Americans are downsizing their meal (location) choices.
Lagging sales at major restaurant chains have recently set off worries for the industry and the economy at large. According to Michelle Meyer, a US economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, it may be less about personal economic situations or the election and more about consumers' taste preferences.
In general, restaurant sales have been lagging because of the increasing cost of eating away from home, while prices for food at home (groceries, etc.) have stayed lower. Thus, more people are opting to eat at home.
It does appear that, in addition to that shift, when people do decide to go out, they're choosing smaller companies.