Local buffets are opening in the green phase and some buffet managers meeting with officials from the Erie County Department of Health to discuss guidelines.
The guidelines at Golden Corral require customers to wear a mask on when they enter the restaurant as well as when they go up to the buffet. The owner says frequent sanitation has become a top priority.
“We’ve taken all the plates and all the high touch points out and we’ve also hired some people to do nothing but wipe down and sanitize high touch point areas that would be located in the buffet,” said John Cartmell, the franchise owner.
Golden Corral employees sanitize and ensure social distancing throughout the restaurant.
“We change utensils every 15 minutes on the minimum throughout the entire buffet. Everything is being taken to the guests the plates, the silverware, the drinks, the condiments. Everything is being sanitized after,” said Cartmell.
One of the changes we’ve seen is offering hand sanitizer and disposable gloves to those using the buffet.
When people go in, they can hand sanitize their hands and then when they approach the buffet bar, they have to put a pair of gloves on in order to pick food from the buffet bar,” Duke Chen.
At the Imperial Chinese Buffet in Summit Towne Center, Duke Chen said he considered doing takeout service only. However, some customers said they wanted to dine-in.
“We’ve been open since July first just for takeout. I mean for takeout it’s kind of slow because people wanted to dine-in,” said Chen.
Buffets are popular in Erie. Only time will tell whether social distancing and all the safety precautions will bring patrons back to these two buffet restaurants in Summit Township.