Ovation Brands

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Ovation Brands
Buffets, Inc. (1983–2013)
FoundedOctober 19, 1983; 35 years ago (1983-10-19)
FounderRoe Hatlen
C. Dennis Scott
Dermot Rowland
Doron Jensen
HeadquartersHollywood Park, Texas,
Number of locations
Ovation Brands, Inc. currently operates 113 restaurants in 25 U.S. states as of February 6, 2017
Area served
North America
ProductsBuffet and steakhouse style restaurants
BrandsRyan's Grill, Buffet and Bakery, HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet and Tahoe Joe's
ParentIndependent (1983–2015)
Food Management Partners (2015–present)

Ovation Brands, based in the San Antonio suburb of Hollywood Park, Texas, is a subsidiary of Food Management Partners, Inc. and is the operator of a number of American national buffet chain restaurants including subsidiary company Furr's. The company's restaurants include steak-buffet, as well as steakhouse restaurants with menus that range from grilled-to-order steaks, single-serve dishes, scratch-made soups, entrees and desserts, beverage bars, buffets, chops and grilled seafood, and others, it was previously known as Buffets, Inc.[1][2][3]

Their restaurants are now known as Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet and Ryan's Buffet.


Buffets, Inc. logo (1983–2013)
Old Country Buffet logo (1983–present)
Country Buffet logo (1983–2018)
HomeTown Buffet logo (1989–present)
Ryan's Buffet logo (1977–present)

The company was founded by Roe Hatlen and C. Dennis Scott on October 19, 1983, along with Dermot Rowland and Doron Jensen. Rowland and Jensen left in 1986 to start Homestyle Buffet in Clearwater, Florida.

Scott left in 1989 to start HomeTown Buffet, but the two chains merged in September 1996.

Buffets Inc. in the late 1990s, posted a net income of $28.6 million in 1997 and $39.4 million in 1998, on revenues of $808.5 million and $868.9 million, respectively. In 1998 the company increased the number of company-owned restaurants from 360 to 386. Part of this increase came from the acquisition of 11 eating establishments from Country Harvest Buffet Restaurants, Inc., for $5.6 million.

On November 1, 2006, Buffets Inc. acquired Ryan's Restaurant Group, adding 340 Ryan's Grill Buffet and Bakery and Fire Mountain Grills locations.[4]

On January 22, 2008, Buffets Inc. filed for bankruptcy, under Chapter 11. Although all restaurants were said to be staying open and continuing to operate normally under the then-current reorganization plan,[5] the company called for the immediate closing of 52 stores nationwide, effective February 12, 2008; the final day of normal business operations in these stores, as well as the announcement of closing to all team members in said stores, took place the previous day.

On April 28, 2009, Buffets Inc. emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization with reduced debt along with a new Board of Directors.[6]

On January 18, 2012, Buffets, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again. This involved the immediate closure of 81 restaurants throughout the country and recapitalizing in an agreement with its lenders that would convert debt into a controlling equity stake.[7]

On March 7, 2016, Ovation Brands filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy closing dozens of locations the weekend before; the bankruptcy was blamed on a lawsuit that had not been disclosed when the current owner bought the businesses in August 2015. The landlord of 16 of Ovation's locations sued the company in February after the closure of 8 of those units. Buffets LLC, which is an affiliate of Food Management Partners, paid an undisclosed amount in August 2015 for Old Country Buffet, Ryan's, Fire Mountain and Tahoe Joe's, in addition to HomeTown. According to court documents, 150 restaurants that were operated by those chains, were part of the bankruptcy filing. According to a court filing by Ovation, the company had $186.3 million in liabilities and $160.2 million in assets.[8]


Old Country Buffet[edit]

Former Old Country Buffet location (now known as Pier 1 Imports) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

As of August 20, 2019, there are 19 locations operating throughout the United States as Old Country Buffet. At one time there were more than 350 Old Country Buffet restaurants, primarily in the midwest.

HomeTown Buffet[edit]

As of August 20, 2019, there are 33 restaurants operating as HomeTown Buffet, with 25 of them in California and the rest scattered throughout the United States. As with Old Country Buffet, at one time there were more than 250 restaurants open under the HomeTown Buffet brand. In the late 1990s, several restaurants rebranded from Old Country Buffet to HomeTown Buffet when the two chains merged.

Ryan's Buffet and Grill/Ryan's Restaurant Group[edit]

Ryan's was founded by Alvin A. McCall in 1977, it was acquired by Buffets, Inc. on November 1, 2006.[9] Some of its accolades include being one of the "Best Small Companies in America" seven consecutive years, and named "Top Family Steakhouse in America" for 10 consecutive years.[10]

Ryan's restaurants once boasted more than 400 locations primarily in the South and Midwest; this has since been downsized to 16 restaurants in 11 states as of August 20, 2019.

Other restaurants[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bloomberg Company Overview of Ovation Brands, Inc". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  2. ^ Ryan's Corporate Headquarters
  3. ^ "Old Country Buffet CEO goes undercover". Buffets. Retrieved on October 18, 2013.
  4. ^ Company Information, archived from the original on March 18, 2007
  5. ^ "Hometown Buffet, Old Country Buffet & Country Buffet - Restructuring Info". Archived from the original on February 14, 2008.
  6. ^ "Buffets Holdings, Inc. Emerges from Chapter 11".
  7. ^ "Restaurant operator Buffets lands in bankruptcy again". Reuters. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  8. ^ Hals, Tom. "HomeTown Buffet, affiliated dining chains file for bankruptcy". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  9. ^ Buffets merges with Ryan's
  10. ^ Company Information Archived May 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Company Information

External links[edit]