Ground Round Locations: Road Trip Dining Spots for Automotive Enthusiasts (2024)

Ever wondered where to find the nearest Ground Round restaurant? We’ve got you covered. Ground Round is a casual dining chain that offers a relaxed, fun atmosphere and a variety of American and international dishes. With locations predominantly in the Upper Midwest and Northeast, finding a spot near you can be a tasty adventure.

Ground Round Locations: Road Trip Dining Spots for Automotive Enthusiasts (1)

Ground Round was founded back in 1969 and has survived some rocky times, including bankruptcy and ownership changes. Today, they’re still serving up great food at 15 locations across nine states. From Bismarck to Minot in North Dakota, you’ll find spots where you can enjoy a hearty meal.

If you’re planning a visit, make sure to check each location for specific hours, addresses, and phone numbers. Some restaurants also offer online ordering options, making it easier to enjoy your favorite dishes.

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  • 1 The Evolution of Casual Dining in America
    • 1.1 From Howard Johnson’s to Ground Round
    • 1.2 The Popularity of Family-Oriented Restaurants in the 70s and 80s
  • 2 Distinctive Features of Ground Round
    • 2.1 Unique Service and Entertainment
    • 2.2 Innovative Pricing Models
  • 3 Operational Challenges and Adaptations
    • 3.1 Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Recovery
    • 3.2 Transition to Independent Owners Cooperative
  • 4 The Modern Landscape of Ground Round
    • 4.1 Expansion and Local Impact
    • 4.2 Perspectives on Restaurant Business and Economy

The Evolution of Casual Dining in America

Casual dining in America has come a long way since its early days. From the vision of Howard Johnson’s to the bustling atmosphere of Ground Round, we’ve seen the industry cater to the needs of families and individuals looking for enjoyable dining experiences.

From Howard Johnson’s to Ground Round

Howard Johnson’s, originally known for its roadside motels and ice cream stands, took a significant step in 1969 by launching Ground Round to revamp struggling units. Ground Round quickly became a pioneer in casual dining, with a menu focused on burgers, beer, and a relaxed setting. Their approach was different from the more rigid dining experiences of the time.

The oil crisis of 1973 influenced Howard Johnson’s to put more effort into Ground Round. The pub-like environment and affordable meals attracted many and gave Ground Round a distinct identity. People came not just for the food but for a place to unwind with friends and family.

The Popularity of Family-Oriented Restaurants in the 70s and 80s

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The 1970s and 1980s were transformative for family dining. Ground Round embraced this change, marketing itself as a family-friendly spot. They featured games, cartoons, and even popcorn on the floor to keep kids entertained. This made dining out less of a chore for parents and more of a fun outing for the whole family.

During these decades, many restaurants adopted similar models. Casual dining began to blend good food with entertainment, making meals more than just a necessity but an event. Ground Round’s success lay in its ability to create a space where families felt welcomed and relaxed, leading to their rapid expansion and popularity.

In summary, casual dining evolved from Howard Johnson’s vision to Ground Round’s engaging environment, driven by families seeking pleasant and affordable dining experiences.

Distinctive Features of Ground Round

Ground Round locations stand out due to their unique blend of dining experiences and pricing models that encourage a fun and engaging atmosphere.

Unique Service and Entertainment

At Ground Round, we pride ourselves on offering more than just a meal. Guests enjoy free peanuts at their tables, creating a casual and relaxing vibe.

An especially delightful touch is Bingo the Clown, a fixture who entertains families, ensuring that both kids and adults have a memorable time.

Unlike many places, our restaurants offer a variety of entertainment options, from karaoke nights to family-friendly events outside of the dining room. This makes each visit distinctive and enjoyable.

We aim to make each guest feel special and part of a larger community.

Innovative Pricing Models

One of our standout features is our “Pay What You Weigh” pricing model for children’s meals. This means kids’ meals are priced according to the child’s weight, adding an element of fun and fairness for parents – a feature that families appreciate.

Additionally, we offer varied pricing for several menu items based on the type of event or day of the week. This helps make dining out affordable and accessible for everyone.

The diverse pricing approach is not only innovative, but it also brings in a dynamic and welcoming crowd each day.

Ground Round’s creative strategies in pricing and service keep customers engaged and returning for more.

Operational Challenges and Adaptations

Ground Round locations have faced significant challenges. We’ve had to adapt to sustain operations and continue growing amidst difficulties like bankruptcy and ownership changes. Let’s explore these aspects in detail.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Recovery

The most crucial challenge faced by Ground Round was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It was a tough time as we had to restructure and come up with a plan to repay debts while continuing to operate.

During this period, many locations were closed temporarily to cut costs. We focused on maximizing operational efficiency to ensure minimal disruption to customers.

Key steps included:

  • Reducing overhead costs
  • Renegotiating contracts
  • Trimming non-essential expenses

These measures helped the brand recover without compromising customer experience. The successful exit from Chapter 11 marked a new beginning, bringing back confidence among stakeholders and customers alike.

Transition to Independent Owners Cooperative

Post-bankruptcy, Ground Round transitioned into an Independent Owners Cooperative structure. This shift allowed us greater flexibility and owner engagement, setting the stage for a more personalized customer experience.

Each franchise under this new cooperative got a voice in decision-making, ensuring that local needs were met more effectively. This model empowered owners to innovate and adapt based on regional preferences.

Benefits of this transition included:

  • Increased owner participation
  • Enhanced local marketing strategies
  • Ability to quickly adapt to market changes

The change led to higher operational efficiency and improved customer satisfaction, allowing Ground Round to flourish in the competitive market.

Operational Challenges Require Strategic Adaptations

The Modern Landscape of Ground Round

Today, Ground Round locations continue to serve classic American fare in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. By expanding strategically and maintaining a keen eye on the economic landscape, they’ve remained a beloved dining choice for many.

Expansion and Local Impact

Ground Round started in Massachusetts in 1969, and has since expanded to multiple locations. These restaurants often become community hubs, offering a mix of food and entertainment.

For instance, in Bismarck, ND:

Bismarck, NDMon-Sat: 11am – 12am701-223-0000

These restaurants play a significant role in local economies by creating jobs and supporting local suppliers. They also host events like trivia nights and live music, making them social hotspots.

Perspectives on Restaurant Business and Economy

The restaurant business is a tough nut to crack, and Ground Round knows this well. The 1973 oil crisis was a rough time, but Ground Round smartly pivoted.

Economic impact:

  • Job creation: Each new location brings in employment opportunities.
  • Local vendors: Strengthening local supply chains.

Ground Round balances comfort food with a casual atmosphere. This combo keeps people coming back, rain or shine.

Our favorite part? The blend of nostalgia and modern dining makes Ground Round a timeless choice. From burgers to beers, it’s all about good times and good company for us.

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Ground Round Locations: Road Trip Dining Spots for Automotive Enthusiasts (2024)


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