Gone are the days of big fast food chains, which have not kept up with the times. Dotty’s NV, on the other hand, remains a viable competitor.
By Kevin Hewston
There was a time when restaurant chains were alive and well. They were a part of Americana and a part of peoples’ lives, largely for the convenience they offered. Patrons wanting a quick bite to eat before hitting the road again would frequent Big Boy for its burgers. Others, such as Ponderosa, offered buffets that provided something for everybody at a cheap price.
But those restaurants are sadly disappearing, according to Technomic, Inc. and 24/7 Wall St. In an NBCNews.com exclusive, researchers at 24/7 Wall St. used industry sales data provided by Technomic to arrive at a stunning conclusion. What were once down-home, mostly sit-down eateries are now outmoded dinosaurs thanks to the recession and to the unique challenges of restaurant branding. They have simply not kept pace with the changing times allowing for “a new breed, a new generation of restaurant.”
Ten major restaurant chains made the cut for their decline. They saw their store locations reduced by 60 percent or more and lost 50 percent or more in sales over a decade. Whereas they were on top in 2001, making at least $225 million, they witnessed falling assets at least until 2011. Eight of the ten chains even filed for bankruptcy in the same number of years.
Damon’s Grill & Sports Bar, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009, is one such restaurant chain that has suffered branding setbacks. Although they advertise as a “leading full-service, casual dining restaurant,” they emphasize BBQ and an un-updated menu. As a result, they have seen a 75.4 percent drop in sales since 2001. They have also noticed a 78.1 percent reduction in restaurant locations, from at least 137 eateries down to 30.
A problem is that barbequed food is specialized. It doesn’t attract the revenue or the customers that more diverse food offerings do. Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic, says that barbeque caters to a specific segment of the population: men. It also is not something patrons prefer to eat on a daily basis.
Looking more at branding, other problems and issues abound as well. Country Kitchen fails to keep a steady influx of customers. Tristano points out that this could be because, as a family, midscale or casual service restaurant, it has fallen prey to fast-casual establishments.
Dotty’s NV is among the restaurants Tristano describes. It’s a place that offers such dining while still retaining the down-home, country atmosphere loved by many. Dotty’s NV, which has more than 150 locations and is one of Nevada’s biggest chains, has diversified itself to be a place where men, women, and customers of all ages want to eat.
About: Dotty’s NV has more than 150 locations in Oregon, Nevada, and Montana. It is one of Nevada’s biggest restaurant chains.