Popular buffet restaurant chain Souplantation to likely close all its restaurants permanently – USA TODAY

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The popular buffet restaurant chain Souplantation may close its doors for good.

John Haywood, the CEO of Garden Fresh Restaurants, the parent company of Souplantation along with restaurant Sweet Tomatoes, said the chain will likely have to permanently close all 97 of its locations, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“The FDA had previously put out recommendations that included discontinuing self-serve stations, like self-serve beverages in fast food, but they specifically talked about salad bars and buffets,” Haywood told the Tribune. “The regulations are understandable, but unfortunately, it makes it very difficult to reopen.”

The chain was founded in San Diego in 1978. About 4,400 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the closures, reports the Tribune.

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Meanwhile, the pandemic has left millions of Americans without a job. On Thursday, the Labor Department revealed 3.2 million unemployment claims were filed last week, bringing the 7-week total to above 33 million. 

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