Brands such as TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday, and Applebee’s have faced sales slumps and dozens of restaurant closures, as casual-dining chains have struggled to attract customers and increase sales.
More convenient chains have also drawn millennial customers away from casual-dining options.
The growth of fast-casual chains such as Chipotle and Panera have been especially harmful. These chains can offer lower prices to millennial customers, who are less enthused about spending more money just for the experience of sitting in a booth at a casual-dining joint.
The fast-casual industry grew by 550% from 1999 to 2014, The Washington Post reported. By 2020, the fast-casual market in the US is expected to reach $66.9 billion, according to the market-research company Technavio.