All You Can Eat Buffets – In COVID-19 Era

Buffet Dinner

In this emerging time of pandemic restaurants are suffering tremendously. Many restaurants are closing down, as they cannot bear the expenses. Whereas, some are making adjustments in their restaurants to meet the safety measures given by the government.

How to manage the buffets and salad bars

This situation has especially affected those restaurants that have buffets and salad bars, which will not be possible from now on, as many people will come in contact through this. In March, a question was raised on how to manage the buffets and salad bars while maintaining social distancing?

The US Food and Drug Administration, answering to this question said that the buffets and salad bars should be discontinued until further notification.

In April the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response said, “buffets, salad bars or beverage service stations should be discontinued by retailers as this makes the customers use common utensils or dispensers.

Souplation Closing 97 outlets

The well-known buffet chain – Souplantaion also known, as Sweet Tomatoes were all about all-you-can-eat was jolted by this decision. In May the restaurant announced that they are closing all 97 restaurants from Pacific Northwest to Miami due to COVID-19.

“For any business the work discontinue is not good. The kind of business model as ours it will not be allowed soon to reopen, if ever” said John Haywood, Chief Executive officer of parent company Garden Fresh Restaurants.

He also said “sales dropped two weeks before we closed our restaurants in spite of our very passionate guest base and enhances sanitation tactics.”

The number of customers daily arriving at Sweet Tomatoes decreased from 700 to 200. This made sure that most of the people will not be comfortable with this kind of set up.

Souplantation on their page thanked their customers for their love and support and informed that they are not able to reopen their 97 outlets of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes because of the pandemic.

Another buffet chain restaurant Golden Corral that is located at about 500 locations nationwide is reopening in some areas where it is allowed.

Service Upgrades for Buffets

They are coming up with new ways to serve customers such as cafeteria-style.  Where the servers will serve food on the buffet counter or our servers will bring buffet food items to the table and serve it.

This way the customers will not have to go around in the restaurant and social distancing will be followed. Many restaurants and hotels that were offering buffets have discontinued this service the same as Golden Corrals. MGM – the hotel-casino giant has also notified that they are also suspending all buffet services and beverage offerings.

Instead the employees will serve the food on the table. Even though these food chains reopen their restaurants, they will have to make proper arrangements to follow social distancing. Which will be a challenge for them as people will have to follow new rules.

They should come up with ways for proper sanitization of utensils used by customers. There is a guideline issued by the National Restaurant Association, which the buffet and salad bar restaurants can follow and operate with all safety measures.

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