I think the question asks itself—will the buffet return as an eating option after the pandemic? I was somewhat sad to see it go in my piece last year, if not optimistic about its chances. It wasn’t because of the food, honestly; it was because buffets were the perfect option for large groups of people—think entire extended families—to come together all at once. Culturally, once we settle into the new normal, there will still be a need for something like that among groups of people who care more about the quality of the camaraderie than the quality of the food.
But with the biggest chain seeing its biggest franchisees stumbling towards bankruptcy, optimism doesn’t feel like the way forward.