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Ryan’s closes Lincolnton restaurant

SARAH LOWERY
Staff Writer

The Ryan’s on North Generals Boulevard in Lincolnton abruptly closed for business Wednesday morning, leaving its more than 30 employees without jobs.
Melissa Sheer, spokeswoman for Buffets, Inc., the nation’s largest steak-buffet restaurant company and parent company of Ryan’s, told the Times-News on Wednesday that the company had deemed the location an “underperforming restaurant” and decided to shut it down.
In addition to the Ryan’s in Lincolnton, the chain has also closed three other restaurants in Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.
Sheer said the company, which owns both the land and the building of the Lincolnton location, determined that it would be more cost-effective to sell the real estate due to the small cash flow coming in. As such, Buffets, Inc. is preparing to market the property for sale.
Ryan’s employees will be provided severance pay “based on prior practices,” such as tenure with the company, she added. The restaurant chain typically employs between 30 and 50 workers at each location.
As the Times-News previously reported, Buffets, Inc. announced a wave of closings nationwide in January after filing for bankruptcy. As part of a Chapter 11 restructuring agreement, the company stated that it planned to eliminate outstanding debt and strengthen its portfolio.
Though the Ryan’s in Lincolnton was spared at the time, the announcement resulted in immediate closures of various restaurant locations, including one in Gastonia and three elsewhere in North Carolina.
Sheer noted that this additional round of shutdowns was also a result of the restructuring agreement.

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