CORAL SPRINGS, FL - Sweet Tomatoes, the buffet chain known for its endless soup, salad, and pizza bar, is permanently closing its 97 restaurants – including Coral Springs.

The closure will put about 4,400 employees out of work, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report last week.

“The FDA had previously put out recommendations that included discontinuing self-serve stations, like self-serve beverages in fast food, but they specifically talked about salad bars and buffets,” John Haywood, CEO of Garden Fresh, the parent company of Sweet Tomatoes and its sister buffet chain Souplantation, said in the interview with the newspaper.

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“The regulations are understandable, but unfortunately, it makes it very difficult to reopen. And I’m not sure the health departments are ever going to allow it,” he said. “We could’ve overcome any other obstacle, and we’ve worked for eight weeks to overcome these intermittent financial challenges but it doesn’t work if we are not allowed to continue our model.”

 

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