KFC Buffet Locations Do Still Exist. Here's Where To Find Them - Mashed (2024)

Restaurants

KFC Buffet Locations Do Still Exist. Here's Where To Find Them - Mashed (1)

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ByAshley Delmar/

For most Americans, visiting a KFC probably involves a trip down to the food court or to a stand-alone location. However, for the lucky inhabitants of a few specific cities, a trip to KFC looks more like a visit to a classic 1980s buffet.

Starting back in the '80s, Colonel Sanders' famous fried chicken chain began to open stores that were equipt to serve buffet-style meals alongside the chain's popular fast service option. The buffets were designed to allow guests to sample multiple items from the KFC menu, which seems like an ideal arrangement for indecisive diners. Despite how delicious a KFC buffet may sound, the chain's buffet-style restaurants soon disappeared leaving just drive-thru and single-point service-basedlocations, following a larger trend leaning away from buffets throughout the restaurant industry.

Much to the delight of KFC fans, a handful of KFC buffet restaurants still exist throughout the country. However,the remaining buffets are quite limited and hard to find.

Where Are KFC Buffet Locations

KFC Buffet Locations Do Still Exist. Here's Where To Find Them - Mashed (2)

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The relative secrecy around which KFC locations actually feature buffet lines could be due to the chain's closure of its remaining buffets in 2020 due to COVID dining restrictions. Several users on the KFC Redditconfirmed as much when they mentioned that their local KFC restaurants hadn't reopened their once-popular buffets. One Redditor wrote of their KFC's former buffet, "Ever since COVID's hard lockdown, they haven't had enough employees in the store to run the buffet. I imagine other locations with buffets have similar issues."

While a trip to KFC's official website will allow you to find out if you have a KFC store near you, you won't have any luck finding out which locations are buffet-style. In order to get your hands on information regarding where to find a KFC buffet, you'll have to travel into the depths of the internet where a few dedicated bloggers have devoted their time to bringing KFC's secret buffet locations to light.

Mary Catherine Blog is one such blog that has uncovered a few KFC buffet locations. In addition, the Facebook group KFC Buffet Aficionados features a gold mine of information regarding KFC buffet locations in the U.S. and far beyond, including a curated database of U.S.-based KFC buffets.According to our research, only about four KFC buffets remain, located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Waynesboro, Virginia; and Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The History of KFC Buffets

KFC Buffet Locations Do Still Exist. Here's Where To Find Them - Mashed (3)

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Given KFC's global success with its famous fried chicken and fast-service style restaurants, branching out into a totally different business model may seem like an odd decision at first glance. However, it turns out KFC's foray into the buffet business was part of an effort to compete with its fast-food rivals.The 1980s was a decade when shopping trends were dominated by excess. This time period of opulence translated over to fast food trends and many brands began offering buffet-style dining on top of their regular fast service offerings in order to give guests the luxury they were looking for.

With this in mind, KFC's 1980s buffets were launched to compete with the buffet offerings from other fast food heavyweights including McDonald's and Burger King (via Restaurant Clicks). While KFC's buffets offered the restaurant's most popular items topped off with a bevy of Southern side dishes, some of the chain's buffets offered more unexpected fare including Mexican and seafood.

Eventually, American diners fell out of love with the buffet line, and many fast-food restaurants began to hang up their salad tongs for good. By the time the 1990s rolled around, consumers had shifted to a more health-conscious way of thinking, meaning filling up multiple plates with mountains of fried chicken wasn't as appealing as it once was. This trend shift also meant most consumers were now more interested in fast-service or sit-down style restaurants.

KFC Buffets in the Media

KFC Buffet Locations Do Still Exist. Here's Where To Find Them - Mashed (4)

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In more recent history, the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to put the finishing touches on the fast food buffet industry, but that hasn't stopped the memory of KFC buffets from making a buzz in the media.One Facebook user's decision to post a picture of an old KFC buffet located in Australia was enough to make international news, with stories of the unsuspecting Facebook post being shared in outlets like theNew York Post, as well as in Australian news publications.

The resurfacing of the lost KFC buffet image has introduced the concept of a fast-food-style buffet to a whole new generation of diners, many of whom seemed totally on board with the idea of bringing the smorgasbords back.At least one commenter seemed able to see past the smoke and mirrors of the seemingly unlimited fried chicken, stating that the buffets likely went out of business due to overly eager diners eating more than their fair share. They wrote: "Wow, never knew that was even a thing. I'm not surprised that would have failed."

Whether or not a KFC buffet would prove to be a smart business model now, the restaurant buffet's social media vitality and the internet's ambitious search to find North America's few remaining KFC buffet locations prove that the once popular all-you-can-eat chicken spots still hold a valued place in the hearts of many diners.

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KFC Buffet Locations Do Still Exist. Here's Where To Find Them - Mashed (2024)

FAQs

Why did KFC stop buffet? ›

Popular in the 1980s and 1990s, KFC's buffet had all the southern fixin's chicken lovers could ask for. However, the coronavirus pandemic a few years ago shuttered most of the buffets around the globe including the majority of KFC's.

How many KFCs are left in MN? ›

41 KFC Locations in Minnesota.

How many Kentucky Fried Chicken locations are there? ›

Today we have more than 25,000 KFC restaurants in over 145 countries and territories around the world. Click below to visit our locations.

What did KFC do to their menu? ›

“We took a deep look at the mix of the menu to see where consolidation would make sense, and we rolled out new menu boards in November 2022,” Wilson tells TODAY.com. “Though we are removing a few items, it will allow us to make room for some new, exciting additions to the menu in 2023.”

What did KFC discontinue? ›

Those discontinued items include KFC's wings, popcorn chicken, Nashville hot sauce, strawberry lemonade, and chocolate chip cookies. The new, simplified menu will begin rolling out at KFC locations nationwide over the next month.

Why was KFC boycotted? ›

The majority-Muslim nation of Malaysia has long supported Palestinians, prompting boycotts against certain Western fast-food brands, including KFC, over Israel's actions in Gaza, the publication said.

Where is the biggest KFC in the US? ›

The chain has expanded to 18,875 outlets across 118 countries and territories, with 4,563 outlets in China alone, KFC's largest market. This restaurant in Harrisburg, Illinois, is the largest KFC in the United States.

Which state has the most KFC locations? ›

Which state has the most KFC restaurants? According to the KFC store locator, the state that has the most KFC restaurants is California, with 469 locations.

Who owns KFC China? ›

It was then spun off, along with other fast food chains owned by the company, to become Yum! Brands in 1997. KFC restaurants in China are owned or franchised by Yum China, a restaurant company that also owns the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, chains in China and was spun off from Yum! Brands in 2016.

Where is KFC sold the most? ›

The major markets for KFC include China (10,000 stores), the United States (3,943 stores), Japan (1,140 stores), India (1,000 stores), South Africa (960 stores), the United Kingdom (928 stores), Thailand (853 stores), Malaysia (770 stores), Indonesia (742 stores), Australia (699 stores), and Canada (601 stores).

Who owns KFC? ›

What does KFC stand for? ›

What is the 7 minutes rule at KFC? ›

You can now place your order at the restaurant or through the KFC app or website and it will be ready to be picked 'tez' in next 7 minutes. “Our 7-minutes Express Pick-up service is all about offering great taste in a speedy manner.

What does KFC do with their leftover food? ›

Leftover food such as chicken, biscuits and hot sides are donated to people in need by way of local hunger relief organizations.

Is there a secret menu at KFC? ›

Click on the menu icon (the chicken drumstick) at the bottom, then swipe down and hold for about 10 seconds. 3. A red rectangle with a picture of Colonel Sanders will fade in, first saying “SSSHHH” then inviting you to unlock the secret menu – click on it to unlock it!

Why did Pizza Hut stop their buffet? ›

It appears that they weren't really helping out business for Pizza Hut either, and nationwide consumers were trending away from the dining model. Buffet-style dining has come to be seen as unsanitary and uncool, contrary to the culture of Instagrammable, customizable food.

Why is KFC losing money? ›

THE world's biggest fast-food companies have been put on a diet by cash-squeezed customers who can no longer afford the treats. Both KFC and Pizza Hut saw sales fall as consumers cut back on eating out. It follows news that McDonald's had also missed market expectations, with sales falling 2 per cent.

Why is KFC changing their menu? ›

KFC hopes to improve accuracy and efficiency while cutting down on service time for customers. By removing less popular products, they can simplify the menu and make room for new and upcoming menu items. A large majority of customers have already found the changes positive.

Why is KFC not popular in the US? ›

Key issues include relatively slow service and lack of menu innovation. In the US, speed and service quality are paramount, posing a hurdle for KFC. The business has also suffered persistent problems with suppliers over the years. KFC has often stressed menu innovations, such as introducing boneless chicken in the US.

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