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Some chain restaurants just seem to defy conventional wisdom. Whether they’re never busy, horribly outdated, or getting completely trounced by the competition, these businesses somehow manage to keep their doors open. It’s hard to imagine how they continue to turn a profit, but the following 8 restaurants are miraculously managing to stay in business.

8) Godfather’s Pizza

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Admittedly, the buffet is a pretty magical experience, but, compared to its less expensive competition, it’s hard to imagine they’re pulling in a lot of delivery orders. Plus, when was the last time you saw a commercial with The Godfather promising to “make you a pizza you can’t refuse?” It’s been far too long.

7) Waffle House

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If you’ve ever been inside a Waffle House you know that cleanliness isn’t necessarily a top priority. They’re run down, the service is usually poor, and somehow they almost always seem busy. Still, as soon as you sit down in a patched-up booth with a dirty table, you can’t help but wonder, “how is this place even still here?”

6) Long John Silver’s

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When you actually hear someone say, “didn’t they go out of business?” it’s a pretty obvious sign your chain has seen better days. However, it doesn’t hurt that Long John Silver’s has, for the most part, been partnered up with A&W Restaurants, allowing you to conveniently visit two disappointing places at once.

5) Hardee’s

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While west coasters have Carl’s Jr., the east coast gets Hardee’s, but it’s really a “six of one” proposition in the category of fast food also-rans. It’s one thing to brag about your quality, but it’s another thing alogether to get people excited about paying for it. When it comes to fast food, dollar menu trumps good quality meat any day.

4) Chuck E Cheese’s

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We kind of thought video game consoles would’ve killed this rat long ago. Sure, it’s arguably a fun place for kids, but the food is terrible and the same creepy animatronic band has been phoning in the funk for the past 20 years.

3) Taco Time

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Yes, the food is better than Taco Bell, but it’s also considerably more expensive. And, why anyone would pay 3 times as much for food that’s only 50 percent better is a total mystery.

2) Johnny Rockets

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It’s a ’50s diner with 2009 prices, and even those seem a bit steep. The meals are a poor version of what you’d get at a decent fast food chain, but since Johnny Rockets is a hip little dive with a jukebox on every table you get to wait 20 minutes instead of 5 before you can finally commence with your lackluster meal.

1) Arby’s

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Longtime butt of fast food jokes, Arby’s has been mocked by The Simpsons, Seinfeld, 30 Rock, and countless other monsters of pop culture. But, like the Little Engine That Could it just keeps chugging along. It doesn’t matter that nobody ever says, “I’m thinking Arby’s,” all that matters is Arby’s appears to be absolutely bulletproof. It’s almost like this punchline-of-a-restaurant-chain is enjoying a hearty laugh at everyone else’s expense.


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