Friday, September 14, 2012

KFC Buffet, Williamsburg, VA

Yes - KFC - Kentucky Fried Chicken - Buffet. This is something that KFC does not make well known. There is nothing on their website that some of the KFC locations have a buffet in addition to their usual take out or take from the counter and sit down menu. I have only seen a few of these and the ones that I have seen have all been in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. I have seen comments through various searches from people who have gone to a KFC buffet, but there is little to no information out there. Right away, you should know that this is an All You Care to Eat Buffet.

There is a KFC Buffet in Williamsburg, Virginia. We were recently in the area and we had a number of nights to try buffets and we decided that we would see what the KFC buffet is all about and how it is. We went for dinner, and in this location it was only available at dinner hours and not all night. The sign here said 4 to 8 pm for the buffet. The restaurant was open much later.

We walked into a usual looking KFC. There was a counter in the front with people behind taking orders and a line of people waiting to give their food orders. One end of the front counter were two small buffet servers. One had hot foods and one had cold foods. You go up to the counter with everyone else and order the buffet. It includes your drink, which is unlimited from the soda machine that is there in the dining room. There is no special area to sit for the buffet. You are sitting in the regular KFC dining area. The price for the buffet is $7.99. And as I just said this includes your beverage. The price is the same for children.

When we got to the counter we ordered two buffets and were each handed one foam, divided plate, a small foam bowl, and a soda cup. Plasticware is out on the condiments counter with napkins and straws. You are given ONE plate. You are to go back up to the counter and ask for additional plates when you are going back up to the buffet for more. The only drawback to this is if there is a line of customers, you are waiting on that line - if you are going to be civil and polite - to ask the person behind the counter for another plate. There was no problem getting as many plates as we needed.

The food in the two buffet servers is a selection from the KFC menu. IF YOU DON'T LIKE KFC FOOD THEN YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE THE KFC BUFFET. No need to comment here that you don't like it. It is just not for you - your choice. The food is KFC food - nothing more and nothing less.

As I understand it from comments that I found through internet search, what is being put out from the KFC menu varies. I will tell you about what there was on this night. I do not know if it changes from night to night.

On the hot server there was Original Recipe fried chicken, Extra Crispy fried chicken, chicken with biscuits which was a variation of chicken pot pie with biscuits on the side instead of a pie crust, mashed potatoes, gravy, kernel corn, green beans, black eyed peas, cooked carrots, and stewed tomatoes. That was all there was on the hot server. On the warm/cold server there was a mixture of prepared salad and dessert items. These were pickles, coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, peppers, pea salad, cottage cheese, jello, fruit crisp, pudding, frosted buns, canned peaches, and banana whipped chiffon. The fried chicken was a variety of all of the different parts - breasts, legs, thighs, and wings. All on the bone.

I have heard that people have had the KFC grilled chicken on the buffet, and I have also read that a make a salad was at one location. I don't think that there are any more items at any other location but there certainly could be different selections from the menu than what I have listed.

I have not had KFC in a very long time. In fact, the last time I had it, it was still called Kentucky Fried Chicken on the sign outside and not "KFC". I have always liked it and after this meal, I found that I still do. Now, my picky eater wife - you all know about her - she does not really like fried chicken. She does like chicken and grilled chicken and she came in with the intention of just pealing the fried coating off the chicken meat. She was happy to see the chicken and biscuits and she mostly ate that and was fine with it.

The food was as I remembered KFC and good. I tried the two different types of chicken and the chicken with biscuits (but I did not take any biscuits). The chicken with biscuits was good size pieces of chicken meat in a light gravy with peas, carrots, and potatoes. It was a good chicken stew. I did find the Extra Crispy better than the Original Recipe chicken. The Original Recipe Chicken seemed to me to be a bit over cooked - at least the color was darker than the light tan that I remembered it to be - but this was so long ago. I tried the vegetables and the mashed potatoes and gravy. It was all as I anticipated it would be and I enjoyed it. Again - if you don't like KFC, this is no different than what they are serving over the counter or in the bucket to take home.

There is no service at your table - obviously. When you finish a plate, you throw it away yourself in the trash bins all around the restaurant. As, I said, new plates are at the counter for the asking. You fill your own soda cup at the machine. When you are done, you throw away everything that is on your table.

The service at the counter was very good and the people that were filling the buffet from behind them - accessing directly into the food prep and kitchen area - were doing a very good job at keeping the trays full and fresh. There was nothing that looked dried out or that needed attention.

The restaurant itself was clean and we were there for dinner in August in a tourist area where it had to have been a busy day. There were several tables other than ours having the buffet.

I do not think that there would be any problem ordering the buffet for one or some and not for everyone that you are with. BUT - I am sure that they will spot you handing food over to anyone who has not purchased the buffet, so don't try it! These are very open dining areas and are in full view of the employees who are behind the counter and around the dining area keeping it clean.

Do I recommend the KFC Buffet? If you like KFC food and can eat more than a couple of pieces of fried chicken, then yes. I plan to go back the next time I am South in this area. If you are a small eater, then just order from the menu - but I suspect it will not be quiet as economical as the buffet. There was a good meal here for a total of $7.99 and tax.

This KFC Buffet is located at 1545 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185. Their phone number is(757) 229 - 7212. There is no mention of the buffets on the KFC website so I will not post a link to that on the side. And the locations are NOT identified as having buffets when they do.


Brenda said...

Popeyes tried this in a few markets a couple years ago. It wasn't widely publicized. Problem was, AYCE at this kind of restaurant apparently caused digestive issues for many diners. After all, is it wise to offer AYCE for that type of food? Many overindulged and they pulled the buffets. My son-in-law was an asst manager at one of their restaurants, he said that it wasn't such a good idea for the patrons to overload on that kind of food, too much grease.

Writer said...

KFC has been doing this for quite sometime. It is more than 10 years that I passed the first KFC Buffet that I ever saw on a trip in western Virginia.

I do speculate that in some markets offering AYCE KFC would lose them money, but this is very much like CiCi's Pizza and they are doing very well with the concept - but again, Cici's has been very selective in the states and markets they enter into.

Anonymous said...

diners with poor AYCE self control could get in trouble with the grease. Brenda has a point here.

Writer said...

If someone chooses to eat in a buffet, they also choose to remain in control of what they eat or not. All too often I have seen excessive over-indulgence in just about every buffet that I have been to. Remember that the sub-title of this site is "All You Can Eat is Not a Challenge". There are many who think it is.

I am not saying that for $8, there are some who would not over do it here. What I am saying is that these restaurants exist - and if you eat rationally, the restaurant is a good option, if you happen to come across one.

Anonymous said...

If your on the KFC store locator site and search it does tell you if the location has a buffet or not, the last column to the right says buffet and is noted with a Y or N.

Writer said...

Thank you so much for the information about the store locator. I had not seen that. This makes it possible to search for KFC buffets - just put in the state and go through the entire list. Too bad they don't mention buffet anywhere else on their website.

dave1973 said...

I only found out about KFC having a buffet when I saw an ad for a few in rural communities in Indiana. It for a specific franchise, & listed all their locations, including 1 that did not offer a buffet. I recently got to try out one in Demotte Indiana, & they offered most of what they offer on the menu. I was disappointed that mac & cheese wasn't on the buffet at all. They had a mini salad bar, some canned fruit, & a few desserts. The drink is included in the senior buffet price of $5.00, but they get a smaller cup, while the adult buffet is 99¢ more, but the drink is extra, & water is not an option. So to have something to drink, you have to buy the drink at the lowest price of $1.79. Most food is in smaller quantities in order to keep food waste at a minimum. It does well for this KFC, as Demotte Indiana is a small town, & the only other buffets are a chinese buffet next door (KFC is in a strip mall, & not in freestanding building) & Pizza Hut (only from 11:30am - 1pm Monday - Friday). Based on other locations I saw on their website, the buffet seems to be located primarily in small towns. No Chicagoland location offers the buffet.