Ontario's beloved Chinese buffet chain is innovating. Mandarin Restaurant has been quietly operating express restaurants called M2GO. There are currently two locations in the GTA.
M2GO is a quick-service version of the Mandarin menu, without the buffet, where you can get a selection of their most popular dishes for takeout.
The offerings include noodle dishes, soups, General tao chicken, and various combos.
The first location actually opened in 2017 near York University, and a second one popped up in Burlington this summer.
Buffets are still considered unsafe to reopen in Ontario, meaning that Mandarin's traditional restaurants have had to adapt.
Recently, the chain introduced its new concept called Mandarin Small Eats, which consists of various small appetizers right to your table.
There are 70 small dishes to choose from, between $1.99 and $4.99 each.
The first Mandarin location to reopen was in Brampton on August 17, followed by others throughout the GTA.
Buffets have been among the most hard-hit food establishments since the start of the pandemic.
According to BT Toronto, Markham's iconic Italian buffet Frankie Tomatto's is closing for good.
The restaurant announced its indefinite closure in March and was enjoyed for 25 years.
Just one month into widespread closures in the city, several of Toronto's beloved restaurants announced that they could no longer stay in business.
Vesuvio Pizzeria and Spaghetti House in the west end was among them, along with Hawthorne Food and Drink near Massey Hall.
While it doesn't sound like we'll be lining up for a free Canada Day buffet meal at Mandarin any time soon, the chain isn't letting itself fall to the wayside in the wake of the pandemic.