These popular buffet restaurants have abruptly closed locations in 9 states Flickr / erin n. t.
(Flickr / erin n. t.)

All-you-can-eat chains Old Country Buffet and Ryan’s have abruptly closed another batch of budget-friendly restaurants.

Employees of one Minnesota location arrived Tuesday morning to find the doors locked, the Star Tribune reports. A sign on the door told workers to return at a specified time to get their paychecks.

Ovation Brands operates Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, HomeTown Buffet and others. Consumerist rounded up a list of at least 11 Old Country Buffet and Ryan’s locations that closed Tuesday:

  • San Jose, Calif.
  • Arlington Heights, Ill.
  • Laurel, Md.
  • Wyoming, Mich.
  • Duluth, Minn.
  • Mankato, Minn.
  • Greenwood, S.C. (Ryan’s)
  • Alcoa, Tenn. (Ryan’s)
  • Crossville, Tenn. (Ryan’s)
  • Bellingham, Wash.
  • Onalaska, Wis.

Old Country Buffet has closed more than 400 locations over the past eight years, according to the Star Tribune. Its operator is in the middle of its third Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing since 2008.

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Last year, a federal judge awarded a couple $11 million after a man got salmonella poisoning from a 2010 visit to an Old Country Buffet in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Food Safety News reports. The latest bankruptcy filing is a result of that case.

Meanwhile, former Old Country Buffet employees who lost their jobs during a previous round of closings earlier this year are suing because they didn’t get advance notice. The Chicago Tribune says they are asking for 60 days of pay, plus penalties and legal fees.

We found listings on for the contents of the newly-closed restaurants, which will go up for public auction before the end of the week. The listings showed everything from industrial kitchen equipment to artwork and decorations.


Founded in 1983, Old Country Buffet is described on a corporate website as offering “quality, homestyle favorites and a great value.” You can find a list of the locations that remain open on their website.

[graphiq id=”8L4g1wgqHoV” title=”Ovation Brands” width=”500″ height=”748″ url=”” link=”” link_text=”Visualization by Graphiq”]

Mike Timmermann,

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