Restaurants have suffered greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From full shutdowns to capacity limits to vaccine passports, the challenges abound.
Buffets are one type of restaurant that has been particularly hard hit, with many forced to close and others opting to keep buffet tables closed after COVID safety restrictions were lifted.
But now some are reopening. This includes the famous Kentucky Fried Chicken buffet in Weyburn, which reopened on April 18.
Larie Semen, the owner of the Weyburn restaurant, joined the Greg Morgan Morning Show to talk about her excitement.
An important point is how unique the sideboard is.
“It’s the only one in Canada and we’re very, very proud of it,” he said.
It has not always been so. Semen’s restaurant was the first KFC buffet in the country, but at their peak there were 27 across Canada.
“Over time, it was a struggle. You really have to take care of the buffet and you have to treat your guests. You need to make the sideboard really appealing. Some stores had difficulties and they ended up closing them,” he recalls.
“Because we were the first to start it, we fought to keep it open. We had some great rallies, and now we’re the only ones in Canada.
It’s been two years since Semen had the doors open, thanks to the pandemic.
And with the buffet now open, he’s watching out for the virus.
“We ask our customers to make sure they sanitize their hands before going to the buffet and always have a clean plate,” Semen said.
As it is the only KFC buffet in the country, its restaurant is quite famous. He shared some stories of his favorite celebrity guests.
Once, two pretty important guys had a meeting at the restaurant.
“My favorite story is that we had the two prime ministers, Jason Kenney and Scott Moe, and they said the name ‘KFC Summit,'” Semen recalled.
He also pointed to the moment Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, who used to host a show together on TSN, shouted the Weyburn KFC buffet.