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TMCNet:  A Free Dinner is Just a Text Away: Buffets, Inc. Launches Mobile Program in November

[November 13, 2012]

A Free Dinner is Just a Text Away: Buffets, Inc. Launches Mobile Program in November

GREER, S.C. --(Business Wire)--

Fans of Buffets, Inc. portfolio of brands -- Ryan's®, HomeTown® Buffet, Country Buffet®, Old Country Buffet®, Fire Mountain® and Granny's® -- will have instant access to discounts in the palm of their hands, thanks to a new texting program that is launching this week. To kick off the chains' new SMS program, guests can take advantage of an aggressive offer worth north of $10 - a free adult dinner buffet when another adult dinner is purchased. One text coupon offer per person, per party is allowed, and the incentive is not valid with any other discounts.

"There are more mobile phones being used today than any other type of electronic media," said Buffets Chief Marketing Officer Jason Abelkop. "Consumers are using their phones primarily to send and receive texts. Sending a high-value text coupon is a great way to create a call to action with a potential guest."

There are already nearly 1.6 Million e-mail based members of Crave Connection, the company's digital communication platform. Guests who participate in the texting program can expect similar savings and special access offerings to those that email subscribers enjoy. The program is free and is limited to no more than one offer per week. Consumers can opt out at any time and cn participate in both the text and email-based programs. The text-in program is being managed by one of the pioneers in SMS digital communication, OTAir. They will be working in tandem with Buffets' email-based loyalty club administrator, Fishbowl.

"The new mobile program allows us to further our connection with our guests and provides them with faster access to offers and updates," said Alice Crowder, Vice President of Marketing for Buffets, Inc. "Guests don't have to remember to bring paper coupons, or dig for them in their wallets. They just have to show us the coupons on their phones."

The Buffets, Inc. texting program will be compatible with most carriers including Alltel, AT&T, Boost Mobile, Centennial Wireless, Leap Wireless, NTelos, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular (News - Alert), Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile. To join and participate in the program, users must enable the text feature for their devices. For information on enabling this feature, please consult your carrier. Standard texting and data charges may apply.

To begin receiving texts, consumers should simply text the location specific code of their favorite Buffets' brand that is posted on the exit doors of all restaurants. Offers will be valid for up to a week after receipt, unless otherwise noted. Offers cannot be combined with other discounts.

For more information, visit online at www.Buffet.com/mobilehelp.

About Buffets, Inc.

Buffets, Inc., the nation's largest steak-buffet restaurant company, currently operates 350 restaurants in 35 states, comprised of 340 steak-buffet restaurants and 10 Tahoe Joe's Famous Steakhouse® restaurants. The restaurants are principally operated under the Old Country Buffet®, HomeTown® Buffet, Ryan's® and Fire Mountain® brands. Buffets employs approximately 18,000 team members and serves approximately 100 million customers annually. For more information about the company, please visit www.Buffet.com.


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