Hu Odom owns 20 Golden Corrals in four states, employs up to a couple thousand people and is in a position to help make more people a career in the hospitality industry.
“I firmly believe the restaurant industry is one of the last employment frontiers in America where young people can come in with a serious determination and willingness to work hard and make a great career for themselves,” Odom said. “They don’t need a good family connection or to go to the right school. That is what happened to me, quite frankly."
Golden Corral, the nation’s largest grill buffet chain, continues to grow its iconic American brand by constantly looking out for new territories where customers are craving its special recipes of delicious home-cooked meals at an affordable price. Golden Corral has identified Des Moines, Iowa as the new home for another successful franchise in the Midwest.
Golden Corral recently ranked #14 in Entrepreneur magazine’s prestigious list of Best Franchises for More Than $500,000. This highly sought-after honor recognizes the top brands for excellence and represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the franchise restaurant industry.
Golden believes that Reno, Nevada is the perfect place for its rapidly expanding and proven business model. The next step is to choose an experienced entrepreneur to lead Golden Corral’s new franchise expansion efforts in Reno.
Golden Corral is seeking a franchisee to open somewhere in Watertown to capitalize on its population and regional draw, said Van Ingram, vice president of franchise development. He said the market could support an 8,400-square-foot restaurant, the smaller of its two typical footprints. It would offer a full menu, including fried chicken, sirloin streak and shrimp trio, fried fish and pot roast.
Golden Corral, the nation’s largest grill-buffet chain, welcomed Shirley Rogers Reece and Mark Nelson to its Board of Directors. Rogers Reece and Nelson bring to the board nearly 60 years of industry and leadership experience.
One thing Golden Corral does differently is to have a long-term, in-house finance specialist who works with both franchisees and lenders. At most brands, said Van Ingram, that role usually is filled as an offshoot or another department, or franchisees are pointed to a list of lenders who have worked with the brand before.