Golden Corral: the only one for everyone

June 21, 2020

Golden Corral is an American restaurant chain serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This family restaurant features a large
all-you-can-eat buffet and grill offering numerous hot and cold dishes, a carving station, and their Brass Bell Bakery. 

In 1971, James Maynard and William F. Carl wanted to open a restaurant. In 1973, after several unsuccessful attempts to acquire a franchise with other companies, they finally opened the Golden Corral in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Today, there are 483 Golden Corral restaurant locations across the United States.

Golden Corral was incorporated in 1972 and the first Golden Corral Family Steak House
opened on January 3, 1973,
in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

About 100 of the company’s 483 restaurant locations are company-owned, the rest are franchised. The company’s gross sales are over $1.53 billion.

Golden Corral’s 483 U.S. Store Locations

By 1987, there were more than 500 Golden Corral restaurant locations. That year was a turning point for the Golden Corral. The nationwide concern about the consumption of red meat and a trend toward upscale restaurants resulted in decreased sales. Maynard and Carl knew it was time for some big changes. They began by adding salad bars to all Golden Corral locations. In some locations, they transformed part of the parking lots into patio seating and in others, they made additions to the buildings. They licensed 55 struggling restaurants to successful general managers and, thus, began their franchising.

Metro Market
The first seven Metro Market concept restaurants opened in 1991. They were 10,000 square feet, double the size of the old restaurants. They seated between 400 and 450 customers, two-and-a-half times the 175 capacity of the old restaurants.

Brass Bell Bakery
The Brass Bell Bakery was another feature added in 1991. It was so named for the brass bell that rang every fifteen minutes to let customers know that fresh bread and desserts were coming out of the oven. An expanded buffet was also added. This was also the year that Golden Corral began moving away from small towns and into metropolitan areas.

During the mid-2000s, the company introduced the Strata, a concept that would bring food preparation into full view of guests.

In true buffet style, guests in all Golden Corral locations serve themselves,
including requesting made-to-order dishes such as Belgian waffles, omelets and
char-broiled steaks.

In 2018, the company rolled out the Gateway style to offer a more modern appearance for both the interior and exterior of the restaurants.

Many locations offer GC on the go services, as well as delivery partnerships with companies like Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash. GC on the go allows customers to pack as much food as they like into a takeout container and then pay for it by the pound.

In early 2020, the world was struck with a highly contagious and dangerous virus known as COVID-19. In every country on the globe, businesses, government offices and schools, to name just a few, were shut down in an effort to “flatten the curve.” The Golden Corral restaurants, along with every other business, had to close. Every person on the plant was in quarantine for over three months and then, businesses began to open slowly and carefully, with social distancing of six feet between persons, medical masks worn by everyone, and testing temperatures for signs of COVID-19. It rocked the world and, at the time of writing this blog post, people around the world continue to follow the COVID-19 directives and pray that a second wave is not on the horizon.

A free summer camp for kids of American military heroes.

Camp Corral

Having the time of their lives at Camp Corral

Golden Corral sponsors Camp Corral, a one-week summer camp program for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. With 24 camp locations in 19 states, over 17,000 military kids between the ages of 8 and 15 have taken part in this great camping experience. Golden Corral raised over $1.8 million for Camp Corral in 2018, alone.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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