The popular restaurant chain Steak ‘n Shake is closing 57 of its locations as a result of financial stresses brought on by the Coronavirus – but as of Tuesday the eateries in the local area were open and busy serving customers.
A steady stream of vehicles made their way through the drive-through early Tuesday afternoon at the Steak ‘n Shake located in The Villages at 3980 Wedgewood Lane. Vehicles also were lined up at the Wildwood location in the Pilot Travel Center next to Interstate 75.
Employees at the Leesburg eatery, located at 10650 U.S. Hwy. 441, and the Ocala location at 3800 SW College Rd., also reported their stores being open and busy. The location at 5180 NE 24th St. in Ocala was closed about a year ago along with 43 other stores in a “refranchising” effort.
The latest round of closures will affect 51 company-owned Steak ‘n Shake stores and six franchises. The chain’s parent company, Biglari Holdings, hasn’t announced which stores will be closed but the move comes after net sales dropped by about $61 million compared to the same time a year ago. The company is blaming the losses on its dining rooms being closed since mid-March because of the COVID-19 crisis.
After the closings, Steak ‘n Shake will have 553 restaurants across the United States. In the first quarter of 2019, the chain reported having 624 eateries.