Buffets, Inc. Announces Stock Repurchase Authorization and Restaurant Acquisitions

May 12, 1998, 01:00 ET from Buffets, Inc.

    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Buffets, Inc. (Nasdaq:   BOCB)
 announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized the expenditure of
 up to $40,000,000 for the purchase of outstanding shares of Buffets, Inc.
 common stock, to be effected from time to time in transactions on the Nasdaq
 National Market or otherwise.  The company has approximately 45,398,981 shares
 of common stock outstanding.
     The company also announced that it has reached an agreement in principle
 to purchase 11 Country Harvest Buffet restaurants from Country Harvest Buffet
 Restaurants, Inc. of Seattle, Washington.  Of the 11, 7 are located in
 California, 2 in Washington, 1 in Colorado and 1 in Montana.  The transaction
 is expected to close in June, 1998, subject to the satisfaction of certain
 conditions, including the approval of the Federal Bankruptcy Court overseeing
 the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings involving Country Harvest.  With respect
 to the acquisition, Buffets, Inc.'s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Roe
 Hatlen stated, "We are very pleased that we have reached a tentative agreement
 regarding the acquisition of these restaurants.  The locations fit in nicely
 with our existing restaurants and represent a strategic addition to our
     Buffets, Inc. is the largest operator of buffet style restaurants, with
 364 restaurants (245 Old Country Buffet(R), 113 HomeTown Buffet(R), 4 Original
 Roadhouse Grill(SM), 1 PIZZAPLAY(SM), and 1 Country Roadhouse Buffet &
 Grill(SM)) in 34 states and franchises 24 restaurants (5 Old Country Buffet
 and 19 HomeTown Buffet) in ten states.
     This press release contains forward-looking statements, including
 statements regarding potential purchases by the Company of Buffets, Inc.
 common stock, and a possible transaction involving the purchase of Country
 Harvest Buffet restaurants.  Although the Board of Directors has authorized
 the purchase of Company common stock, there is no certainty that such
 purchases will occur, or at what level.  Furthermore, with respect to the
 prospective Country Harvest Buffet restaurant purchase, it is possible that
 the approvals necessary to close the transaction may not transpire, or that
 the ultimate transaction with the seller may differ materially from the
 disclosures in this press release.
     To receive a copy of this release via fax, please call "Company News
 On-Call" 1-800-758-5804 extension 122825,  or on the Internet at:

SOURCE Buffets, Inc.