Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Yes, Sweet Tomatoes is closing permanently, including all Orlando locations

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2020 at 2:44 PM

click to enlarge The now-closed Sweet Tomatoes at 4678 E. Colonial Drive - SCREENSHOT VIA GOOGLE MAPS
  • Screenshot via Google Maps
  • The now-closed Sweet Tomatoes at 4678 E. Colonial Drive
As restaurants begin to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, it appears that self-serve eateries and buffets may have a much harder time.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Garden Fresh Restaurants, the parent company of buffet-style chain Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation, announced Thursday that it would permanently close every single one of its locations.
“The FDA had previously put out recommendations that included discontinuing self-serve stations, like self-serve beverages in fast food, but they specifically talked about salad bars and buffets,” said John Haywood, CEO of Garden Fresh to the paper. “The regulations are understandable, but unfortunately, it makes it very difficult to reopen. And I’m not sure the health departments are ever going to allow it,."



Yesterday's announcement means 4,440 employees will lose their jobs.

As of now, no apparent timeline has been announced for the closures, and calls to corporate headquarters and as well as local Sweet Tomatoes locations went unanswered.

Here in Central Florida, there were five Sweet Tomatoes locations in the Orlando area and seven in the Tampa Bay area.


This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
_
Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 13, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation