The company was founded by Roe Hatlen and C. Dennis Scott in 1983. Scott left in 1989 to start HomeTown, but the two chains merged back together in Se.. read moreptember 1996. The current Chief Executive Officer is R. Michael Andrews.
On November 1, 2006, Buffets Inc. acquired Ryan's Restaurant Group adding 340 Ryan's Grill Buffet and Bakery and Fire Mountain Grills locations.
On January 22, 2008, Buffets Inc. filed for bankruptcy, under Chapter 11. Although all restaurants were said to be staying open and continuing to operate normally under the then-current reorganization plan, the company called for the immediate closing of 52 stores nationwide, effective February 12th, 2008. The final day of normal business operations in these stores, as well as the announcement of closing to all team members in said stores, took place the previous day.