Friday, September 27, 2013

Old Country Buffet, Ryans, Etc. Updates

Have you been to an Old Country Buffet or Ryans lately and noticed the absence of the Stir Fry station? This is now gone from the Buffets Inc. owned buffets after some locations went through construction to install a permanent station for what was to be a regular offering at the restaurants. An anonymous, inside source at Buffets Inc. tells me that this is only temporary and has been done due to poor overall earnings in the past quarter.  It was implied that cutting out the stir fry would save on employee salaries and other expenses related to the stir fry area. An email survey sent out to some OCB customers on their email list makes me suspect that they have other plans.

The survey asked about having breakfast omelets available all day. These would include a variety of omelets  containing your choice of a number of ingredients. To further enforce that this is likely going to happen, at a local OCB where a special area was constructed - taking away already limited table space - for the stir fry. That sign above that is now gone and a sign for omelets has taken its place. I am sure that area has been used all along since its installation for omelets for the breakfast buffet but suddenly this very large sign was put up over it. An earlier similar survey had asked about baby back ribs and those made an every night dinner appearance on the buffet several weeks later.

I am, frankly, not surprised that the Stir Fry is gone. It was very dependent on the skills of the people cooking at it, and that there was actually someone assigned there - and not that someone wandered over eventually when someone came up to the grill which I observed at several OCBs. The other problem was the ingredients. While the chicken was passable, the beef always looked like dried out scraps of left over roast beef and more than once I heard people ask with a face, "What is that?" pointing at the beef in the tray behind the counter. It was quite unappetizing in appearance.

So far, no omelets yet. But I suspect that you will be seeing them soon at an OCB, Hometown Buffet, or Ryans near you.  Will I try one? It will depend upon how they are being cooked and what the ingredients look like. I have not been to an OCB for breakfast so I do not know how the omelets are made. If they are cracking fresh eggs then I will try one. If they are pouring an egg mixture from a pitcher, then no, I will stay clear.


Jeff the ALDI Shopper said...

I'm with you - pre-mixed omelette "batter"? NO THANKS! Fresh eggs? Sure, I'd try that.

Anonymous said...

The omelet mix is eggs, just in full liquid form so that it is easier to handle and not as messy.

Writer said...

Eggs in the shell keep, liquid eggs are far more susceptible to bacteria and going bad much more quickly. I would want to see that these liquid eggs are kept in a refrigerator right at the grill and not kept out on the counter until each omelet is poured, otherwise I would have great concern.