A buffet conjures up imagines of friends and family. Tables are overflowing with food, plenty of choices for every taste and an abundance of everything for seconds, thirds, and as many extra helpings as you please. In today’s fast-paced society, a buffet provides an excellent way to relax, enjoy a meal with family, friends, and newfound friends. In addition, you do not even have to worry about cleaning up or doing the dishes afterwards.
The Old Country Buffet is part of a chain of family style restaurants owned by Buffets, Inc., combining the family atmosphere of a picnic with the convenience of dining out. Roe Hatlen and C. Dennis Scott founded the chain in 1983, locating the corporate offices in Eagan, Minnesota. Other popular restaurants operating under the Buffets, Inc. umbrella are HomeTown, Ryan’s Grill Buffet and Bakery, Fire Mountain Grills, Granny’s Buffet, Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse.
New Concept in Family Dining
Old Country Buffet offers a variety of items at a price that enables you to feed your whole family. Also, with such a vast selection of items, everyone in the family can find his favorite dish. The price of the buffet even includes dessert – as many desserts as you want! Many restaurants also offer breakfast.
The concept of family dining at Old Country Buffet is straightforward. The cashier will greet you as you enter the restaurant. Once you pay for your meals, you can sit wherever you like. Place your receipt on your table to reserve your seats, and head for the buffet. If you prefer, you can sit and chat for a bit and visit the buffet, whenever you are ready.
When you decide that you are ready to eat, Old Country Buffet offers stacks of clean plates at each of its buffet stations. This service is perfect for picky eaters who do not want their salad touching their main course. Each time you return for food, you can take a clean plate. The wait staff will remove the used plates from your table so that you can always have a clear table and a clean plate of food. For safety reasons, Old Country Buffet recommends that an adult accompany all children under the age of 10 when they visit the food stations.
Main courses can include baked chicken, carved roast beef, hot wings, tacos, baked fish, carved ham, hamburgers, hot dogs, roast turkey, and salmon. Fresh, flavorful gravies can accompany any main course. The salad bar station is replete with fresh vegetables, dressings, creamy pea salad, cottage cheese, chicken salad, pasta salad, croutons, and other items to please any palate. Vegetable-side dishes are plentiful, for those who choose to enjoy vegetables. They can include German boiled cabbage, Montreal vegetable medley, green cabbage, sauerkraut, turnip greens, Joe’s cracked pepper beans, Italian green beans, sauteed zucchini, collard greens, corn, green beans El Greco, candied yams, Brussel sprouts, and steamed broccoli. You can also choose from a variety of fresh fruits to accompany your meal. Fresh soups and breads are always available.
For those diners who can not wait for dessert, the fantastic news is that, at Old Country Buffet, you do not have to wait! Freshly made cookies and pies can be found, in abundance, at the dessert station. Bread pudding, chocolate pudding, and vanilla pudding can be found there, too. Frozen yogurt is the favorite of many diners. Serve yourself vanilla or chocolate or a combination of the two. Old Country Buffet also provides a variety of toppings from chocolate sauce to nuts, candies, whipped cream, cookies, and jimmies. Choose one or all to create the perfect end to your perfect meal.
Marketing This Concept
Old Country Buffet has designed a number of ingenious commercials highlighting their variety, value, and atmosphere. In their “What’s on Your Plate” commercial, an eight year old boy reminds us not to be chicken to try the chicken. His point is that you should always try something new at Old Country Buffet because you are in control of your plate. If you try the chicken and do not like it, you can always go back for the pizza or the spaghetti.
The “Great Choice” commercial features a young couple at a traditional restaurant. The waitress stands over them, cracking her gum and tapping her pencil, asking if they are ready to order. As they fumble about for a moment trying to decide, the waitress tells them that she will be back later. Many hours later, the couple is still waiting for the waitress to return. Old Country Buffet points out that, whenever you make your choice, it is a terrific choice at their restaurant.
Most noteworthy is the “That’s Not What I Ordered” commercial, which features a young man in a diner who has just received his rather unappetizing-looking dinner. He informs the waitress that this was not what he ordered. She informs him that it is. The rest of their dialogue is an “Is Not, Is Too” contest that fades to an Old Country Buffet, where you always get what you ordered because you choose what goes on your plate.
While Old Country Buffet offers a wide selection of items at one low price, it never hurts to look for additional ways to save. Many online sites such as Coupon Cabin, Coupon Mountain, and others offer printable coupons. Typing “old country buffet coupons” into your Internet search browser will offer the best selection. Bear in mind that not all restaurants accept these Internet coupons, so it is always best to call ahead. Remember to check the expiration date on the coupon prior to downloading and printing.
Old Country Buffet also offers an eClub. Visit their web site at buffet.com, and click on the eClub medallion. Complete the online registration to join eClub, and Old Country Buffet will send a “Buy-One-Get-One-Free” coupon for one meal. EClub will also send additional discounts to your email account periodically, as well as updates and specials that the restaurant in your area is hosting. There is no cost to join eClub. You can elect to stop receiving email at any time.
Save On Paper
Old Country Buffet often publishes coupons in local papers, as well. Val-Pak Coupons or Coupon Clipper magazines that publish coupons may also offer as Old Country Buffet. Check your local telephone book for additional coupons. Additionally, many areas offer Entertainment Books for a fee that publish numerous dining coupons. Again, check the expiration date on the coupon prior to using.
Save On Site
Old Country Buffet also offers a Senior Club. Patrons who are age 60 or older can purchase a Senior Club Card for $1.00 to receive additional discounts. Senior Cards are active for one year. The Card may also entitle patrons to complimentary extras with meals. Cards cannot be used for breakfast, Soup’n’Salad Unlimited, and other unique offers. Check for other applicable restrictions at your favorite Old Country Buffet.