Steak 'n Shake has permanently closed down 57 restaurants due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Each of those locations was closed in 2020 and announced in the Biglari Holdings Inc. quarterly report, which owns the burger franchise. Given the current state of the restaurant industry, it didn't paint an optimistic picture for the franchise overall.
"The COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse effect on our restaurant operations," the report read, via The Indy Channel. "The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected our operations and financial results. The COVID-19 pandemic could cause disruptions to our supply chain. Moreover, we cannot predict how the outbreak of COVID-19 will alter the future demand of our products."
Of those 57 locations, 51 were company-owned, while six were franchised. However, it's not clear where the locations were specifically. It also mentioned that 62 of the 306 company-owned restaurants have been temporarily closed since March 31. It brings the number of total Steak 'n Shake locales from 624 to 553 since May of 2019.
The news comes as several businesses have been dramatically impacted by coronavirus, which has led to widespread Stay-at-Home orders and forced dining rooms across the country to stay closed. While some have tried to make it by with to-go and delivery orders, where possible, it has meant that roughly 8 million restaurant workers are currently out of work. The Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Sean Kennedy even wrote a letter to Congress as a means to spark some sort of action to save the restaurant industry.
"On March 18, we wrote you warning of a bleak outlook for the restaurant industry […] as the pandemic was unfolding," Kennedy wrote. "One month later, we have a clearer picture of the severe challenges that lie ahead, and ask for a focused solution on behalf of an industry that is a vital part of every community. For an industry with sales that exceed the agriculture, airline, railroad, ground transportation, and spectator sports industries combined, a restaurant relief and recovery program is desperately needed."
"Every restaurant model, from the beloved corner diner to the favorite independent restaurant, to the well-known chain, has an uncertain future as economic damage wrecks an industry that is only marginally profitable even in the best of times," Kennedy added.
In the meantime, Guy Fieri has helped use his platform to raise more than $20 million for out-of-work restaurant workers. "They need your takeout, they need your delivery so if they’re available, please go give them some biz," the chef told TMZ.