Despite the recent declines in new cases, waves of COVID-driven effects continue to persist across the restaurant sector. Since the early phase of the pandemic, buffet-style chains have particularly been exposed to distress.
To date in 2021, multiple national buffet-style restaurant operators have declared bankruptcy. Most recently, Golden Corral franchisees and the Hometown Buffet parent company filed in April, preceded by Cicis Pizza in January.
Pandemic-driven restrictions have accelerated the downturn of all-you-can-eat dining, which has lately faced growing consumer criticism over its nutritional quality.
Federal guidelines on the reopening of restaurants issued following the 2020 lockdown cited the halt of self-service operations. While the government mandates have eased i…