When Hurricane Florence struck the coasts of North and South Carolina in September, many Golden Corral franchisees in the affected areas organized and stepped in to provide meals, bottled water, and paper goods to residents and cleanup crews.
Franchise prospects who see what is happening at Golden Corral, such as the support of the military, and recognize that it represents the company’s culture and want to be a part of it. Every major brand has cause-related efforts, but few are as committed as Golden Corral to a cause this universally accepted and that support it on as many levels.
Golden Corral is pleased with the new look. More important, customers are responding well, especially at the first prototype location. Their response, the chain hopes, will be echoed as more stores are rolled out.
On the business front, Holm has been busy growing and diversifying since he was last profiled by Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine in 2015. “I’ve added three more Golden Corrals and have another scheduled to open later this year,” he said. He’s excited about the new location because it will feature the brand’s new Gateway restaurant design.
One detail of Golden Corral’s new prototype that guests will immediately notice are the reduced views into the kitchen from the buffet area. This change was a deliberate strategy to hide some of the more functional aspects of the operations, while still creating “cooking theatres” to display visually appealing menu items in areas such as a carving station, smokehouse and cake decorating preparation.
Golden Corral embarked on a nearly two-year long process to revitalize the design that included surveying franchisees and guests to learn what elements worked and what needed improvement. To complete the redesign effort, executives at the grill-buffet chain turned to two design firms: FRCH Design Worldwide and Profitality.
On December 21, Golden Corral reopened its restaurant in Greensboro, NC featuring the first of the building redesign, called Gateway. The prototype incorporates a contemporary appearance for the interior and exterior of the building, with improved layouts for the dining room, service bars and kitchen areas. The new facility design also enables greater customer service and dining room comfort, as well as increased energy efficiency.