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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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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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