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|Buffets, Inc. (1983-2013)|
|Fate||Chapter 11 Bankruptcy|
|Founded||October 19, 1983|
C. Dennis Scott
|Headquarters||Hollywood Park, Texas, United States|
Number of locations
|Ovation Brands, Inc. currently operates 113 restaurants in 25 U.S. states as of February 6, 2017|
|Products||Buffet and steakhouse style restaurants|
|Brands||Ryan's Grill, Buffet and Bakery, Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet and Tahoe Joe's|
|Parent||Buffets, LLC. (Food Management Partners)|
Ovation Brands, Inc., based in the San Antonio suburb of Hollywood Park, Texas, is a subsidiary of Food Management Partners, Inc. and is the operator of a number of American national buffet chain restaurants. The companies restaurants include steak-buffet, as well as steakhouse restaurants with menus that range from grilled-to-order steaks, single-serve dishes, scratch-made soups, entrees and desserts, beverage bars, buffets, chops and grilled seafood, and others. It was previously known as Buffets, Inc.
Their restaurants are now known as Old Country Buffet, Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet and Ryan's Buffet.
This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (October 2013)
The company was founded by Roe Hatlen and C. Dennis Scott on October 19, 1983 along with Dermot Rowland and Doron Jensen. Rowland and Jensen left in 1986 to start Homestyle Buffet in Clearwater, Florida. Forbes recognized Old Country Buffett as one of the 200 best small companies in the United States in 1992.
Scott left in 1989 to start HomeTown Buffet, but the two chains merged in September 1996.
Buffets Inc in the late 1990s, posted a net income of $28.6 million in 1997 and $39.4 million in 1998, on revenues of $808.5 million and $868.9 million, respectively. In 1998 the company increased the number of company-owned restaurants from 360 to 386. Part of this increase came from the acquisition of 11 eating establishments from Country Harvest Buffet Restaurants, Inc. for $5.6 million.
On November 1, 2006, Buffets Inc. acquired Ryan's Restaurant Group adding 340 Ryan's Grill Buffet and Bakery and Fire Mountain Grills locations.
On January 22, 2008, Buffets Inc. filed for bankruptcy, under Chapter 11. Although all restaurants were said to be staying open and continuing to operate normally under the then-current reorganization plan, the company called for the immediate closing of 52 stores nationwide, effective February 12, 2008. The final day of normal business operations in these stores, as well as the announcement of closing to all team members in said stores, took place the previous day.
On April 28, 2009, Buffets Inc. emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization with reduced debt along with a new Board of Directors.
On January 18, 2012, Buffets, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again. This involved the immediate closure of 81 restaurants throughout the country and recapitalizing in an agreement with its lenders that would convert debt into a controlling equity stake.
On March 7, 2016, Ovation Brands filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy closing dozens of locations the weekend before. The bankruptcy was blamed on a lawsuit that had not been disclosed when the current owner bought the businesses in August 2015. The landlord of 16 of Ovation's locations sued the company in February after the closure of 8 of those units. Buffets LLC, which is an affiliate of Food Management Partners, paid an undisclosed amount in August 2015 for Old Country Buffet, Ryan's, Fire Mountain and Tahoe Joe's, in addition to HomeTown. According to court documents, 150 restaurants that were operated by those chains, were part of the bankruptcy filing. According to a court filing by Ovation, the company had $186.3 million in liabilities and $160.2 million in assets.
Old Country Buffet operates 168 locations throughout the United States, variably known as Country Buffet or HomeTown Buffet, in addition to the flagship name. Old Country Buffet locations have a mascot named, "O.C. Bee" (or "H.T. Bee" at HomeTown Buffet). Usually, for in-restaurant appearances, the location manager or another employee wears the costume and greets guests and children.
Ryan's was founded by Alvin A. McCall in 1977. It was acquired by Buffets, Inc. on November 1, 2006. Today[when?] there are over 201 restaurants in 23 states operating under the names of Ryan's Grill, Buffet and Bakery and the now defunct Fire Mountain Grill. Ryan's is based primarily in the southern and midwestern US, with its corporate headquarters located in Greer, South Carolina. Some of its accolades include being one of the "Best Small Companies in America" seven consecutive years, and named "Top Family Steakhouse in America" for 10 consecutive years.
Ryan's restaurants downsized to 26 restaurants in 12 states as of July 2017.
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