One of the areas hit hardest by the economic fallout of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in America is the restaurant industry and with a number of states that still have strict social distancing restrictions in place, it may be quite some time before it's business as usual in dining rooms across the country.

A few national chains as well as some independent locations have already had to react with layoffs, furloughs, and in some cases, closures, while others have transitioned to a less profitable take-out model.

But the worst may be yet to come.

USA Today is reporting that seven well-known national restaurant chains are slowly moving toward potential bankruptcy if things don't improve drastically in the near future. The latest figures from S&P Global Market Intelligence show that sales at restaurants and bars fell 26% in June.

Of the chains in trouble, four currently have Sioux Falls locations, while a fifth is planning to open here either sometime this year or in early 2021.

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Applebee’s parent company Dine Brands Global has an 11.3 percent chance of defaulting, according to the report. The restaurant has seen sales decline 18.4 percent in the last year.

Currently, the chain has a pair of Sioux Falls locations - inside the Empire Mall and at 3221 East 10th Street.

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Dine Brands Global also owns IHOP, which is down 37.6 percent from 2019.

There is one Sioux Falls IHOP location, at 4510 West 41st Street.

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Denny’s is listed as having an 11.9 percent chance of defaulting. Sales at the 24-hour diner have fallen 41 percent in the past year.

The chain has two locations Sioux Falls restaurants, at 4001 East 10th Street and 5201 Granite Lane.

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Outback Steakhouse has a 13.2 percent chance of defaulting. The chain's parent company, Bloomin' Brands, reported that sales are off 10.7 percent in 2020.

The lone Outback in Sioux Falls is at 2411 South Carolyn Avenue.

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Construction on the city's first Dave & Buster's was underway at Lake Lorraine when the pandemic hit and has now been on hold since April.

Nationally, the chain has a 16.1% chance of defaulting after posting a loss of $43.5 million last quarter.

The two other chains which made the most vulnerable list, that don't have a Sioux Falls presence, are BJ's Restaurant, whose closest location is in Wichita, Kansas (470 miles away), and The Cheesecake Factory which has a restaurant in Omaha (180 miles away).

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