The Secret To Golden Corral's First 50 Years Of Success
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The Secret To Golden Corral's First 50 Years Of Success

The Secret To Golden Corral's First 50 Years Of Success

Golden Corral®, the brand known for bringing its abundance of high-quality menu items to guests across the country, recently celebrated its milestone 50th year in business. Opening its first location in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1973, the brand has been a leader in the restaurant industry ever since.

Reaching the 50-year milestone is a huge validator for any franchise concept. The foundation for Golden Corral was laid 50 years ago, when Founder James Maynard developed a 100-year plan that is still in use today. This 100-year plan is at the forefront of how Golden Corral  makes decisions and maintains key business relationships. This is evident in the fact that its current President and CEO, Lance Trenary, is only the third  in the company’s history, demonstrating incredibly strong and stable leadership at Golden Corral Corporation. A foundational value of the company is to do the right thing, even when it’s hard to do, and the success of the brand can be found in decisions made by this principle along the way.

Golden Corral’s success is also driven by its deep-rooted culture, starting with Mr. Maynard’s vision to set an example for the industry and make pleasurable dining affordable at every restaurant for every guest. Part of that example is giving back to the community in which Golden Corral franchise owners live and work. The brand believes in supporting United States Military members and their families, and has raised more than $30 million for DAV and Camp Corral, a national non-profit organization whose mission is to transform the lives of children of this nation’s wounded, ill, and fallen military heroes.

Through the philosophy that the success of the company is predicated on the success of its franchisees, Golden Corral built a franchisee-centric organization and established a shared set of values that resonate with its system. Another core principle the brand promotes is to work shoulder to shoulder and not nose to nose. Golden Corral knows it has a responsibility to lead the organization in marketing, development and other major initiatives with the experience-based input of its Franchisee Advisory Council. 

Innovation on the franchisee level is another key to Golden Corral’s success over its first 50 years in business. The company introduced the refreshed Gateway prototype, which creates a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests, and is currently offering a franchise development incentive, designed to combat inflation pressures for new and existing franchisees. In the next 50 years, the brand will continue to innovate and adapt to consumer trends in the marketplace. From fine-tuning its menu offerings according to consumer trends, to testing a smaller footprint concept focused on inspired comfort foods enhanced with new flavors, to a value family steakhouse, Golden Corral will continuously take into consideration consumer and franchisee feedback to help drive the brand forward as it heads into the next chapter of its 100-year plan.

For more information on the Golden Corral franchise opportunity, visit the franchising website, or connect with Joyce Bunn at to set up a time to speak by phone.

Golden Corral
Golden Corral is the largest National Buffet chain, offering delicious comfort food classics allowing guests to create their own unique and perfect plate. Learn More

Published: March 2nd, 2023

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