Stick a fork in the Royal Fork—they’re done:
Royal Fork Buffet is closing after almost four decades in Sioux Falls, unable to overcome changes in restaurant dining because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last day will be Aug. 2 for the restaurant on the south side of The Empire Mall campus.
…The restaurant closed temporarily March 19 as efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 grew in Sioux Falls. It reopened May 8 with employees dishing up food for diners and returned to regular buffet service May 30.
In late June, managing partner Dana Lanz said the restaurant was seeing about half as many customers as usual. The number of diners has been dropping instead of increasing since then, he said.
…Royal Fork started in Pocatello, Idaho, in 1967, and at its peak had about 50 locations, Lanz said. Sioux Falls is the only site that remains [Rosemary McCoy, “Royal Fork Buffet to Close Permanently,” Sioux Falls Business, 2020.07.20].
McCoy reports that Royal Fork’s owners decided Friday to call it quits. They must have decided in the afternoon, because Friday morning, they launched a gift certificate giveaway, saying they’d announce winners on July 26:
Royal Fork closed the giveaway yesterday and said they’ll announce winners today to allow those last lucky few to have time to come to town and dig in.