New Owner Wants To Restore Shoney's Chain To "Glory Days"

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The new owner, CEO and chairman of Shoney's restaurant chain wants to restore the Southern buffet to its "glory days."

The Nashville-based Shoney's once claimed 1,200 restaurants nationwide, but has shrunk to 272 in recent years. Customers have complained of worn-out decor, poorly cooked food and uneven quality.

But new owner David Davoudpour is determined to bring the brand back since taking over in January.

He has vowed to use fresh -- not frozen -- meat and fruit products and try to improve service through spot checks and better employee training.

The new owner also plans to reduce the price of the weekday breakfast buffet by $1.50 this week, in part to spur diners to give Shoney's another try.

Annie LaLonde, marketing director for the Knoxville Shoney's Restaurants says that discount is only in certain markets and Knoxville is not one of them.

Some franchisees and customers say Davoudpour has his work cut out for him.

A sluggish U.S. economy, high gas prices and other factors have created a rough patch, pushing consumers to slow their spending and dine out less.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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