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Golden Corral


With more than 40 years of success and nearly 500 locations, Golden Corral is recognized by Nation’s Restaurant News as “America’s #1 buffet and grill.”

Facts & Figures

Liquid capital required
Units in operation
Franchising Since


Annual Systemwide Sales: $1.7 billion

Top 20% of 11-M franchised restaurants average unit volume: $5.3 million

Founded: 1973

Total Franchise Operating Units: 436

Total Company Operating Units: 53

Estimated Capital Investment: $2,168,419 – $6,602,513

Franchise Fee: $50,000 per unit

Advertising Fee: 2.4% of sales per unit

Locations: Franchises available nationwide

The Next Evolution of Golden Corral

We are excited to introduce our new restaurant—the next evolution of Golden Corral that will elevate the buffet experience! It was designed and researched by the best in the business to bring in more customers and maximize operational efficiency.

We are an iconic American brand with a loyal customer base. To keep those loyal customers coming back and to attract a whole new generation of guests, we have added a bold, contemporary exterior to increase curb appeal. An inviting interior with a stacked-stone fireplace and oversized windows has increased natural light and a roomier, more comfortable dining area. And the buffet area has been specifically designed to showcase our made-from-scratch specialties.

Golden Corral’s Recipe for Success

With more than 45 years of success and nearly 500 locations, Golden Corral is recognized by Nation’s Restaurant News as “America’s #1 buffet and grill.”

Our concept is a proven winner—a high-value, family-oriented brunch, lunch and dinner buffet served daily and breakfast every weekend. Golden Corral is the first-choice franchise brand for savvy restaurant operators looking to expand their local dining market share or successful franchisees seeking to diversify their portfolio with a proven high-revenue restaurant brand. The longevity and strength of the Golden Corral brand can be attributed to strict adherence to the restaurant’s founding mission: “Making Pleasurable Dining Affordable.”® With national brand recognition, best-in-class food offerings and value pricing, there is still plenty of growth potential.

Golden Corral can help you take advantage of long-standing relationships with more than 40 of the nation’s leading lenders who provide financing options directly to qualified franchisees. Golden Corral does not provide or administer loans or investment capital, but we can help you identify sources of financing.

Golden Corral’s directors, management team, and franchisees, have set a course of development that will allow Golden Corral to continue to be the leader in the family restaurant segment in communities throughout the United States.

The Endless Buffet Concept

Along with home-style buffet favorites such as pot roast, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables, today’s endless Golden Corral buffet experience offers guests a wide variety of tastes and flavors. Fresh—never frozen—USDA Sirloin steak maintains top billing as Golden Corral’s signature dinner product. To capitalize on the increased popularity of smoked meats and bold flavors, we now offer smoked pork barbecue, chicken, baby back ribs, brisket and turkey. As a complement to its heritage hot buffet food products, each Golden Corral features a market-fresh salad bar where guests may build their own salads from dozens of ingredients. And dessert innovations are headlined by freshly-spun cotton candy, decadent desserts as well as our famous Chocolate Wonderfall® featuring a non-stop stream of chocolate, with a variety of fresh fruits and sweet-tooth favorites that are available for dipping and dunking.

We serve an ultimate brunch daily from 9:30 am to 2 pm that offers guests their choice of breakfast and/or lunch favorites. Plus, on Fridays and weekend mornings, guests are invited to rise and shine for our legendary endless breakfast buffet, featuring cooked-to-order eggs and omelets, bacon, sausage, pancakes, crispy waffles, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon rolls, fresh-cut fruit, and a variety of juices.

Our History: Making Pleasurable Dining Affordable Since 1973

Golden Corral’s first 175-seat, 4,800-square-foot family steakhouse opened in Fayetteville, NC, in 1973. The chain grew steadily during the next decade, principally in smaller cities from Virginia to Texas. In the mid-1980s, requests for additional entrees and an expanded salad bar prompted Golden Corral to “reinvent” itself by introducing a 400+ seat, 11,518-square-foot  “Buffet & Grill” building design, with food preparation performed in full view of the dining area. The focal point was the Golden Choice Buffet®, which featured 160 hot and cold items; a carving station for roast beef, roast pork, ham, sausage and turkey; plus The Brass Bell Bakery® and Dessert Café with its array of homemade rolls, muffins, cookies, pies, and cakes

Restaurant Specifications and Criteria

  • Typical square footage range: 10,300–11,098 sq. ft.
  • Total number of seats: 370
  • Minimum number of parking spaces: 170
  • Minimum traffic count in front of site: 30,000
  • A strong daytime population

Nationally Advertised Brand

Systems marketing funds afford a sustained national TV campaign throughout the year. In 2017, Golden Corral spent over $35 million in national advertising, ranking #31 (by Nielsen Ad Views) among all restaurant advertisers.

Rankings & Awards

  • #1 in the Miscellaneous Full-Service Restaurant Category 2011–2018, Entrepreneur Magazine
  • #1 Grill-Buffet Segments for 14 years, Nation’s Restaurant News

Public Relations

Golden Corral is a proud supporter of our nation’s military. Our primary programs include Military Appreciation Night, featuring a free meal to active and retired military, and Camp Corral, a free summer camp experience for military children with priority given to the children of wounded, disabled and fallen military heroes.

Why Invest in a Golden Corral Franchise?

Golden Corral is a well-capitalized, privately held company, with an active founder and a stable and talented corporate senior management team having one of the industry’s longest tenures.

Golden Corral offers a concept with a proven track record and a compre-?hensive, well-defined support program at all points:

  • Site selection
  • Management recruiting
  • Construction
  • Management training
  • Unit opening support
  • Ongoing operations and marketing support
  • Best-in-class co-worker training and operational systems that have been tested and refined.
  • The combined purchasing power of a nationwide system with a leading distribution company and equipment supplier gives the  franchise network a true competitive edge.

Golden Corral continues to open and manage company stores to sharpen operating skills and to ensure a strong connection with guests who regularly dine at locations across the country.

What Are the Financial Requirements?

  • $2,500,000 net worth for individual or investment group
  • $500,000 liquid (as part of the $2,500,000 net worth)
  • An individual or at least one group member with three years full-service restaurant ownership or management experience
  • Financial stability; no bankruptcy within the past 7 years


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