Are All You Can Eat Buffet Style Restaurants A Thing of the Past?
The Old Country Buffet in Burton closed their doors for good this week, continuing a trend in closing restaurants.
The "All You Can Eat" style restaurants used to be everywhere waiting for people to file in, and roll out. In fact, there used to be a Ponderosa directly across the street from The Old Country Buffet in Burton that just closed. Both restaurants would consistently be as full as their customers were. The last operating Michigan OCB is in Saginaw, and who knows how much longer that will be there.
So what happened?
Did our appetites get smaller? Probably not considering most studies say that Americans are just getting fatter and fatter. So with the constant weight gain, you would think that all you can eat's would be more popular than ever.
Here is a list of the victims in recent memory.
- Ponderosa (multiple locations)
- Old Country Buffet
- CiCi's Pizza Buffet
- Fire Mountain
I'm sure I'm missing a few, but the trend is pretty clear to see.
I'd like to say that people have just started to opt for healthy options and portion sizes. I don't think that's the case though because normal family style restaurants are not serving anything smaller or healthier.
So maybe price is the issue?
I checked the OCB site, and it looks like a kid dinner averages out to about $6 and an adult dinner is about $12. Remember, that's "All You Can Eat!" The total for a family of four is about $36.
I SPENT MORE THAN THAT ON LUNCH FOR THREE PEOPLE AT PANERA YESTERDAY!
So the honest truth is that I'm at a loss. I can say that I have not been into an all you can eat place in a long time. Maybe the food just sucks, and that's why people don't go. I honesty don't even believe that because I see people getting wheeled out of Golden Corral every time I drive by there.
Maybe you have some insight you can drop to help solve the mystery.
Until then, I'll just head up to the Saginaw OCB and be like: