This past week, Mashed focused on ten restaurants chains that they claim are in danger of closing in 2020. Three of the chain restaurants are located right here in Evans, two of which are in Mullins Crossing.
Red Robin and Ruby Tuesday at Mullins Crossing, and Steak and Shake on Jimmie Dyess Parkway are all experiencing profound struggles nationally, if not locally.
Columbia County is thick with franchise restaurants, and although most are very well supported, one must remember Columbia County is one of the wealthier counties in the state. Yet what happens in other markets affects the companies running these eateries here.
Red Robin appears to always be busy, so it is surprising to learn in June of 2019 Nation’s Restaurant News reported that Red Robin stock was trading at about $31 a share, down from $55 in early January 2018. By November 2019 the chain had a net loss of 1.8 million dollars.
Red Robin has also had an influx of new restaurants open all around it as Mullins Crossing Shopping Center gets built out.
Sharing the same shopping center with Red Robin is another struggling chain, Ruby Tuesday.
Between August 2017 and January 2018, Ruby Tuesday closed over 100 locations. There are now 460 locations around the country, down from the 950 Ruby Tuesday restaurants that existed a decade ago.
There have been three CEO’s in three years, the last leaving when the company was sold to a private firm in December of 2017. In September of last year the company closed nine locations, and over the past twenty months has shuttered a total of 76 locations, according to Restaurant Business.
Steak and Shake has problems largely associated with having so many company owned stores. According to mashed.com, 413 of the 600 locations around the country are company owned. (the Evans location is franchisee owned).
According to the Business Insider, Steak ‘n Shake could be in its final days, as insiders reportedly worry about massive losses and CEO Sardar Biglari’s turnaround strategy.
The Indianapolis Business Journal published an article in May of last year reporting that in the first quarter of 2019, Steak ‘n Shake reported an $18.9 million operating loss — after reporting a $10.7 million loss for all of 2018.
Steak ‘n Shake’s problems are no secret to many investors. In 2018, the chain made S&P Global Markets’ list of 19 retailers most at risk of defaulting next.
Yet locals can’t seem to get enough of the burger and shake chain. The location on I-20 always seems to be doing a strong business.
Go out and show these restaurants some love. They are big employers in the market and hopefully the rest of the country won’t drag these three down.