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Furr’s Fresh Buffet expands in Texas

Chain aims to revamp buffet format with updated service style

Buffet Partners L.P. plans to open a new Furr’s Fresh Buffet in San Antonio in mid-February, the second unit of the chain’s scatter-bar buffet format in that city.

The “scatter-bar” buffet allow guests to choose items from among nine buffet bars, including stations for carved meats and others for self-serve salads, entrees, sides, desserts and ice cream.

Plano, Texas-based Buffet Partners has been moving away from the straight-line cafeteria-style Furr’s, and now has more than a dozen Fresh Buffets. The new 400-seat San Antonio buffet is scheduled to open on Feb. 15, the company said.

Buffet Partners, which has 43 Furr’s and Furr’s Fresh Buffet units in seven states, opened the first Fresh Buffet in San Antonio last year.

“It’s really a brand repositioning for the 65-year-old concept. … In the buffet format, you come in the door and pay immediately. I believe that’s more convenient for the buffet guest and quicker than the cafeteria,” Greg Buchanan, chief executive of Buffet Partners, told Nation’s Restaurant News in July 2011.

Buchanan said the format gives guests control and allows them to customize their experience. For example, “You can sample three different entrées and your choice of sides,” he said.

The second San Antonio unit will offer such Furr’s menu items as
Millionaire Pie and Skillet-Grilled Chicken Fried Steak. It will also feature newer items, such as fried shrimp, citrus-fired chicken and carved roast beef. Desserts include ice cream and a frozen yogurt sundae bar. Buffet prices, paid upon entering, are about $10.

The Furr’s unit will also offer a breakfast buffet on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

As part of the opening celebration, Furr’s is donating a percentage of the grand-opening week’s proceeds to the San Antonio Food Bank.

Furr’s was founded in 1946.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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