Is Golden Corral going out of business? Golden Corral is known for its all-you-can-eat buffet, where customers can serve as much food as they want for a set price. The restaurant chain is also popular for its budget-friendly prices and family-friendly atmosphere.
Golden Corral’s distinguishing feature is its “no tipping” policy. Customers are not counted on to leave a tip because the service charge is already included in the price of the meal.
This policy aims to make dining easier for customers and create a more relaxed atmosphere.
But for some time, Golden Corral has been in the spotlight. The reason for the same is outlets that Golden Corral shut down.
Many people even started to reckon that Golden Corral was out of business and would shut down soon.
But here the question remains, do these speculations have any validity? Is Golden Corral in trouble? Is Golden Corral permanently closed?
We have curated this article just for you to check the validity of these hypotheses.
So make sure you are reading till the end to know more about Golden Corral’s dire situation.
Is Golden Corral Going Out Of Business in 2023?
Golden Corral is an American family-style restaurant chain that serves various food, including grilled food, hot and cold dishes, salads, desserts, and more.
The restaurant chain was founded in 1973 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and has since developed to over 500 locations across the United States.
Golden Corral is staying in business, according to existing organization valuation techniques.
However, due to the pandemic, the chain has had to permanently close some of its locations.
Platinum Corral, Golden Corral’s second-largest franchisee, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2022 due to a drop in sales caused by the pandemic.
Platinum Corral has shut down 16 of its 28 locations. Some of the chain’s largest franchisees have also closed, including the 33-unit 1069 Restaurant Group, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy security from creditors in October 2022.
Golden Corral has attempted to diversify its business model beyond the on-premise self-serve model.
The chain has reopened some of its locations with new service models and plans to reopen 18 more by the end of 2023.
While the company claims to be reopening more locations every week, many of the reported closures may be permanent for the nearly 50-year-old chain.
The CEO of Platinum Corral remains optimistic about avoiding further closures, but the pandemic has been especially difficult for the restaurant chain.
Reasons behind Golden Corral’s filing for bankruptcy
Due to the severe impact of COVID, Golden Corral’s largest franchisee, 1069 Restaurant Group, it declared insolvency.
The Florida-based company, which manages 33 locations in Orlando and Atlanta, owes $49.7 million in debt.
Platinum Corral, another Golden Corral franchisee, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after closing more than half of its restaurants due to a drop in sales caused by the pandemic.
According to the filing, Platinum’s liabilities are under $49.4 million. It is thought to be the Golden Corral system’s second-largest franchisee.
Due to the pandemic, Golden Corral initially closed all 35 company-operated restaurants in the 490-store chain.
Challenges that Golden Corral faced that may have led to Golden Corral’s bankruptcy
The competition from other restaurant chains is one of the most significant challenges that Golden Corral encounters.
Other buffet-style restaurant chains in the United States, such as Hometown Buffet and Old Country Buffet, provide comparable dining experiences.
Golden Corral must continually innovate and differentiate itself to stay ahead of the competition. Another challenge that Golden Corral faces is changing consumer tastes and preferences.
Consumers may be less likely to visit a buffet-style restaurant that serves high-calorie dishes as they become more health-conscious.
Golden Corral has responded to this challenge by expanding their menu to include healthier options, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
How the pandemic affected the Golden Corral business
The pandemic significantly impacted Golden Corral’s business, with shutdowns or restrictions on buffet service so severe that the chain’s very survival was jeopardized.
In the early days of the pandemic, Golden Corral was forced to close approximately 125 locations.
However, the chain’s CEO, Lance Trenary, detailed everything Golden Corral did to keep the brand alive, including operator changes, a focus on more entrees, and experiments like alcohol and even drive-thru service.
All of Golden Corral’s pandemic-based strategies relied heavily on franchisee support.
The Golden Corral leadership spent many hours speaking with state sanitary officials, health departments, secretaries of commerce, and governors to ensure they understood that touchable and shareable services were not a COVID spreader.
Despite the challenges, Golden Corral has made a comeback and returned to its pre-pandemic sales benchmarks, exceeding them by 3% to 5% in 2021.
The primary innovation project for the brand is to improve its brand and increase customer access.
According to Lance Trenary, President and CEO of Golden Corral, the pandemic will indelibly impact the company’s business model.
Golden Corral stores that were closed during the pandemic
According to a recent FSR magazine investigation, Golden Corral was forced to close approximately 125 locations in the early days of the pandemic.
However, the chain has since reopened some of these locations with modified service models, and plans to reopen 18 more by the end of the year have already begun.
A 12-year-old Golden Corral location in Michigan was demolished in October 2022 to make way for a new Chik-Fil-A, and the chain has seen other permanent closures.
Despite these closures, reports that Golden Corral’s total location count is still at 397.
How many stores did Golden Corral reopen post-pandemic?
According to recent reports, Golden Corral has reopened some of its restaurants since the pandemic.
Six locations have reopened with new service models, and plans are in the works to reopen 18 more by the end of the year.
One Golden Corral franchise in Anderson, Indiana, has reopened after being closed for more than six months due to a drop in customer traffic during the pandemic.
Some Golden Corral locations, however, have permanently closed this year.
Is Golden Corral permanently closed?
Which Golden Corral outlets have been permanently shut down? This year, some Golden Corral locations have permanently closed for various reasons. One location in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was demolished to make way for a new Chick-fil-A.
Another location in Alton, Illinois, unexpectedly shut down for at least four months, leaving employees confused and upset.
Golden Corral had to close some locations due to the pandemic, and the buffet’s future was already in doubt.
On the other hand, Golden Corral has seen a significant increase in sales this year, with a 37% increase in same-store sales in the first six weeks of 2023.
Post-pandemic Golden Corral situation
We want to clarify one thing: Golden Corral is not going out of business, and its sales have increased over the previous year.
Despite having to close some restaurants for an extended period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chain has reopened some and is seeing a significant increase in sales in 2023, with a 37% increase in same-store sales in the first six weeks of the year.
However, the pandemic forced Golden Corral to close some locations, and the company was forced to close dozens more after two of its largest franchisees declared bankruptcy.
Similarly, some Golden Corral locations have permanently closed this year due to a drop in sales during the pandemic.
Despite this, Golden Corral stays in business, and the chain is off to a good start in 2023.
To Sum Up
Golden Corral is a popular American restaurant chain that has functioned for almost 50 years. The restaurant chain’s business model is centered around offering a wide variety of affordable food, which has been the key to its success.
The restaurant chain has faced several challenges, such as competition from other dinner chains and changing consumer preferences. But it has also determined numerous possibilities to prosper and expand.
In conclusion, Golden Corral is a successful restaurant chain that has remained relevant in a highly competitive industry for nearly 50 years. The restaurant chain’s business model is centered around offering a wide combination of affordable food, which has been the key to its success.
Although Golden Corral faces challenges such as competition from other restaurant chains and changing consumer preferences. It has identified many opportunities to grow and expand, such as expanding its catering services and offering more healthy options.
Golden Corral is a restaurant chain that has illustrated strength and adaptability in the face of challenges. It is hovering to begin again to thrive and flourish in the future.
We hope now that all of your questions have been Being Golden Corral in trouble. Is Golden Corral permanently closed?