Coronavirus Claims Souplantation

Over the past year or so, I've watched heartbroken as a number of my favorite eating spots have closed up shop as a result, presumably, of the food delivery service boom—with people largely eschewing eating out in favor of having Postmates, Grubhub, etc. bring the restaurant chow to them.

As soon as the coronavirus shutdown hit, I immediately began fearing how many more beloved dining places of mine it was likely to do in. As a matter of fact, I half thought it might just be the grand nail in the coffin for the restaurant industry as we know it. It certainly crossed my mind more than once that buffets in particular did not have much hope of returning to business as usual. 

And today, that prognosis proved tragically spot on, as news broke that Souplantation—one of the most delightful smorgasbords in existence, and one I've frequented for years—is finished, shuttering all 97 of its locations for good. 

As if that wasn't bad enough, the LA Times story linked above forebodes that COVID-19 "is likely to be the death knell for all self-service eateries." 

That's right: ALL SELF-SERVICE EATERIES. So ... fro-yo shops? Chinese buffets? GOLDEN CORRAL??? All now a thing of the past? Can that be?!?! 

I guess we'll find out. But I am sad. Souplantation, I will never forget the good times we had. Or that goddamn exquisite tuna tarragon salad.