This Nearly-Extinct Type of Restaurant Is Making a Comeback, New Data Shows — Eat This Not That

By Ghuman


The restaurant industry has seen a lot of changes over the years, but one type of restaurant that has been nearly extinct is making a comeback. According to new data, this type of restaurant is seeing a resurgence in popularity. Eat This Not That is here to provide you with all the information you need to know about this nearly-extinct type of restaurant and why it is making a comeback. We’ll explore the different types of restaurants, the reasons for their comeback, and the best places to find them. So, if you’re looking for a unique dining experience, you’ll want to read on to learn more about this nearly-extinct type of restaurant.

This Nearly-Extinct Type of Restaurant Is Making a Comeback, New Data Shows

It’s no secret that the restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. But according to new data, one type of restaurant is making a surprising comeback: the family-style restaurant.

Family-style restaurants, which typically offer large portions of food served on a single platter, have been on the decline for years. But according to a recent report from the National Restaurant Association, these restaurants are seeing a resurgence in popularity.

The report found that family-style restaurants saw a 5.3 percent increase in sales in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period last year. This is in stark contrast to the overall restaurant industry, which saw a 4.2 percent decline in sales during the same period.

The report attributes the resurgence of family-style restaurants to the fact that they offer a unique dining experience that is both affordable and convenient. Many of these restaurants offer large portions of food that can easily be shared among family and friends, making them a great option for larger groups.

In addition, family-style restaurants are often more affordable than other types of restaurants, making them a great option for those on a budget.

So if you’re looking for a unique dining experience that won’t break the bank, consider giving a family-style restaurant a try. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find!

From staffing shortages to supply chain issues, COVID-19 has had a major impact on restaurants and how they operate. 

With dining restrictions in major cities causing many to opt for takeout, buffets may seem like a thing of the past right now. But new data from Yelp shows that they may, in fact, be bouncing back a bit. 

The 2021 Yelp Economic Average Report studied consumer interest on the review platform to track the pandemic’s continued impact on restaurants—and found that interest in buffets increased by 31% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. 

“For those that ventured out, we saw a rise in consumer interest in dining options previously upended by social distancing guidelines,” the report states. Keep reading to find out what else Yelp’s report found out about buffet restaurants, and next, check out the 8 Worst Fast-Food Burgers to Stay Away From Right Now.


To gather the information, Yelp looked at the search terms users input through the platform. In addition to increased interest in buffets, users also showed interest in dinner theater, conveyor belt sushi, and food courts (a la Costco’s food court, which is a big hit amongst members). It’s clear that diners are missing the pre-pandemic, sit-down, casual style of going out to eat. 

“Overall, 2021 underscored how the pandemic, coupled with supply chain and labor constraints, and pent-up demand, complicate the economic recovery,” the report continues. “Business openings inched closer to pre-pandemic levels and vaccinations have played a key role in allowing many to return to in-person activities that were restricted just a year ago.”

If this new data is any indication, we could see an increase in the popularity of buffet restaurants in the near future. That is, if the once-popular dining option continues to have locations operating. 

As we’ve previously reported, since 2018, the once-popular buffet chain, Golden Corral, has a footprint that’s “shrunk by over 25% with most of the losses occurring in the past two years. Last month, the buffet chain reported a system-wide total of 360 restaurants, with 80 restaurants lost in pandemic-related closures.”

While the future of the buffet chain is uncertain, it’s possible that an increase in diner interest may help keep these nearly-extinct restaurants afloat.