Friday, January 24, 2014

Levittown, NY OCB To Get A Makeover

An email has been sent out by Old Country Buffet informing those on their email list in the Levittown Old Country Buffet will be closing temporarily to be remodeled to the "new" OCB look. This was fascinating as many - not just me - have the opinion that the Levittown OCB is the worst OCB in the country. Now, does Ovation Brands (the new name for the parent corporation of OCB) acknowledge this and feel that a remodel to the new floor plan and little shop-like food stations will change this Old Country Buffet? It would be nice to learn that they acknowledge that there is a problem there. What they fail to realize is that it is not the layout or look of the current buffet that is the problem. It is the management and employees.

This is not to say that the employees do not work hard. The problem is that there are not enough of them and I have been informed by more than one person on the inside of the corporation that the lack of employees in the dining room and taking care of the buffet stations in general at OCBs is well known by Corporate and that this is intentionally done to manage the operating expenses. Yet, here we have a rock bottom OCB getting a big investment in a remodel - and one that involves a design that is far more employee necessary. The other two problems in Levittown have been poor management (which seems consistent over the years no matter who gets the job - and managers seem to be on a revolving door at this buffet) and lack of cleanliness both in the dining rooms and at the buffet tables.

If you saw the Undercover Boss episode featuring the "boss" of then Buffets, Inc., now Ovation Brands, you saw at least one example of the "new look". Food is divided by type at each serving station and several of those stations require an employee there. Here at the Levittown OCB their person carving is often also tending the hot trays and away from the carving station. An empty "new" carving station will be no better than it is now. The same was true when there was the stir fry station. One person cannot do three jobs. At OCB they seem to be expected to do four.

The new look from photos that I have seen is cute and very similar to the layout of Golden Corral. Will it work for OCB? Sure, if they staff it properly. Will they? Time will tell, but from what I hear from the inside, that is unlikely.

There was no date in the email as to when the Levittown OCB would close. It may have been timely to that email. I have not been able to get over there to see if it is still open or not. If you are on Long Island and plan to go to OCB, call Levittown first to see if they are still open. The alternative is the Old Country Buffet in Bay Shore, NY which is about twenty miles further east on Long Island on the South Shore. 

OCB Levittown, are you ready ??? for this:

15 comments:

ML said...

Did the "Undercover Boss" ceo of OCB ever respond to your letter?

Writer said...

Of course not. If he had it would have been an article all on its own!

ML said...

Yep, not surprised, typical corporate world, all lip service. However maybe it triggered them to up grade the Levittown location, but still have not addressed the main issues

Anonymous said...

Do not know what it means for the future but effective 1 week ago they have separated the 2 companies and are now running Ryan's and OCB with their own upper management teams again. They plan on redoing all OCB's and have a different plan for Ryan's to go back to something they did a long time ago as the new look doesn't work for them. Just an FYI.

Writer said...

Separating Ryans from OCB sounds like a good idea. It needs to be put back the way it was - its former menu - no OCB foods - return all the the things that made Ryans the top of the three buffet chains - the former Ryans, Golden Corral, and OCB.

Anonymous said...

Do these new OCB's have the same food? Or a refreshed menu / different recipes?

Art said...

Don't know how close you are to Hackensack, but there is a new buffet there. It is now open, and there were a couple of favorable reviews on Chowhound. http://www.pocrestaurants.com/buffet/

Writer said...

Same food. Same menu. Same recipes.

On his TV appearance on Undercover Boss, Anthony Wedo, CEO said that they were looking into bringing back some of the menu items that people missed but so far none of that has happened. I wish it would!

Writer said...

Just looked at the Hackensack link - Asian buffet with big prices ($25 weeknights, $27 weekends) It is something to keep in mind when in NJ. I am looking forward to the opening of the Golden Corral in Freehold, NJ.

ML said...

Well we went to the "Great Makeover" last night, and from what I noticed they replaced the filthy carpet and maybe changed the wall color.

The service is still bad and no changes in the menu

Same old OCB as before

Writer said...

Could this be the "makeover"? This is certainly not what the "makeover" is supposed to be. There should be separate buffet stations for different types of foods, a grill in the buffet area for cook to order steaks, and more. If all they are doing is painting and changing the carpet,then they are kidding themselves! We noticed when we drove by today that they were open and thought that they had not yet closed for the makeover still to come. What this location needs is a clean sweep of employees and management, a real makeover of the layout, creating a door to the kitchen instead of the warming oven in the wall that food is passed through and real communication between the kitchen and the buffet floor instead of an intercom that is ignored when orders to the kitchen are called in. Looks like we will be continuing to make the trip out to Suffolk when we want to go to OCB!

We will be keeping an eye on this closely to see if they actually do close for a length of time which would show that they have proper intentions for the Levittown OCB.

Writer said...

Also - they were open a week ago when we drove by.

ML said...

When I called yesterday they told me they were closed last week for the makeover, well unless their doing it in stages, trust me everything is laid out the way its always been, same stations, same boring selection of food, and plates just stacking up with little service, from what I saw it seemed like 2 young busboys were working the entire dining room

Writer said...

How sad! And what a joke given the photo (as shown in this article)that accompanied the email about the "makeover". Ah well, why am I surprised - it's OCB!

James Sfiroudis said...

AS far as I can tell the OCB in Levittown is exactly the same. All I can figure is maybe the Dept of Health closed them down for a week. Otherwise why would a company say they are closing for renovations and reopen with absolutely nothing noticeably different?