I Ate At A Buffet Restaurant For The First Time Since The Pandemic Began

It’s not your average buffet lunch anymore

Alfie Jane


Photo by Ulysse Pointcheval on Unsplash

Restaurants and bars got hit hard with the pandemic. Michigan is one of the hardest-hit states for restaurants and bars. People are struggling to hold on to their livelihoods, and it’s hard when an airborne virus is forcing lockdowns.

On February 1st, bars and restaurants could open again in Michigan, but with significant restrictions. Everyone had to wear a mask when they walked into a restaurant. A strict 25% capacity and a 10 o’clock curfew at night is enforced.

It’s a challenge to make money with that many restrictions, but I’ve seen many restaurants making it through. Carryout is still an option for a lot of these places. I often wonder if it’s the reason so many businesses can stay afloat.

A walk around town had me curious

Today, I found myself in my hometown helping out my brother. While I waited for him to do what he needed, I went around town to see what changed. I hadn’t lived there in years.

The town didn’t look like it changed much, even with a pandemic affecting so many businesses. A lot of the same places that existed when I was a kid are still there today. That small-town need to help one another is alive and well, even in pandemic times.

Until today, I didn’t know buffet restaurants were still open. The local Chinese buffet restaurant is one of the only businesses left on the corner of town. There is another Chinese restaurant in town, but I ate at that one the last time I was there. Since this one was open, I decided to check it out.

It looked like a hospital cafeteria

There weren’t many people in the restaurant. I saw signs all over the place reminding everyone to wear a mask. There weren’t many people in the restaurant when I walked in.

Most restaurants took away a lot of their tables and chairs for social distancing to stay open. My brother did the same thing at our family bar. So there is way more room to walk around in a restaurant. This buffet place wasn’t any different.