Could Steak N’ Shake be the first of many restaurant chains to close?

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Are you craving a Steak ‘n Shake steak burger or one of those tasty milkshakes? After today’s food news, that craving might not be satisfied.

According to the company, Steak ‘n Shake will permanently close 57 locations. While the exact locations are unclear, the locations include both company owned and franchisees. The closings are due to the current economic issues caused by the COVID-19 health crisis.

In the company’s quarterly report, it was stated that the uncertainty offers too big of an impact. After the closing of the dining rooms, the to-go and delivery orders may not be enough. Additionally, the company has concerns about potential supply chain disruptions.

While this food news will be disappointing to many people who love their steak burgers and milkshakes, this quick service restaurant has been struggling over the years. Its parent company has previously stated that the brand was not optimally performing.

This announcement is concerning on many levels. The restaurant industry, on all levels, has been impacted greatly. Even with to-go or take-out orders, there is less demand for their food. That simple concept of supply and demand is clear.

With this set of restaurant closures, it begs the questions, who will be next? Wendy’s has reported a potential burger shortage. Many local restaurants believe that they will never reopen their doors. While many brands learn the word “pivot.” the restaurant industry faces many challenges.

The additional impact of these potential closings is more than not getting that steak burger or milkshake. That closed restaurant means that many people are unemployed. From the cook who mans the grill to the person who takes your order, a restaurant employs many people. One restaurant closing can cause a lot of unemployment.

In many ways, that Restaurant Employee Relief Fund needs more than its current $22 Million in funding. From the dishwasher to the line cook, each restaurant closing has a far reaching impact. It will be a long road to recovery.

While many people will be sad to learn that their local Steak ’n Shake might be closing, this announcement serves as a reminder to visit your favorite restaurant before it is too late. Yes, those food orders can and do make a difference.

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Do you think that other quick service restaurants will be impacted like Steak ‘n Shake?