We recently mentioned that it appears the overall trend is that fewer people are eating out at restaurants (fast food, “fast-casual,” or otherwise).

Are there any direct causes? Or just a combination of many?

Arby’s, Ruby Tuesday, why and what next?

Route 57, the road that connects Phillipsburg, NJ to Hackettstown, NJ is a bit of an enigma. Highly traveled, yet it appears to have many retail closings compared to most other roads in NJ.

Ruby Tuesday and Arby’s are just two examples in the past year or two.

What are some possible reasons for the decline?

  1. Demographics, saturation. It’s possible that this area, in particular, cannot handle a certain number of restaurants. Naturally, only the “fittest” will survive. A perfect example of supply and demand.
  2. Bad management. Many stores and restaurants simply shutter some of their operations due to fledgling sales. Much of the time it can be associated with poor leadership. Considering most of them are publicly-held, they want to appease shareholders (and their own fat profits).
  3. Health consciousness? It’s possible, but we strongly doubt it, that people just want healthier options. Looking around at the general public, and it’s clear they’re not healthy. But maybe all it took was just 10% of the population waking up to healthier alternatives?
  4. General economy. And of course, the one subject that comes up is the overall well-being of the economy. Recreational food is often one of the first to be cut when people tighten their belts.

Arby’s is collecting dust.

No new tenants?

Lastly – it’s interesting that these places aren’t being “scooped up” and re-occupied quickly. It’s probably a combination of two reasons.

One, most smart companies probably know the “maximum” potential of nearly every single available property, and these might not meet their requirements.

Secondly, it’s also possible that whatever landlords or property-owners that are here are asking an exorbitant amount, or have unreasonable lease terms.

In the end – no skin off our back

When any restaurant goes down – it doesn’t ruffle our feathers. We cook for ourselves. We’d be a bit concerned if supermarkets in NJ start shuttering again.

But it is still interesting to observe and surmise where we are all collectively going.

We still say in our NJroute22.com VLOG that if just 20-30% of the population went serious low-carb or carnivore – over half the restaurants in the country would go out of business.

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.