You can once again eat all you want – if you’re in Utah.
Buffets and salad bars have been allowed to open back up in the state, with some health restrictions put in place.
Gov. Gary Herbert gave the go-ahead for buffet restaurants to reopen, as long as they maintain six feet of social distancing, limit party size and wear facial coverings, among other cleaning precautions, such as routinely sanitizing high-touch items.
Buffets have been a concern during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rene Shuurman, president of the company that oversees Utah-buffet restaurant chain Chuck-A-Rama, said the last few months have been difficult on the business.
“It feels so great. I’ve had customers come up and say ‘thank you, thank you so much’,” Shuurman told KSL TV.
Other buffet owners have been struggling, as well. And just because restaurants have been allowed to reopen, it doesn’t mean it’s business as usual.
“Since we open, business has also taken a hit right now; it’s only 30 percent compared to our regular customers,” manager Nick Jiang of King Buffet told the outlet.
Those who do visit the all-you-can-eat restaurants will have to wear a mask when entering and while at the food bar. They must also get plates and utensils from workers, and either be served by an employee or use hand sanitizer before handling serving equipment.
Buffets have been a concern during the coronavirus pandemic. Royal Caribbean cruise line has suggested eliminating the food-style option due to health and safety concerns, at least for a while.
A restaurant analyst suggested back in May that buffets may not be coming back on a grand-scale anytime soon.
However, one person remained hopeful that the model would have a resurgence post-pandemic.
“The core benefit offered by buffets is still extremely relevant,” Joe Jackman, CEO of Jackman Reinvents, which works with companies to reinvent their brands, said via email to Fox News. “There will always be customers that want that sweet-spot combination of value (take as much as you want), variety (huge selection), personalization (each plate is unique), and sensory appeal (visually compelling format).”
Fox News’ Michael Hollan contributed to this report.