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Thread: Chains that refuse to expand outside of a certain area out of loyalty

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Chains that refuse to expand outside of a certain area out of loyalty

    I'm wondering how widespread this phenomenon is: retail and restaurant chains that will not expand outside of a certain area, not because of financial or logistical constraints, but because they feel a sense of loyalty to a certain region.

    Two examples come to mind:

    Blake's Lotaburger: a fast food chain in New Mexico. It's quite popular in the state, but not one location is outside of New Mexico. Supposedly several years ago, when asked why the chain never opened a location outside of the state, the owner said "There's just some things that belong only to us."

    Honey Hut: a very popular locally owned chain of ice cream stands, all of which are located on the West Side and the western suburbs of Cleveland. The owner reportedly takes the local East Side-West Side rivalry to heart, and refuses to open a Honey Hut east of the Cuyahoga.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I imagine that a lot of it comes down to control. If I were the owner of a chain and I wanted to make sure that I had the personal control that I felt was necessary, I could imagine that would be more manageable in a more tight radius.

    Additionally, for a statewide chain to expand into another state likely opens them up to much more federal regulation because they would then be considered an interstate operation. Lastly, once you begin operating in multiple states (sometime even multiple counties), you develop a need for accountants and financiers with specializations in the systems of each of thos jurisdictions. This seems like it could drive up expenses (and headaches) exponentially.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I believe originally Cadillac Jack's (a sports bar), and Frickers (a sports bar) were both not looking to expand outside of the Dayton area, then not outside of Ohio, due to the demand being high here and support for Ohio. I think that their mottos have changed now that they are growing as much as they are.
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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Chester's is a small burger chain (4-5 locations) that has refused to expand beyond the San Antonio metro despite having opportunities to do so.

    Whataburger and Taco Cabana were containing themselves to Texas for a long time, but in the last decade have gotten very aggressive in reaching out to other states.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    For a long time I've wondered why In-N-Out Burger hasn't expanded outside California, Nevada, and Arizona because of their enormous popularity here. It's pretty rare to find one open at any time of the day without a line out the door and ten cars in the drive thru.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

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    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Whataburger and Taco Cabana were containing themselves to Texas for a long time, but in the last decade have gotten very aggressive in reaching out to other states.
    This is good news! I would dearly love to see a Taco Cabana here in Kentucky!
    The cookies are worth the drive

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    There are very few Mexican/Tex-Mex chains in the northeast, although the few that there are do really well.

    I perceive there to be somewhat of a east-west regional separation with chains. For instance, the same chains can be found in New York and Florida, or Massachusetts and Virginia, but not Florida and Texas, or New York and Illinois.

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Coragus View post
    This is good news! I would dearly love to see a Taco Cabana here in Kentucky!
    Yeah, TacoC (as my friends call it) has set up shop in New Mexico and Lousiana

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Whataburger and Taco Cabana were containing themselves to Texas for a long time, but in the last decade have gotten very aggressive in reaching out to other states.
    Taco Cabana was in Colorado about 10 years ago and then left. I liked their salsa bar and food.


    Quiznos and Chipotle are everywhere now, so I cannot use them.

    We have Good Times here in Colorado. Good fast food place. They were going to expand to Kansas and Nebraska but quit that notion for economic reasons.

    We also have Red Robin restaurants. I think they are elsewhere though... anyone confirm?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    We also have Red Robin restaurants. I think they are elsewhere though... anyone confirm?
    We have Red Robin here in metro-Detroit. I think they have only been here for a few years though so far.
    Last edited by WSU MUP Student; 26 Sep 2008 at 3:45 PM.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    We have Red Robin here in metro-Detroi. I think they have only been here for a few years though so far.
    Okay then.

    We used to have Big Boy in Denver, but they took off about 15 years ago. They still in DTW? Little Ceasars was here, left and is now back.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
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    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    We also have Red Robin restaurants. I think they are elsewhere though... anyone confirm?
    Red Robin is all over. The original is across the river from the University of Washington in Seattle.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    Okay then.

    We used to have Big Boy in Denver, but they took off about 15 years ago. They still in DTW? Little Ceasars was here, left and is now back.
    Big Boy is still indeed out here but they had been closing locations here too over the past few years but that seems to have stopped now. In metro Detroit they were always known as a good choice for families that didn't want to go to a restaurant with checkerboards and kayaks and football helmets stuck all over the wall and then they tried to move into that market and it hurt them.

    It seems now that they are slowly getting back to their roots.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    Red Robin is all over. The original is across the river from the University of Washington in Seattle.
    I stand corrected... I never knew it started in Seattle, rather Red Robin is only headquartered in Denver metro.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    I stand corrected... I never knew it started in Seattle, rather Red Robin is only headquartered in Denver metro.
    I had no idea they were headquartered in Denver, so we both learned something
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    We have Red Robin here in metro-Detroit. I think they have only been here for a few years though so far.
    We had a Red Robin here and it tanked in just over a year. They made one fatal mistake--thinking people would pay $10 for a burger meal when a better one could be had closer to campus for $3 less. Now we have a brand-new Red Robin building sitting vacant, though it is about to become a Pluckers. Pluckers is another regional franchise, with I think six locations in Texas.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    For a long time I've wondered why In-N-Out Burger hasn't expanded outside California, Nevada, and Arizona because of their enormous popularity here. It's pretty rare to find one open at any time of the day without a line out the door and ten cars in the drive thru.
    CJC,
    They actually are outside of California. Reno NV and in some areas in AZ (or so the place mat said).

    The only in-n-out to not have a drive thru: SF@Fisherman's Wharf.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I know there are several chain restaurants in the Chicago area that stay here because of loyalty. I know one such place offers Chicago food staples such as hot dogs, polish sausage, and italian beef, and that place is Portillo's. They have about 30 or 40 restaurants in the Chicagoland area. They recently opened two locations in Southern California, but I think that may be beause Portillo's has family there or something. I know there are also several Chicagoland transplants living in the Orange County area.

    There are also plenty of Chicago-style pizza places that are only in the Chicagoland area such as Lou Malnati's, Giordano's, and Gino's East.
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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    There are very few Mexican/Tex-Mex chains in the northeast, although the few that there are do really well.
    I think we're about to get more. Moe's Southwest Grill has opened several locations in this area in the last two years or so; a Chipotle is proposed in my town; and there's another Mexican/Tex-Mex chain (whose name I can't remember - something with "salsa" in it?) that's supposedly entering the market.

    Actually, we have an excellent locally-owned Mexican restaurant that has expanded to three locations in this area. I wish they'd open one near my house!

    We have a Red Robin... never been inside.

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    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Friendly's here in the northeast. They're bigger in Massachusetts but I've seen them in NY too.

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    Cyburbian rosierivets's avatar
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    I've been excited to see that Sonic is oozing it's way into Illinois. It's a bit gimmicky but I think that is part of the draw and the cheeseburgers are pretty good.

    Mmmm, In-N-Out Burger. Mmmm, Portillos.

    Now I'm hungry.
    How about you take a gander at making an executive decision for once, huh?

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    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    Friendly's here in the northeast. They're bigger in Massachusetts but I've seen them in NY too.
    There was one in the next town over (Mountainside) in central NJ back when I was in Jr and Sr HS.
    Now gone don't remember when it closed.

    Do you remember them Gedunker ?
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    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Taco Cabana's most northern location was in Fort Wayne, Ind. Closed up after about five years. It was off the beaten path as far as fast food goes, and it was never 24/7.

    Red Robin was in Los Angeles in 2001, and it arrived in the Ann Arbor area in 2002. (I evaluated their environmental compliance for a class taken at the time. Silt fencing, mmmm.)

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    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    We also have Red Robin restaurants. I think they are elsewhere though... anyone confirm?
    Yeah, they're going ads in FL. although none of their stores are near us.
    Steak n Shake is one that has been in FL forever but seems regional, here and somewhere in the mid-west...

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    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    Yeah, they're going ads in FL. although none of their stores are near us.
    Steak n Shake is one that has been in FL forever but seems regional, here and somewhere in the mid-west...
    Red Robin has been running their TV ads here too.

    In my fair city here in mid-west, we have 2 Steak 'n Shakes.
    http://www.steaknshake.com/states/ind.asp
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

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