MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A restaurant company headquartered in Greer, South Carolina, Ovation Brands Inc, has filed for bankruptcy and unexpectedly closed numerous restaurants over the weekend, leaving many without a job Monday morning.
Court documents show that HomeTown Buffet Inc and affiliated dining chains owned by Ovation Brands Inc filed on Monday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to Reuters, potentially affecting more than 300 U.S. locations.
Locations across South Carolina were among those stores suddenly closed over the weekend. Numerous Facebook posts report Ryan’s Buffet employees arrived at work Sunday and Monday morning to find a closure notice on the door.
The Ryan’s Buffet in Surfside Beach is now closed, according to a sign posted on the window of the front door. The barren parking lot, locked doors and a sign that reads, “This location is now CLOSED. Deliveries will no longer be accepted,” are seemingly all that employees were left with when reporting to work Monday.
A second location near Myrtle Beach also closed. The Ryan’s Buffet in Conway gave employees no notice that Monday morning that would show up to discover they had no job, according to a Facebook post from a Conway resident.
“They also did in Conway, South Carolina this morning. Employees came in with no notice; told this after they were very busy last night. They are also the only buffet in town,” reads the Facebook comment.
The Surfside Beach and Conway Ryan’s Buffet locations have already been removed from the company’s locations map. The North Myrtle Beach location remains opened, according to Ryans.com.
Despite countless comments from employees and customers asking why the company opted to close in such a secretive way, neither Home Town Buffet Inc. nor Ryan’s Buffet has responded on their Facebook pages. News13 reached out to the corporate office of Ovation, which declined to comment.
It was the second bankruptcy filing in four years for Ovation, which was previously known as Buffets Inc.