Ovation Brands sets contemporary course for former Buffets, Inc.

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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CEO Anthony Wedo shows the Ovation Brands logo on his shirt signaling a new era for the Greer-headquartered restaurant chain.

Julie McCombs

CEO Anthony Wedo shows the Ovation Brands logo on his shirt signaling a new era for the Greer-headquartered restaurant chain.



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Greer Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Griffin read a proclamation designating October 30 as Ovation Brands Day. CEO Anthony Wedo and Griffin share a humorous moment at the unveiling of the brand and logo.

Julie McCombs

Greer Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Griffin read a proclamation designating October 30 as Ovation Brands Day. CEO Anthony Wedo and Griffin share a humorous moment at the unveiling of the brand and logo.



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Ovation Brands employees pose for a

Julie McCombs

Ovation Brands employees pose for a "team" photo. CEO Anthony Wedo emphasized the branding included a new culture of family.



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Eleven food stations comprise the Main Street concept of Ovations Brands. Seven restaurants in Denver launched the concept earlier. Albemarle, N.C., when it opens soon, will be the concept's brand lab.

Julie McCombs

Eleven food stations comprise the Main Street concept of Ovations Brands. Seven restaurants in Denver launched the concept earlier. Albemarle, N.C., when it opens soon, will be the concept's brand lab.



With a resounding applause as a backdrop Ovations Brands was launched today that signaled an end to Buffets, Inc., ironically on the 30th anniversary of the former brand.

“It is about applause. We have six brands around the country and if we are not causing our guests to give a round of applause on each restaurant that they visit, then we are not doing our job,” CEO Anthony Wedo said. The announcement and unveiling of the new corporate logo took place at the corporate headquarters on Lancaster Street behind Ryan’s.

“We are going from maintaining to growing our brand,” Wedo said. “We are going from closing stores to opening stores.  We are now at a different place, in a different time for our company.”

Greer Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Griffin read a proclamation claiming Oct. 30 as Ovations Brand day.

Ovation Brands is parent company to Ryan’s, HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Country Buffet, Fire Mountain and Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse. The company has restaurants in 37 states with 342 locations and 18,000 employees. “We are a very big company all situated in friendly Greer, South Carolina and I am thrilled to be here today,” Wedo said. The company claims it serves 100 million guests a year.

A store opening in Albemarle, N.C., will become the Main Street concept lab that features 11 food stations. Gaffney will also open a Ryan’s soon.

“Ovation Brands is now our family,” Wedo said. “No longer is it Ryan’s or Buffet’s or what have you. Ovations is a family of brands that includes Ryan’s and Old Country Buffet and others. It’s important to know we are all on the same page.”

Ovation has a Corporate Support Center in Eagan, Minn., where the announcement will be made with the Boardwalk Concept introduced, similar to Main Street.

“It’s a big day.  We are closing a chapter in the history of the company and we are opening a brand new chapter,” Wedo said. “That’s what is exciting to me. It’s fresh, it’s new, and it’s exciting. When you think about fresh, new, exciting.

“To represent this new path, this new future path . . . we are going from a process oriented enterprise to an innovation oriented enterprise,” Wedo said.

Wedo has been CEO of the company since December 2012.  He has reinvented the brand and culture.  Earlier this month he appeared on the CBS reality series “Undercover Boss”. The show reinforced Wedo’s commitment to his employees.

“I am about team spirit. I’m about all for one. And I’m all about all of us working together working for one single mission which is for reinvention of our brand and turning around our business.

“We are in this thing together and that is really important. And now I’m in it together with my community leaders and friends in Greer and it makes me very happy.”

Businesses mentioned in this article.

Ovation Brands

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