Thursday, January 19, 2012

Old Country Buffet/Ryan's Restaurant Chain Files for Bankruptcy

Back when I was in college, I ate dinner at the Old Country Buffet a few times. The food was cheap, and there was a lot of it. A perfect night out for a college student on a limited budget, in other words. A few years ago, I stopped at one for old times' sake and was very sorry I did. There was still plenty of food, but nearly all of it was virtually inedible. I don't know if it was because my palate has become more discriminating over the years, or if they've kept their prices low by ordering cheaper and cheaper ingredients, but it was an awful dining experience.

Nevertheless, I realize that a visit to the OCB or a Ryan's restaurant is what constitutes a great night out in many parts of the country. So this story from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal seems rather important:
Buffets Inc. said Wednesday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close 81 restaurants nationwide — the second time the company has filed for reorganization in four years.

Buffets, which owns 494 restaurants in 38 states, operates under the Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Ryan's, Granny's Buffet, and Fire Mountain brands.
So, what's the story, morning glory?
Buffets emerged from its first bankruptcy in April 2009 after shedding $700 million in debt. Riggs said the company decided to file again because of lease restrictions that limited the number of locations it could close in the 2008 filing. He also said the recession has hurt the chain badly over the last four years.
And, given that Buffets caters to that segment of our society that is hurting the most from the lingering effects of the Great Recession, it's not going to get any better.


  1. Worked there for awhile, when i started at least some of the food was good quality and well prepared, but after bankruptcy the corporate management lost their minds, more and more is made from packets (some which have ingredients such as silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide) Furthermore hours were sharply cut with no cut-back in production while management has incited resentment towards the company through near constant threats of terminatiom

  2. I worked at ryans buffet and bakerey fire moutain in hopkinsville ky. for four years, I quit because of a new general mgr. cerron collins not allowing breaks and demeaning female employees.. and became harassment over a 4 month period. I contacted corperate office and labor board... this man messed up the business, and employees life...... the food was bad the employees tread badly the females that is, I told corperate officce about this but he continued to be manager there till there was no business..... its a shame this resturate is bad off now because it was once very good.. all because of one man who thought women were trash....

  3. Wish I had know this before my family and I visited. For my birthday my family wanted an outing that we all could be comthable and enjoy our selves. Weell like a nut I put my foot in my mouth and said RYAN'S. Boy was I so wrong on so many different levels. To start out on a sunday after church a group of 20, waited to 2:00 PM maybe most of the church crow would be gone. We arrive at the location to see the line out the door. Must be might crowed but yet it was not. Lots of empty tables and many not even wipped off. When we did get inside some 1 hour later and seated ourselves. The lady said sit where you can. Should have asked for a refund right then. We had to clean our own tables and seats. She came back 20 min later to get our drink orders and some 30 min later I had to go get her. We went to the steak line 15 people in line and this guy had 5 steaks on the grill. wonder what he was thinking or did he even care. Well get back to my table and all I had on my plate was cold from standing in line waiting on the steak man. Well you know I am steaming hot by now. that was the only thing in there hot. We had to go get our own rolls twice. and refill our own drinks. Ask the waiter for some steak sauce and her reply was look around on other tables and see what I could find. After all this I went to get some soft serve Ice Cream well would you know it was out of order. So I said dip is better anyway and would you know they only got orange. Bad thing is across the street is a baskin robins and they to lazy to go get a few gallons. Then the grillman went on break. This was a joke and it was on me. For my birthday. TUPELO, MS will not see me again at this place for no more then than to put the close for good sign on the door. Edward and I am so sad.

  4. I have worked for this company for over 10 years. The executives treat their lower lever employees and customers like dirt. While the prices have been repeadily raised, the quality of food is not fit for human consumption. Most of the employees are outside smoking, while the guests wander around not knowing what to do.
    An example of this is when the carver is in the kitchen, hanging out with coworkers, while the customers/guests have to handle dangerous carving instruments in order to carve their own meat. Meanwhile the General Manger would rather be a slave to the carver instead of being his boss.