4 Popular Fast-Food Chains That Are Shrinking

Carl's Jr.

Carl's Jr. is doing well. The firm opened its 1,000th worldwide site in mid-2021 and reported $1.25 million in per-store revenues. 

Carl's Jr.'s U.S. presence peaked in 2016 at 1,163, according to Restaurant Business. Since then, it's lost 15 to 20 stores every year, reaching 1,063 in 2020.

Boston Market

In 1998, when Boston Market declared bankruptcy with $283 million in debt, one creditor said, "They grew too fast, and the concept became boring.

From a high of 1,100 shops in 1998, Boston Market will lose around 100 between 2016 and 2020. Boston Market 2022 will include 340 eateries, according to estimates.


The once-popular sandwich chain has been in decline since at least 2007. Quiznos lost 94% of its stores in 15 years, with just 255 in 2021.

Quiznos hasn't given up. The chain hopes to make a return as a virtual brand by partnering with Ghost Kitchen Brands.

White Castle

White Castle, founded in 1921, is the oldest U.S. fast-food franchise. White Castle doesn't franchise, unlike other famous companies.

The burger chain's income rose from 2015 to 2020, helped by grocery sales. Over five years, the chain lost 30 units. White Castle has 349 sites by 2022.

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