Three local HomeTown Buffet restaurants were among 74 “underperforming” eateries abruptly closed Thursday by the chain’s operators.
Workers answering midafternoon calls Thursday at the HomeTown Buffet restaurants at 4300 Florin Road in Sacramento and at 9089 Bruceville Road in Elk Grove said their eateries closed on short notice on Thursday.
Phone calls to the HomeTown Buffet at 2344 Watt Ave. went unanswered, but a worker answering the phone at the HomeTown Buffet in Elk Grove said the Watt Avenue site in Sacramento likewise had closed, as had the one at 1030 Helen Power Drive in Vacaville.
The Elk Grove worker added: “The nearest HomeTown Buffet restaurants are in Citrus Heights and Stockton.”
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A call to HomeTown Buffet at 7028 Sunrise Blvd. in Citrus Heights confirmed that it was remaining open.
Confirmation of the other closures nationwide came in the form of a statement from Ovation Brands, a South Carolina-based restaurant operator that has been struggling financially.
The Ovation statement, issued by Peter Donbavand, vice president of business development, noted that Ovation was acquired by Food Management Partners of San Antonio last August.
It continued: “Since that time, we have continued to execute former management’s operating plan to stabilize and enhance the performance of the company. However, based on ongoing assessments of individual restaurants, it is necessary to shutter locations for the continued viability of the brands and our employees.”
Attempts to get comment from Food Management Partners were unsuccessful.
The underperforming restaurants that closed on Thursday operate under the names of HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, Fire Mountain and Country Buffet.
The Ovation statement added: “While we cannot predict future market conditions, the plan is to continue operating the remaining Ovation Brands’ restaurants as they are financially viable. Although the overall number of employees affected by closures is large, employees of closed restaurants will be given the opportunity to apply for positions at operating stores, and we expect many to take advantage of that opportunity.”
Ovation added that it plans to add staff to operating restaurants.