The Restaurant Industry Downturn Looms

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Today's restaurant market is so saturated that it gives guests so many options to choose from. But from an operator standpoint, it's wildly competitive.

Even Emerging Brands, like honeygrow, are struggling in certain markets. The fast casual salad chain will be closing three locations in Chicago next week.

Honeygrow entered the Chi-town market less than a year ago but has already determined that it's not the right time to keep some of the stores in the city open.

According to the fast casual's founder Justin Rosenberg, the Chicago stores “didn’t see the sales take off.” Honey is closing three locations, one in the Fulton Market neighborhood and downtown and then a Minigrow concept in the Loop.

One location in Schaumburg, a northwestern suburb of Chicago will remain open.

But the chain is going to try to expand in the city in the future.

“It’s a total bummer,” said Rosenberg on Thursday. “Like any market, it’s very competitive and we need to come back with our A-game.”

Back in 2017, we visited the tech-focused concept to see what sets this restaurant apart from the others in the market. Watch the episode of Fast Casual Nation below to learn more about honeygrow’s growth plan.

The fast casual segment continues to appeal to operators looking to cater to today's consumers which are looking for affordable yet high-quality food options.

However, not every concept is able to survive in a market with a lot of competition.

“The fast-casual segment attracts a huge number of startup brands that try to capitalize on the next big trend by attracting a lot of investment and saturating markets early,” said Mike Kostyo of Datassential. “It's inevitable that some brands are going to survive and others won't.”

Taco Bueno, a Southern taco fast-food chain, just filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy but isn't giving up just yet.

"We are implementing this plan through a court-supervised financial restructuring, and I want to emphasize that during this process, your local Taco Bueno restaurants are open and eager to serve you," said Omar Junjua, Taco Bueno CEO.

The chain was also acquired by Taco Supremo. Learn more about the taco chain's announcement at "Business Insider."