Six HomeTown Buffet locations in San Diego County closed abruptly on Thursday.
The Santee, El Cajon, Clairemont, Mira Mesa, San Marcos and Oceanside locations were all closed. Employees and patrons showed up to the restaurants, only to see signs posted on the doors saying that location was now closed.
The Chula Vista, National City and south San Diego locations remain open.
HomeTown Buffet restaurants are owned by Ovation Brands.
Ovation Brands issued a statement on Thursday afternoon:
"Ovation Brands was acquired by Food Management Partners in August 2015. Since that time, we have continued to execute former management’s operating plan to stabilize and enhance the performance of the company. However, based on ongoing assessments of individual restaurants, it is necessary to shutter locations for the continued viability of the brands and our employees.
74 underperforming Old Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet, Ryan’s, Fire Mountain and Country Buffet restaurants throughout the United States will permanently close on February 4, 2016.
While we cannot predict future market conditions, the plan is to continue operating the remaining Ovation Brands’ restaurants as they are financially viable.
Although the overall number of employees affected by closures is large, employees of closed restaurants will be given the opportunity to apply for positions at operating stores, and we expect many to take advantage of that opportunity. Additionally, we will be adding staff to the operating restaurants, enabling us to provide the service levels our guests expect and deserve.
We know that these decisions are not easy, however, we strongly believe that this direction is best for the long-term health of all brands.”