REGINA – Saskatchewan residents caused a stir on social media Tuesday after news spread that the all-you-can-eat KFC buffet in Weyburn, Sask. was closing.
However, late Tuesday afternoon, KFC Canada released a statement saying the buffet will remain open, but it cannot confirm for how long.
“This afternoon, KFC learned that our buffet in Weyburn, Saskatchewan was closing. Like many people, we were surprised by this news. We can confirm the buffet is not closing,” Leonard Free, director, operations and restaurant excellence, KFC Canada, said in the statement.
“While we cannot guarantee that the Weyburn buffet will remain open forever, we can guarantee that it will be open for now.”
According to posts on social media on Tuesday, KFC’s parent company Yum! Brands is planning on shutting down the popular buffet.
Larie Semen, head manager at the KFC in Weyburn, said as of right now, he hasn’t heard that the buffet is closing.
Top brass from KFC Canada are expected to be touring the location on Wednesday. With the customers, Semen plans to show them how much the buffet means to the community.
He said he has been blown away by the support from Saskatchewan residents and the government.
“This was supposed to be local,” Semen said. “All I wanted was Weyburn and the surrounding areas was to come and support the buffet.”
Weyburn residents had been planning a ‘sit-in’ on Wednesday afternoon when company officials attend the restaurant.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall took to twitter on Tuesday, expressing his dismay at the news and asking Yum! Canada to reconsider their decision to shut down the KFC buffet.
Saskatchewan’s Health Minister used to work at the Weyburn KFC when he was a teenager, and is planning on attending the sit-in on Wednesday.
Back in 2012 Premier Wall sent out a tweet joking that Duncan may look like Colonel Sanders.
Semen said about four to five years ago, the store was told the buffet would close in one year. However, he started a petition to save the buffet.
“We sent it with a portfolio on how much the buffet generates for sales in Weyburn and what it stands for in our community, what it stand for in our business and it’s been unbelievable,” Semen said.
However, Semen said one change was that items not offered at other KFC restaurants were taken out of the buffet.
According to Semen, the KFC buffet opened in 1988 and was the first one in Canada. In the next couple of years, Semen said the Weyburn location is expected to remodel.
“That’s where I believe, the remodel is going to come – the buffet will automatically go off the remodel. So it will be straight KFC and no buffet.”
In 1996 and 1997 the KFC in Weyburn was voted the best KFC in Canada.
Humboldt also has a KFC lunch buffet from Monday to Friday.