Old Country Buffet


Creditors accuse Old Country Buffet’s former owners of misusing PPP funds

Fresh Acquisitions, whose assets were just sold to Famous Dave’s owner, is being accused of misappropriating $20 million before it filed for bankruptcy, including $4 million in Paycheck Protection Program funds.


Old Country Buffet did not die from the pandemic

Nor did it die from simply being a buffet brand. That and other concepts run by the bankrupt Fresh Acquisitions have been dying for years. The pandemic was the last nail in the coffin, says RB’s The Bottom Line.

BBQ Holdings won the bidding for the bankrupt owner of the six-unit Tahoe Joe’s along with the assets of several buffet chains, including Old Country Bufffet.

Fresh Acquisitions, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, has a new potential buyer in Serene Investment Management after a judge killed a previous sale.

The owner of Old Country Buffet merged with Ryan’s in 2006. The company’s bankruptcy-laden history in the years since is a lesson in the dangers of debt and the persistence of zombie chains, says RB’s The Bottom Line.

Fresh Acquisitions operates a half-dozen mostly buffet brands, has closed all but six Tahoe Joe’s restaurants and plans to focus on that brand as well as a redesigned Furr’s concept.

The list of operators opting for that course is growing quickly.

As restaurants reopen, many regulations explicitly forbid buffets and self-service. That could require massive changes at buffet concepts, or their end altogether, says RB’s The Bottom Line.

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