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Closure of souplantation forever due to coronvirus



Closure of souplantation forever due to coronvirus

Souplantation, a popular buffet-style dining brand founded in San Diego 42 years ago, permanently closed all its restaurants, victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is likely to be a death knell for all self-serving restaurants.

The permanent closure of 97 restaurants, including 44 in California, was announced Thursday after weeks of efforts to save San Diego-based Garden Fresh Restaurant, the parent company of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes. The closure meant job losses for 4,400 employees.

“The FDA has previously issued recommendations that include stopping self-service stations, such as self-service drinks in fast food, but they are specifically talking about salad bars and buffets,” said John Haywood, chief executive of Garden Fresh. “The rules are understandable, but unfortunately, it makes it very difficult to reopen. And I’m not sure the health department will allow it.

“We can overcome other obstacles, and we have worked for eight weeks to overcome these intermittent financial challenges, but that doesn’t work if we aren’t allowed to continue our model.”

The closure came as restaurants in California and across the country struggled to remain financially solvent amid the pandemic closure that had forced restaurants to close the dining room while only allowing roadside pickup and delivery. Such temporary pivots do not work for Souplantation, which is known as an affordable all-you-can-eat salad bar, homemade soups, pizza focaccia, baked goods, baked potato bars, pasta, ice cream and soft drinks. the stem.

Garden Fresh’s rapid decline in restaurant revenue, due to concerns about coronavirus growing in February and March, is even faster than in other restaurants, given the buffet concept, said Robert Allbritton, chairman of Perpetual Capital Partners, Washington, DC, a private investment company that buys restaurant company after filing for bankruptcy in 2016.

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“We spent two years researching and trying to improve things and really make business turn around,” Allbritton said. “We are increasing the number of guests and are in the process of renovating the restaurant with new equipment, carpets, signage at the end of January. We feel happy about that. But I have to tell you, when the virus attacks, we move from 100% to 70% to 30% so quickly, before the restaurant closes and the company runs out of money in one week. “

Allbritton said that he wrote a check five weeks ago for $ 2.5 million to help cover the last payroll.

“We see [federal] Paycheck Protection Program, but even with that we didn’t see how we could reopen the restaurant. We can’t take that money, it’s just not honest. “

Beginning in 1978, Garden Fresh originated as a San Diego Souplantation location and, in 1986, expanded into the wider Southern California region, which continues to be the core of this business. In 1990, the company moved beyond its local roots to Palm Harbor, Florida, a location with a separate brand name, Sweet Tomatoes, which grew on its own in several locations.

In more than four decades of business, Souplantation has developed loyal and almost fanatical followers. Loved by many people who are looking for cheap food, it is a frequent eating destination for college children, immigrants and those on a steady income.

“Today is a sad day for immigrant families who are obsessed with buffets,” Jenny Yang wrote in twitter. “You always feed me when I have a little money and need a place to sit and listen to restless music,” write another user.

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Haywood cited Georgia – one of the first states to reopen its business – in assessing Souplantation’s bleak survival chances. “Among the 39 rules for reopening is that the salad bar and buffet are stopped.”

“All restaurants face a big challenge right now. “Our challenge is somewhat multiplied by the fact that we are a salad bar and buffet,” he said.

“My personal opinion is that until there is a vaccine, many things such as buffets and salads will have difficulty walking and become viable.”

Weisberg writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal – Observer



Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal - Observer

Portuguese driver Thiago Monteiro (Honda) finished 14th and 15th this Sunday in the two World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) races held in Aragon, Spain, which precede the Vila Real race.

The Portuguese rider always rode in the tail, he was hindered by the fact that Honda had more excess weight than his rivals.

“If they told me that I would be in this position, I would not believe it. But the reality is that we have not been able to withstand a number of adversities. From the moment when the pace is much lower than other rivals, we are prepared in advance. It’s heartbreaking,” the Portuguese rider began his explanation after the fourth round of the championship.

The Portuguese rider struggled to find the best balance in his Civic, as did his teammate, Hungarian Attila Tassi.


“We still had problems, and we could not reach the full potential of the car. It was very difficult, unpleasant and discouraging, especially since we are going to Vila Real and this scenario does not suit me. But we will have to continue to look for our own path and believe that everything will work out, ”Thiago Monteiro concluded.

Belgian Giles Magnus (Audi) and Spaniard Mikel Ascona (Hyundai) won both races on Sunday.

Ascona leads the league with 129 points, while Thiago Monteiro is 16th with 12 points.

The WTCR competition in Portugal will take place next weekend in Vila Real.

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling



Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

This Sunday, Portuguese cyclist João Almeida (UAE-Emirates) became the Portuguese champion in cross-country cycling for the first time, winning the elite national championships held in Mogaduro.

In his first online race since Joao Almeida was forced to pull out of the Vuelta Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, he won his first national title since becoming time trial champion in 2021.

Almeida crossed the finish line in Mogadora, covering the 167.5 km distance in 4:08.42 hours, 52 seconds behind Thiago Antunes (Efapel) second, Fabio Costa (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) third, and Rui Oliveira (UAE). – Emirates), fourth.

In the end, João Almeida stated that he was “very pleased” with the victory, admitting that the race “went very well” and thanking his teammates.

Former national champion José Neves (W52-FC Porto) did not finish the race, as did Rafael Reis (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) who won the time trial title on Friday.

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Portuguese military admits ‘it will take time’ until territory is taken under control



Portuguese military admits 'it will take time' until territory is taken under control

The “path” chosen for about a year in the fight against rebel groups in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique is “the right one,” Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires said in an interview with Lusa.

“Now, while the situation is not fully under control, we all understand that, as in any other counter-terrorism situation in the world, it will take a lot of time,” added the head of the European military training mission, although he acknowledged that this “ does not mean that sometimes there are no fears and failures.

However, “this is part of what constitutes an action taken against terrorists who operate in a very wide area, who in themselves have the initiative and the ability to hide in a very wide area,” he said.

In fact, he stressed, many of the recent attacks that have taken place in the south of Cabo Delgado in recent weeks are due to the fact that Islamist extremist rebels had to “flight from the north” of the province.

“Because this was a consolidated military operation carried out in close cooperation between the Mozambique Defense and Security Forces (FSS), [e com as forças d]Rwanda and SAMIM (Southern African Development Community Mission (SADC) in Mozambique), who were clearing out the intervention areas that existed in the area, the reaction of many terrorists was to flee the area, go further south, where they were not pursued. , and make new attacks,” he explained.

“In such cases, the initiative almost always belongs to the terrorists. There are few of them, they hide among the population, they move over very large territories, with a lot of dense vegetation, it becomes very difficult to find them, but you can easily move,” he continued.

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On the other hand, the Portuguese general emphasized, “it is now difficult for these groups” “to concentrate power and forces for large-scale operations, as was the case three years ago during the conquests, such as Mocimboa da Praia or Palma.” ,” he said.

“They don’t have that ability. Many of these attacks even demonstrate [estratégias] survival [clássicas das guerrilhas]. They’re looking for food, they’re looking for supplies, they’re searching deep down for a place where they can survive, because the area is already under quite a lot of control. [por parte] Mozambique FSS, Rwandan forces and SAMIM,” he explained.

In this context, Nuno Lemos Pires highlighted the “quick response” of the Mozambican authorities to each of these developments, starting with head of state Filipe Nyusi.

“I think it is exemplary that the moment there is a movement or a series of significant attacks in other areas, we immediately see the President of Mozambique heading north, linking up with his Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMGFA). , with the Minister of Defense, with the Minister of the Interior, and outline plans on the ground for a quick change of equipment and the ability to respond to such movements,” he said.

During one such trip to northern Mozambique in mid-June, Mozambican Interior Minister Arsenia Massingue said that Mozambican police were informing the “enemy” – the rebel forces in Cabo Delgado – about the positions of the FDS and allied forces on the ground.

However, Lemos Pires downplayed the situation. “We must be aware that there are infiltrations in any political system. It’s happening everywhere. Ignoring this dimension is tantamount to ignoring what is happening everywhere,” he said.

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“I don’t know of a single case of insurgency, counterinsurgency, terrorist or counter-terrorist combat where these leaks didn’t happen frequently. You need to be careful. .

In addition to the vastness of the territory that has been the scene of conflict and the topography favorable to insurgent guerrilla strategies, the porous borders with Tanzania to the north of Cabo Delgado and Malawi to the northwest also pose a danger. challenges the SDF and allied forces of SAMIM and Rwanda.

Lemos Pires also relativized this question. “We are talking about transnational terrorism, and it is good to understand that the situation in the north of Mozambique, in Cabo Delgado, is not limited and is not limited – and has never been limited – exclusively and exclusively to this region. A phenomenon that exists throughout Africa. , namely in Central Africa,” he said.

The UETM commander even took advantage of this circumstance to formulate an “extended response” to “a broad problem, a regional one, and the solution must also be a broad regional one.”

Therefore, “it’s very good what we see here on the ground, in fact, this is the unification of the efforts of regional African forces to try to deal with a problem that really worries everyone,” he concluded.

“What happens in one region can affect another. That is why it is in everyone’s interest that these groups be fought, detained and that the narrative that they are currently spreading can be counteracted – we hope that there are fewer and fewer successes,” the Portuguese general stressed.


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