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Souplantation Is Closing Forever, and This One Really Hurts

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In the present day in unhappy information we did and did not see coming: buffet-style restaurant chain Souplantation (also referred to as Candy Tomatoes outdoors of California) will reportedly be shutting down ceaselessly as a result of devastating financial results of COVID-19. Souplantation, which was initially based in San Diego 42 years in the past, will probably be completely closing all 97 places (44 of that are in California). It’s a devastating day for Souplantation followers who liked the restaurant for its budget-friendly all-you-can-eat salad bar and soups.

Is Souplantation for positive closing ceaselessly?

Whereas Backyard Recent, the corporate that owns Souplantation, hasn’t formally launched an announcement, the information was initially coated by The San Diego Union Tribune. The article states that, whereas Souplantation was truly thriving earlier than COVID-19 hit, gross sales plummeted virtually instantly even earlier than the nation went into quarantine and Backyard Recent fully ran out of cash. The CEO said that he used up the remaining $5.2 million to pay workers one final time. Are you crying? As a result of we’re crying.

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“The FDA has beforehand put out suggestions that included discontinuing self-serve stations, like self-serve drinks in quick meals, however they particularly talked about salad bars and buffets. The rules are comprehensible, however sadly, it makes it very troublesome to reopen. And I am unsure the well being departments are ever going to permit it,” Backyard Recent CEO John Haywood stated. 

He added, “We might’ve overcome another impediment, and we have labored for eight weeks to beat these intermittent monetary challenges nevertheless it would not work if we’re not allowed to proceed our mannequin.” Sadly, he has a degree. When a restaurant’s mannequin is predicated round self-serve, it is troublesome to fully pivot like different eating places have and turn out to be a to-go service. How can an all-you-can-eat buffet remodel into takeout?

John Haywood, who you possibly can inform is extremely heartbroken, explains how Souplantation was making a comeback (the corporate had filed for chapter in 2016 and was bought by D.C.-based Perpetual Capital Associate, a personal funding agency) and displaying nice promise earlier than the virus hit the U.S. Sadly, Souplantation (and doubtless all different buffets — somebody please examine on Sizzler and Golden Corral) appeared to have been hit the toughest and quickest.

“We spent two years researching and making an attempt to enhance issues and truly obtained the enterprise rotated. We have been rising the variety of visitors and have been within the strategy of renovating the eating places with new fixtures, carpeting, signage as late as January. We felt nice about it. However I’ve obtained to inform you, when the virus hit, we went from 100 p.c to 70 to 30 to 10 p.c that quick, earlier than the eating places closed down and the corporate ran out of cash in a single week,” John stated.

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Supply: Instagram

In the event you’re questioning whether or not or not the corporate can obtain federal assist, it appears prefer it would not matter both method. “We regarded on the (federal) Paycheck Safety Program, however even with that we did not see how we might reopen the eating places. We won’t take that cash, it is simply disingenuous.”

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