Old Country Buffet Restaurants Declare Bankruptcy: List of Closures
According to Restaurant News, Old Country Buffet is closing its doors after a tough year due to COVID-19. The buffet-style restaurants were hit especially hard during the pandemic and shutdown. While some restaurants were able to convert to carry-out, curbside pickup or delivery, buffets where food is self-served, faced more challenges to reopen.
The parent company Old Country Buffet, Tahoe Joe’s, Furr’s AYCE Marketplace, HomeTown Buffet, Ryan’s, and Fire Mountain filed for bankruptcy declaring Chapter 11, on Tuesday. Five of the six brands are buffet style which poses a problem due to pandemic restrictions on restaurants.
Is Old Country Buffet Closing for good?
Of the six brands, Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Ryan’s and Fire Mountain were not mentioned in future plans. Only two, Tahoe Joe’s and Furr’s were named when speaking of emerging from bankruptcy. It is unclear whether the others will ever reopen.
VitaNova CEO Jason Kemp said the focus will be on Tahoe Joe’s and Furr’s AYCE Marketplace, a redesigned version of the brand that was revealed back in August.
“We are looking forward to emerging from bankruptcy as a stronger operator with a focus on the Tahoe Joe’s and Furr’s AYCE Marketplace banners,” Kemp said. “These great brands serving great food will create a platform for future growth.”
Fresh Acquisitions LLC and Buffets LLC declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday, more than a year into a pandemic that proved especially difficult for its six restaurant chains, five of which specialize in buffet-style service.
Will All-You-Can-Eat Buffets Survive Covid?
Since 2008, this parent company has sought federal debt protection FIVE times. This is due to several factors, one of which seems to be consumers who have shifted away from all-you-can-eat concepts.
According to Restaurant News, the company, owned by the now-defunct FMP Management, has closed the vast majority of its restaurants. Fresh and Buffets entered the pandemic with 90 restaurants under the Tahoe Joe’s, Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Ryan’s, Fire Mountain and Furr’s brands. Currently only six of the Tahoe Joe’s steakhouse locations remain.
Our hearts go out to the employees affected by these shutdowns. And, to the consumers who rely on these stores.
COVID Retail Apocalypse
This news comes on the heels ofretail giants such as J.C. Penney declared bankruptcy and plans to close 200 stores, And, Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works announced they were closing 300 stores. Gordmans bankruptcy and store closings. Tuesday Morning stores declare bankruptcy. And, of course, Pier One Imports closing all of their stores. Shortly after Neiman Marcus, another department store giant, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid the coronavirus pandemic. And, most recently The Children’s Place announced they would close 300 stores. and 24-Hour fitness closes doors to nearly half of its clubs.
See all the 2020 Stores Closing here.
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Source: Restaurant Business Online