Has The COVID-19 Pandemic Killed Buffets?

Has The COVID-19 Pandemic Killed Buffets?

A dining activity hungry Americans loved by generations is now in jeopardy because of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Nowadays, we all are suffering from COVID-19 pandemic governmental restrictions and their aftermaths. In these circumstances, America’s favorite dining event – buffets are also struggling to stay in the eatery business.

Buffets are the compulsory part of every American life, be it the smallest hotel breakfasts to the first-class casino banquets. After the coronavirus pandemic, new health restrictions become in place, and cautious diners avoid the self-serve dining culture. Hometown buffets not only proffer great taste, but Hometown Buffet Prices are also affordable, and every other American loves to have them in their meals.

Various buffets go out of business crosswise the US. However, others are trying and innovating earnestly to keep the industry model appropriate and inviting.

What Is the Obstacle?

Owners of various hometown buffet chains said that their average revenue cut nearly ninety percent two months ago when they re-opened their restaurants after two months of cessation. The most significant reason for this revenue drop is the cautious behavior of people against the COVID pandemic. Another dominant reason is that people are working from home.

Last month, FDA recommended the US government stop salad bars and self-service buffets until the coronavirus pandemic wanes. The US government executives said multiple patrons touch the public serving utensils constantly, and these people could be contagious hence, increasing the risk of quickly getting the fatal disease.

The FDA US government guidelines regard that Covid-19 is not transmitting by the food or utensils, but through respiratory passageways and droplets from people who do not follow social distancing.

Who Has Hit?

According to the market research group, In 2019, the hometown buffets businesses in the US made revenue of about five billion dollars, valuing only about one percent of the entire eatery business. But from smorgasbords to salad bars, buffets have numerous loyal followers, several of whom are old and retired ones. Old veterans cannot cook at their place due to various reasons, and they have to go out for dining. Thus are more exposed and vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic is indeed a challenging time for numerous hometown buffets. Many buffets declared shut their businesses and shifted to bankruptcy during this pandemic.

How Are Hometown Buffets Changing?

Across the US, buffets have come to a screeching stop, most preferring to ban consumers from serving meals themselves. One eatery charges its patrons as per the weight of the food before tucking in chef ladle servings into paper boxes for buyers. Many other eateries and restaurant chains adopted a similar method. But the critics have been referred to it as a cafeteria-style serving and not a genuine buffet dining.


Another buffet eatery owner says that notwithstanding the new anticipations. Most consumers who are obliged to wear masks are promptly purchasing made-to-order sandwiches. Before the coronavirus hit, these are less common than buffet revenue. The buffet business is also affected as most people are not coming to the town for work.

Recreating The Future

The COVID pandemic is time to hit the reset switch and reinvent the buffet business future. The concept will emerge more purpose-specific rather than toiling as an event to over-indulge us with unlimited, bottomless possibilities.

Buffet business should be evolving to a more contemporary family-style or cafeteria, where the serving crew will transfer the food to the table. Consider nutritional tasting illustrations of the most favorite dishes or chef specials in the eateries. More innovatively, buffet businesses can launch tablet-based transportable orders. Lastly, this buffet business model can grow more productive with communications, data, and service orders commencing to better nutrition, less waste, and, of course, health concerns and sanitation.

A recreation of the buffet business model can regain patron confidence. The COVID-19 pandemic is conferring us with such an excellent opportunity to improve and adjust to new ways and elements that were not operating so well earlier.

The Pivot Transit

It is significant for various hometown buffets that endure the current pandemic restrictions and COVID-19 crisis to switch to a family-style or cafeteria-style business model. It will be an ideal way to head towards the future. The cafeteria-like buffer model is very similar to the traditional one. In this method, buyers would be capable imitate conventional buffets by walking along an arrangement line of varieties. But with all SOPs and social distancing. They can choose from a variation of pre-assembled plates. The business model will take meticulous planning in both menu engineering and flow.

Another feasible alternative is offering a family-style service where more food variety platters or plates get served on the single-family table. Where eatery staff can then deliver an endless supply of the most favorite and cost-effective buffet favorites, turning to either of these environments would place the buffet brand to stick to governmental guidelines while running parallel to the earlier accustomed business design.

black camera on brown table

Table-Side Ordering

Buffet restaurant and eateries owners can couple both the above methods or a standalone with a single one. The buffet business model could also evolve to table-side orders from a mobile device or tablet.

Table-side orders are not new and previously used in contemporary sushi eateries. For instance, Small platters and plates get designed on-demand based on orders shot to the kitchen from the selected tablet system and table. It provides a safe, memorable, and fun guest experience that’s yet modified while presenting comprehensive menu data to the supervisor. This technique and operations would also enable the buffet restaurant to offer a healthier off-premise plan, building a hybrid buffet business model with reoccurring income channels.

Revolution and Innovation Brings Opportunity

For any successful entrepreneur or business moving forward and reinventing new models is the way to succeed and sustain. The current time is indeed challenging for lots of buffet businesses. But to pick the opportunity from the current situation will make the business break free from the former status quo and produce a more sustainable, scalable, profitable, consistent, and memorable buffet concept.





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