Friday, April 10, 2009

Ryans' Web Site

It has been a while since I have taken a look at Ryans web site. I went over to see what it has become since the total absorption by Buffets, Inc. For those who do not know - though if you are a regular reader here you certainly do know - that the top buffet chain - Ryans was bought out about two years ago by Buffets, Inc., the owner of Old Country Buffet - a now so top buffet chain. Since then Buffets, Inc. has done everything it can to bring Ryans DOWN to the level of its other restaurants. It would have been logical to think that the opposite would have taken place, but this was truly a move to eliminate competiton. Anyway, I did not intend to write about that again. I started out telling you about the "new" Ryans web site.

To no surprise, Ryans web site is now a duplicate of the Old Country Buffet web site, but in a different color. It is green and pink instead of the OCB blue and green. Click around the pages and you will find exactly the same pages in the same tab locations as on the Old Country Buffet site - with a difference in the corporate information.

The features are all the same now as at OCB - take out buffet, soup and salad only meals, and feature theme nights - BUT the feature theme nights at Ryans are different than those at OCB. And from the photos, much more appetizing. Read my recent articles about the theme nights at OCB. At Ryans the same ideas are put into effect with similar names on different nights, but the offerings look far better (maybe - remember Buffets, Inc is behind it all). On Mondays, just like at OCB , there is now Meat Lovers Monday with roast beef and fried chicken shown. On Tuesdays - different from OCB, there is Southern Fried Fish Tuesdays with very nice looking whole fried fish and shrimp shown. On Wednesdays there is Italiano Wednesdays - the same as Italiano Tuesdays at OCB. Thursdays are the same at Ryans and OCB with BBQ Thursday - but at Ryans what is shown is grilled smoked sausage and pulled pork barbecue. Seafood Fridays are now at Ryans - just as they are at OCB - but at Ryans there are nice looking crab cakes and baked salmon. Family Saturdays at Ryans shows grilled steak and butterfly shrimp - steak is always served at Ryans so I am not sure what the point is with this. Homestyle Sundays shows baked ham and roast turkey- just as there is at OCB.

I always loved Ryans. I am not near enough to any to keep check on how OCBed they are becoming but I am told that they are more and more being transformed that way and not for the better. The description of the merge on both web sites would lead you to believe that this was a wonderful joining of the two chains with each maintaining its identity and each welcoming the other chain in joining its family. I rather have a picture of the Borg from Star Trek notoriety - "Resistance is Futile!" as each of the Ryans is absorbed into the "collective". How sad! In the next several months I will get to a Ryans and be able to tell you more.

I know many Ryans employees and managers follow this site and you are - as always - welcome to let us know what has been happening. Of course, everyone is welcome to comment.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are sadly mistaken! Most of the OCB's I have been in are much nicer and MUCH Cleaner than Ryan's. Ryan's has a lot of older stores that beat up and very dirty. Especially down in the south! You must not have been to any of the stores down that way.

Robert A said...

Come North and you will be sadly surprised to find the opposite. The local OCB here can be absolutely terrible.

I have been to Ryans in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina and I have not been disappointed and each has been well maintained - at least until the take over by Buffets, Inc.

Anonymous said...

Wow...your personal attempt at a Ryan's pitty party continues...how long will you continue to stoke this fire? Companies do NOT get aquired due their great success'in the past as it is present that matters...if this is a way to continue to morn nobody from Ryan's or OCB will be able to mentally move forward. The company is now stronger and together will be a big player in the buffet industry...good God, how long has it been since the merge anyway...move on already! Why not start a blog on the auto industry or the financial institutions which is actually something that matters in our realtime world! There are people starving all over the country and you choose to just pit two big companies to bicker like spoiled 3 year olds. I like you reviews of different buffets which is information people can use, but the rest is very much like a Survivor episode where one contestant creates a parinoia like feeling against another for their own self promotion...you gotta love your version of freedom of the press! If there are those who are still unhappy and disgruntled as you, and actually still work for Ryan's I have a real good idea of how those people approcah making their individual units better places to eat and work in, I would guess those individuals are not giving it a full 100% and if that is the case they are not doing anyone for either concept a bit of good, and quite frankly you have to wonder why they would continue to work there...but then I read your blogs and realize that it is that very drama that gives them a reason to do what they do...misery loves company...SAD...

dave1973 said...

The closest Ryans to me is in Michigan City Indiana, and things are not for the better. When I visited them once in 2006 in Michigan City, and once in 2007 in Lafayette Indiana (now closed), they were different in their offerings. As time moved on, the quality and overall service changed for the worst.

The Indiana Ryans & Fire Mountain Grill locations have eliminated breakfast since February 22. The various meals are duplicated between both Ryans/Fire Mountain Grill, & Old Country Buffet. So there isn't much difference between the 2 now, except that breakfast is being expanded at the OCB/HTB locations, while being phased out at Ryans/FMG locations. My friend who used to work with me is upset with the changes, that she must find another restaurant to go to.

As for Anonymous; I don't doubt you that Ryans has a lot of older locations that look dirty. There are Ponderosa Steakhouse locations near me that are more than 30 years old, with little renovation. One location was remodeled last year for the first time since it opened in 1973. I went there, and it was dirty all over. Sad to say that even OCB locations that are less than 15 years old, are dirty, due to workers who don't care to maintain the place (especially the bathrooms. There's at least 2 sides of the story to this one. Ryans was open before Buffet Inc. So we could expect to see dated & dirty locations in their oldest markets (just like Ponderosa, where they got their start in Indiana).

Robert A said...

Watch this site in the next few weeks for a new review on eating at Ryans.

Anonymous said...

Updated website

http://www.ryans.com/