Friday, April 22, 2011

More Ryans Being Closed

I recently received this comment from a reader on an article that I wrote in 2008 about Ryan's buffets being closed by the parent company, Buffets, Inc. (Old Country Buffet). This is the recent comment in its entirety.

"They're at it again. On March 15 more stores are being closed Ryans in Gadsden, Al. and Ryans in Lancaster, SC were closed. Trying to find out if anymore were closed today. This is not a stable company. I worked for them twice - Once as Ryans and once as Old Country Buffets. Ryans had direction, cared about the customer and the employees and cared about their store's condition. OCB just looks at the bottom line. They don't care about anything but money - unfortunately that is the trend today. Companies look at the bottom line and all they think is close the store and cut the loss. When in reality, the under-performing stores are a mirror image of their direction or lack of and company practices. It shows up in smaller stores and markets quicker than in larger ones. OCB needs to look at themselves instead of their stores. Find their problems, correct them, then put proper practices in their stores. They want to compete with newer, fancier stores - but don't want to make the improvements at store level to make them competitive. They put fancy spice racks in old run down stores and don't know why it didn't work. They are constantly changing recipes that customers like to ones that are labor intensive and not that good and wonder why a cook that makes a tad more than minimum wage - can't adhere to the recipe. They make cashiers (minimum wage again)to force customers to buy beverages (high profit) to add $2 each to a bill. If they fail to maintain a sales quotas, they are replaced. I can tell you from experience that you can go to work for McDonalds and make more money and have 1/2 the responsibility. These under-performing stores are a sign of things to come and I don't feel the sign will be read."

I have since received other contacts as well about Ryans buffets being closed location by location. I will make no editorial comments. I believe that this comment from our reader speaks for itself. I do feel that it is important for our readers to be aware of what is going on. I like Ryans Buffet. There are none near me and I have not been to one in more than two years because of distance and lack of travel to where there is one. I do know from comments that they are now more like OCB than they are like the former, pre-Buffets, Inc. Ryans. That is a shame and what is commented above appears to be the result.

14 comments:

RemixedCat said...

well my ryan's in parkersburg closed down and I miss it so much. It had an awesome atmosphere. At least we have one in marietta, oh, but it's not the same. I think the manager I liked from the parkersburg location is there now. Hope he makes the place better. Still prefer the parkersburg location's decor and warmer feeling. the marietta location is still lacking, but hope it improves! I wish that manager the best as well as any former staff and any staff that transferred!

dave1973 said...

Buffet Inc just closed an Old Country Buffet in my area, & I somehow believe one day the other one will close as well. I see Golden Corral pack much more these days than Old Country Buffet, though Old Country Buffet in Highland Indiana has seen an increase of business, after the Hobart, IN location closed. They closed that location after the lease was up, & decided not to renew it, due to poor sales. As for Ryans, it's a shame that they got bought out, & being run into the ground. They would have been successful in the Chicago market, but Buffet Inc put a stop to that by closing the only Chicagoland location (Bradley, IL) in 2006 in favor of keeping Old Country Buffet open (which ironically, both restaurants were in the same shopping center). I won't be surprised if Buffet Inc goes out of business with their business practices.

Anonymous said...

The Bristol,Va. Ryans closed down Monday May 23,2011. I was with the company for over 21 years and loved working there. But as the past few years had passed when Old Country Buffet took us over , the quality of the food went down and they also stopped entries that could be ordered from the grill. That in itself dropped our customers by at least 40%. They started cutting the hours of most all employees and made 1 person do 2 to 3 jobs in one shift without any increase in pay. Ryans cared it was Old Country Buffet that did not do its job to improve customer satisfaction, And without that you are not going to strive.

Writer said...

I am so sorry that you are both out of a job and that Buffets, Inc. did this to your Ryans.

You have hit it on the head - we don't need more Old Country Buffets or OCB copies - we needed more Ryans - or at least OCB to learn all of the good things from Ryans and put those into the OCBs and not put the inferior OCB menu and practices into the Ryans - and then find out that customers really notice and then don't come back any more!

Anonymous said...

They need to go bankrupt again and close them down for good. I worked for them for almost 5 years and observed meat cutter sweating over the meat (pork and Steaks) they were cutting, cooks spitting chewing tobacco in the trash behind the line and nibbling steak on the line and alot more gross stuff like that. This is truly a disgusting operation that should have been closed down years ago!!!

Anonymous said...

The Ryans in Spanish Fort/Daphne,Alabama just closed abruptly without any notice to the employees.It was my farorite lunch place. There were things I did not care for however. But what should u expect for $5.95.It's gone now,and some other corporate jackasses will start something else.

Samantha W. said...

The Ryans in Gainesville,GA closed down recently. It was okay, but I still have Dawsonvilles to look forward to.

Anonymous said...

The next Ryan's to close should be the one in Bossier City, Louisiana (Store #2184). Food is always stuck to the plates and it's almost impossible to find clean silverware. Repeated complaints to staff and management are ignored. Where is the health inspector? Where is the concern for the large number of elderly folks eating here who can't see that their silverware and plates aren't clean?

And about the paid beverage issue. Half the time they just lie and put the number in our party in the "Number of paid beverages" box even if we all order water. Sometimes they even lie on the receipt and try to serve us (and charge us for) drinks we didn't order.

My receipt says that the GM is Tom Earle at 318-549-2133, but he and the managers under him have eyes, and so it's obvious that they don't care about this issue. If the company doesn't close this location as they should, maybe the health inspector will just like they did to our local Bennigan's before that company went under.

Writer said...

I accepted the above comment though I generally do not post comments that speak out against anyone restaurant to excess, but it appears this customer has a legitimate complaint and the location and perhaps Buffets, Inc. need to know about it. I suggest that this reader go to the Ryan's website where there will be a form to send to Buffets, Inc. to make a complaint about a particular restaurant. They do actually respond, though it does not always do a lot of good when there is a problem.

Anonymous said...

Went to my local Ryan,s in Johnstown, Pa. I go there quite often during the week. Saw a sign for College students to receive lunch and dinner for $4.00 plus drink. I'm a senior and what do they do but raise the price. Now how many senior visit Ryan's appossed to students.

Writer said...

Giving a college student discount must be something that the local restaurant is doing as this is not something that is chain-wide. There is a senior discount at all of the Buffets, Inc. restaurant chains including Ryans. It is not much but it is something.

Anonymous said...

I would hope that everyone does not judge Ryans aa a brand by the few restaurants with managera who dont step up. The Ryans in Picayune Ms. is always clean and well maintained. All restaurants, at least the succesful ones are run with cost consciousness and low labor hours..but still manage to run a clean and profitable business that cares deeply about.ita guests and employees

bo214nat said...

I am currently a server for Ryan's in east texas area. Our business is currently suffering following the opening of a new Golden Corral, right across the street from Ryan's.
I have been employed over 4 months now and my extended experience in customer service and team work quickly allowed me to realize that more training should be implemented focus on CUSTOMER SERVICE as well exercises to improve team work amongst EVERYONE!! I was told in the interview that team work is mandatory and now I am regretting not asking to elaborate and define "TEAM WORK"!!! I define it as everyone working together to achieve the same goal !! I assumed that goal was to provide friendly customer service to ALL GUESTS (not just the ones that sit in your assigned section) as well as knowing guest will be attended when required to leave the dining area to complete tasks in the back which can take sometimes 5 to 10 mins. I have ALWAYS utilized my cust.serv to benefit and improve the growth of Ryan's......THIS RESTAURANT has NO common goal and I have actually been asked by other servers to stay away from their tables because I made them look like they weren't doing their job...clueless to the fact if we had each others backs and customers know they are going to be cared for, which will lead to happy customers that tell their friends and word of mouth being the powerful marketing that it is will improve business meaning more tables and more money. Tip sharing is great way to improve team building routines yet rejected when I would try to implement this idea by saying "I am not doing someone else s work and give them my money." Management is lax and reluctant to improve the employee relationships, leading to a higher moral and respect for each other.
Yes the new of a restaurant as well known as Golden Corral will be the reason for a decline in business for a while....If the food is good and the prices are similar WE should strive to improve CS.....THIS WILL PUT US ON TOP!!

Writer said...

I applaud what bo214nat has said above! As a customer of many buffets I wholeheartedly agree! The success of any buffet restaurant lies in both the management and the employees and most of the buffets that I have reviewed that have problems, those problems fall back on poor management and employees who do not follow through in their own sections much less other servers sections. Everyone should have each others backs - and that is so lacking to often. With Ovation Brands restaurants - OCB, Ryans there are too often not enough employees and those who are there are assigned too many tasks and responsibilities. No one should be expected to be in two places at the time and at Ovation Brands' buffets that is standard operating procedure. Thanks bo214nat for saying this from the "inside"!