Golden Corral Serves Up Franchise Incentive to Spur Growth
Golden Corral stands uniquely ready to thrive with an inflation-busting franchise development incentive serving up loads of opportunities for owners of the beloved legacy brand.
We checked in with David Conklin, Chief Development Officer at Golden Corral, to learn more about how the comprehensive incentive is sparking growth for new and existing franchisees. See what he had to say.
What was the thought process that went into the Golden Corral new franchise incentive?
Conklin: Golden Corral has a remarkable family of franchisees who have worked tirelessly along with our senior leadership and support teams to overcome the challenges the restaurant industry faced the past two years. The entire Golden Corral team including franchisees did this with a high level of commitment and a renewed sense of excitement about our brand and its future.
Following the whirlwind we’ve experienced, Golden Corral emerged as the only national buffet brand – well positioned to take advantage of the existing real estate and market availability. We see a lot of opportunities since the restaurant landscape has changed, and we know that now is the time to grow again. We also recognize that we are in a unique period where inflation has been increasing across the nation. To that point, the buffet provides an extremely compelling value to our guests in markets across the country, and Golden Corral’s new incentive provides franchise candidates the chance to be part of a golden opportunity.
How is your incentive offering unique?
Conklin: We have taken a three-pronged approach to develop the Golden Corral franchise incentive. Our goal was to address inflation, have the best-trained managers and help set our franchisees up for success with marketing support for their new restaurant openings.
This incentive is unique because we are helping franchisees fight off the effects of inflation and improve their P&L, not just for the first year but for the next three years. A franchisee that develops a new restaurant under the incentive will receive a credit applied to their Golden Corral-approved broadline foodservice provider invoice (equal to 3% of their restaurant sales in year one, 2% in year two, and 1% of restaurant sales in year three). These credits, as a percentage of sales for the first three years of operation, directly reduce the operational costs during the critical early years. It's a significant financial incentive.
Golden Corral understands how critical all aspects of restaurant operations are to the restaurant's success, so we offer an industry-leading training program. We will reimburse a franchisee $15,000 for each manager they train (up to three managers) resulting in a $45,000 benefit to the franchisee. This credit is designed to ensure the management team receives the best-in-class training necessary for a great guest experience.
Finally, we want to help get the word out that a new Golden Corral has opened with a creative marketing support reimbursement credit of $5,000 for each new restaurant opening.
Golden Corral offers its franchisees access to a national advertising network and the support of a seasoned marketing support staff that works with franchisees to develop local store marketing plans for both new restaurant openings and ongoing promotions. The reimbursement credit will be available to help execute this plan.
The incentive comes as you launch a strategic franchise initiative — can you talk about the promise of this new phase of growth?
The foundation for the brand's expansion is the unwavering loyalty of its guests. Captivating fans for nearly 50 years, Golden Corral guests find comfort in a warm, family-friendly atmosphere with incomparable variety resulting in the brand's most loyal fans visiting at a pace of 70 times annually. Over the years, we've focused on enhancing the buffet experience while offering great value, family-oriented meals, and outstanding hospitality.
Our new prototype, the Gateway, was designed to improve the guest experience and operational efficiency. Our guests are central in everything we do. We wanted to make a change that would attract new guests to the brand and create excitement for our loyal guests. We now serve our renowned classic comfort food favorites and healthy, delicious meal options in a new guest-centric environment. The unique Gateway footprint was designed to give guests a more spacious setup and experience to navigate all we have to offer. We created a lighter, more spacious dining room layout while reducing the space needed in the back of the house. The dining area is focused on a central fireplace with increased lighting provided by oversized windows. We have created more space around tables and moved the kitchen and buffet bars away from the dining room, providing a more relaxed environment. Strategically placed serving stations increase the traffic flow in the serving areas, and the location of these bars and the kitchen areas increase the restaurant's overall operational efficiency.
This new design has created excitement and increased interest in expansion within our current franchise system and piqued the interest of new franchise candidates. Golden Corral opened 13 new locations throughout 2020 and 2021, including our first restaurants in Puerto Rico and the Bronx, New York City. We look forward to opening the units under construction in Puerto Rico, California, and other parts of the country. We also have new development agreements signed for Queens County, Long Island, and Yonkers in New York, Dallas, Gretna, , Las Vegas, Fresno, and more throughout the country.
Explore the golden opportunity to expand with the Golden Corral family today at goldencorral.com/franchise.
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