What does the future hold for the buffet at the KFC restaurant in Weyburn? That is a question on the mind of many in the community, as word comes that Yum Canada, the owners of KFC in Canada, want the Weyburn location to end the buffet. The buffet is the only KFC buffet of it’s kind in the country.
The buffet itself has been made popular in recent times through Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole. The former sportscasters on TSN are now in Los Angeles where they work for Fox Sports One. Onrait, who has mentioned the buffet numerous times on his podcast with O’Toole, explained that the idea itself is what makes it great.
“There’s just something unique, and fun about it, and I just love that kind of has become pseudo-famous, the one in Weyburn,” Onrait said when Discover Weyburn caught up with him by phone. A frequent guest on his podcast is Weyburn golfer Graham DeLaet, and the buffet does come up frequently in their conversations.
Onrait opined that the buffet may have something to do with the calibre of athlete that comes from Weyburn, who in recent years has boasted Derrick Pouliot of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brendon Labatte of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Brett Jones of the New York Giants, and DeLaet, just to name a few. The calibre of athletes is also a source of questions for Weyburn mayor Debra Button.
“Such a number of great athletes have come out of there, is it your water?” Button said she is frequently asked. “I always jokingly say, no, it’s our KFC buffet.” The store, as much as it is a part of the city’s fabric, is also a special place for Button. It was where she had her first real job. She wasn’t the only politician from Weyburn who got their start there, either. Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA Dustin Duncan also worked at the franchise.
Duncan said that the rumour of the buffet being closed down isn’t a new one, but this time, it may be closer to reality than previous overtures by the national offices in Toronto. “I am strongly opposed to any move to change this,” he explained. “I think this is one thing that really sets apart our KFC in Weyburn from most others, almost every other, in Canada.”
When word reached social media, it lit up Twitter like a firestorm. Everyone from Premier Brad Wall, to FakeGainer, to WCS Football Coach Darren Abel was tweeting about it. Many asked what they could do to help support the restaurant. Onrait was one of those.
“Maybe we’ll have to pack up the whole podcast crew, and try to get up to Weyburn, and do some sort of benefit podcast to keep the place open,” he laughed. To help get the attention of the bigwigs from Toronto, many are calling for the restaurant to be packed over the lunch hour on Wednesday. That would happen to coincide with a visit from Yum Canada. That was a sentiment echoed by Button.
At the same time, Duncan said he may even take the opportunity to make a member’s statement in the Legislature. The statement is a part of the regular day at the Legislative Assembly, where members can speak their minds on almost anything. He did note there would be a touch of irony, though, as he is also the Health Minister for the province.
No matter the outcome, or how the public’s outpouring of support is handled by Yum, one thing remains: the people of Weyburn are fiercely proud of having the KFC buffet in their city. There will be a chance for residents of the city to show their support Wednesday afternoon. It is planned to pack the restaurant over the lunch hour, starting at 12:30 p.m., with the rush of customers coinciding with the arrival of the visitors from Yum Canada.