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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Quality is a major ingredient in the recipe for success

Sunday, January 11, 2009

SIKESTON -- The secret to a successful restaurant is quality.

(Photo)
Linda Lin, manager of the China Buffet in Sikeston, adds seasoning as she cooks chicken and steak on the Mongolian Grill. An added feature at the new location, customers dining in can choose what types of meat, vegetables, noodles and seasonings they want and watch as it is cooked.
(Michelle Felter, Staff)
"If you have quality, people will come to eat, and they will return," said Linda Lin, manager of China Buffet in Sikeston. Other priorities she enforces to her staff are cleanliness and friendliness.

Lin takes those into account when running the family-owned business. And perhaps those are a big part of the reason why is has been successful enough to move to a new location.

In October, China Buffet, formerly adjacent to the Days Inn off Highway 61 in Sikeston, moved to the former Ryan's Building at 1207 S. Main. Although the distance from its former location is short, Lin said the new one is more accessible to customers, especially since it is near retail stores.

Lin said she and others are excited about what the new location has to offer. It features a larger parking lot. With several existing buffet tables and extra space, the food selection was expanded.

Patrons can order dine-in or take-out off the menu, but Lin said the buffet -- which can also be purchased for carry out -- is the most popular option.

"The price is very good -- it's only $5.81 for lunch and $7.86 for dinner," she said, noting there are discounted prices for those age 11 and under. "It's not very expensive, and there are a lot of choices."

The buffet includes numerous choices, most notably the traditional Chinese dishes made with chicken, beef, pork, seafood, vegetables, rice and more. For those who prefer American fare -- especially children -- there are items such as macaroni and cheese and pizza.

A dessert section features homemade items "baked fresh, every day," said Lin.

(Photo)
Steak and chicken, grilled to order on the Mongolian Grill at the China Buffet.
There is also a salad, soup and sushi bar. The salad bar includes fresh vegetables and fruits. "A lot of people like that," said Lin. In fact, customers can purchase a buffet for only those three bars for a lower price at lunch and dinner.

One of the new features she is most excited about -- and said is quite popular -- is the Mongolian Grill. There, customers can choose from several types of meat, vegetables, noodles and other items and specify what types of seasonings and sauces they want. Then, a chef cooks it on a grill with only a glass wall between them and the customer.

The Mongolian Grill items are included in the buffet. And to ensure freshness and quality, Lin said she and her staff frequently check and swap out foods.

The broad variety in food attracts several families or larger groups -- because there is something for everyone, even picky eaters.

And for those with large groups, China Buffet has two banquet rooms that can be reserved. One seats up to 40 people and a maximum of 70 people can occupy the other.

Groups of people come to China Buffet for many reasons, and one of them is to celebrate birthdays. Lin said that, in a way to show their appreciation and extend a small gift, those celebrating their birthday get their meal free.

There is a steady stream of customers through the day, said Lin. However, the busiest times are typically from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m.

China Buffet is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Lunch buffet is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with the dinner buffet beginning at 4 p.m. The restaurant is located at 1207 S. Main and the phone number is 472-9899.