"The economists tell us we've been out of a recession for years ... but the consumer to me has been in a recession since 2006 when gas was $3 per gallon," West said.
In fact, restaurant visits per capita have plunged from their recession peak, falling to 193 visits per capita in the 12 months ended in September 2013 from 208.4 visits during the same period in 2008, according to data from The NPD Group..
(Read more: Pizza chain Sbarro files for bankruptcy protection)
West noted that the U.S. has too many restaurants, particularly in the casual dining segment.
'Circuit City' event needed
"The restaurant industry never had a Circuit City event, where a big major player went bankrupt and closed their stores," said West, who sees a need for something similar in restaurants.
Instead, several chains have filed for bankruptcy protection during the past year. Most recently, it was Sbarro, which said this week that it would close a portion of its stores. The pizza chain's high debt load has been compounded by a bevy of problems: fewer visits to mall-based retailers, weak consumer spending at restaurants and being on the wrong side of consumer trends, which have favored fast, fresh made-to-order food.
(Read more: Chipotle of pancakes? IHOP developing new format)
Sbarro's filing follows those of Hot Dog on a Stick's parent and F&H Acquisition, the owner of Champps and Fox & Hound, and preempts a rumored one from Quiznos, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal citing sources.
Despite the oversupply, West isn't convinced closures will occur. During the recession, he predicted locations would close, but this failed to happen as chains benefited from food deflation and lower labor costs and turnover rates.