10 Restaurant Chains That Flopped


1
Kenny Rogers Roasters

Kenny Rogers Roasters, a chain that the singer started with pal and former KFC mogul John Y. Brown in 1991, probably became most renowned as a plot device in a 1996 "Seinfeld" episode, in which the eccentric Kramer hangs a "Bad Chicken" banner outside his apartment to protest the restaurant's sleep-depriving neon sign. By show's end, the character drops his complaints when he becomes addicted to KRR's rotisserie chicken [source: Jacobs]. In real life, Kenny Rogers got good reviews for its cuisine, but the chain found it tough going in a market crowded with competitors. It went bankrupt in 1998 and eventually was sold to Nathan's, the hot dog stand chain, according to news reports. Today, only one U.S. outlet remains in Ontario, Calif. Oddly, however, the brand, which is now owned by a Malaysian company, is going great guns in Asia, with at least 100 franchises [source: KRR]. In a 2008 interview with the Raleigh News-Observer, the country crooner lamented the chain's domestic demise. "You know, we had those little corn muffins that actually had corn in them," he said. "I miss that."

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