NATIONWIDE – Sweet Tomatoes, the soup and salad buffet chain, will be permanently closing its restaurants nationwide because of the coronavirus.

The company confirmed the news Friday evening.

“As you may have heard, we are unable to re-open our 97 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said in a tweet. “The outpouring of love on social media has been overwhelming and we are so grateful to all of the sweet memories you have shared with us.”

Gardens Fresh Restaurants, the California-based company that owns Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, has been trying to save operations since the coronavirus caused it to close all its dining rooms.

The permanent closures will reportedly put about 4,400 people out of work.

Sweet Tomatoes has dozens of locations in Florida.