Zombie Restaurants: 'Hard To Kill Off'

NYTimes.com reports, “You see them all across the country, in shopping malls and street corners, suburban towns and city centers: zombie restaurants.”

“Many of the undead are part of familiar chains that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this year: Friendly’s, Chevys, Sbarro, Perkins. The zombie restaurants, barely bringing in enough cash to cover basic expenses, always seem to be one sizzling fajita or glazed chicken skewer away from a merciful end, but somehow keep hanging on — leaving too many restaurants chasing after scarce dining dollars. ‘There’s a lot of walking dead,’ said Bob Goldin, executive vice president for Technomic, a consulting firm that works with restaurant companies. ‘A lot of chains, they hang in there and they’re hard to kill off.'”

“Consumers, who have generally cut back on the number of meals out since the recession began, are benefiting from the proliferation of zombies. Healthy and failing restaurants alike have been forced to discount relentlessly to lure diners. But for the restaurants, particularly small independent operators, the competition from the undead is a nightmare that just won’t end.”