steakhouse Closings

5    Bad Daddy’s Openings

10      Baskin-Robbins Openings
Baskin-Robbins Closing

4    Biggby Coffee Openings

27   Blaze Pizza  Openings

2    Boloco Closings

2    Bosa Donuts  Openings

10      Boston Market Openings

1      Boulders on Southern Openings

1       Bravo! Cucina Italiana Openings

15     Brinker International  Openings (Chili's, Maggiano's Little Italy)
1    Chili's Closings

1       Callahan's Openings

2    Carmen Anthony Steakhouse Closings 

2       Carrow's Closings

1       Chick-fil-A Openings
Chick-fil-A Closings

205   Chipotle Openings

185  Corner Bakery Openings (by 2016)

1    Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Openings

7    Del Frisco’s Grille Openings

440   Dunkin Donuts (US in 2015) Openings
300   Dunkin Donuts (Internationally in 2015) Openings
100    Dunkin Donuts Openings (through 2017 in India)
60     Dunkin Donuts Openings (through 2018 in Houston)

1    e2/e2Go (Emeril Restaurant) Closings

39   Einstein Bros. Bagels Closings
N/A   Einstein Bros. Bagels Openings

3    Famous Dave's Restaurants Closings

60     Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets  Openings (through 2019)

1    Freshii Closings
104   Freshii Openings

14   Friendly's Closings
Friendly’s Openings

1    Godfather’s Pizza Closings
Godfather’s Pizza Openings

1    Howard Johnson’s Restaurant Closings

1    Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Closings

10     Jimmy John's Openings

100   Johnny Rockets Openings (China, 2016)
1       Johnny Rockets Openings

10   Just Baked Closings

8       KFC Closings
40     KFC Openings (Pakistan by 2018)

1    Lawlers Barbecue and Catfish Closings

1    Lone Star Steakhouse Closings

1    Los Tres Amigos Restaurant Closings

5    Mariano’s Openings

700    McDonald's Closings
350   McDonald's Openings (APMEA)
250   McDonald's Openings (Europe)
200   McDonald's Openings (China)
100   McDonald's Openings (U.S.)
1       McDonald's Openings (Kazakhstan)

3    Menchie's Openings

1    MididCi's Opening

2       Mimi's Cafe Closings

1    Neato Burrito Closings

1      Nori Sushi Openings

1    Olga's Kitchen Closings

350   Philly Pretzel Factory (by 2020) Openings

16   Pieology Openings

14   Pizza 9 Openings

7     Pizza Hut Closings
60     Pizza Hut Openings (through 2017)

70   Pizza Studio Openings

225   Popeye's Openings

400   Quiznos Closings
1       Quiznos Openings

1       RA Sushi Bar Closings

1       Rita's Italian Ice Openings

5    Romano's Macaroni Grill Closings

13   Ruby Tuesday Closings
1       Ruby Tuesday Openings

1    Sbarro Closings

1    Smashburger Closings

60   Sonic Drive-In Openings
4    Sonic Drive-in Closings

1      Snooze, an A.M. Eatery Openings

10   Sprouts Openings

1       Starbucks Reserve Roastery (2016) Openings
1500  Starbucks (China, through 2019) Openings
100   Starbucks Openings(Malaysia, through 2017)

2500 Subway (globally) Openings

1    Sullivan’s Steakhouse Closing

1    Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill Closings

338   Tony Luke's (by 2025) Openings

1       Via Roma Openings

4    Weathervane Restaurants Closings

7       Wendy's Closings
1000  Wendy's (by 2020) Openings
1    Wendy's (Costa Rica) Closings

14   Whataburger Closings
2      Whataburger Openings

11     Yogasmoga Openings